The Advocate

Jackie Lake Kavanagh
Child & Youth Advocate

Jacqueline Lake Kavanagh was appointed Child and Youth Advocate for Newfoundland and Labrador effective December 16, 2016. Jackie’s career has spanned the provincial Public Service, Memorial University, and community based organizations. Her postings have involved executive positions, senior management roles, post-secondary teaching, community development, counselling and advocacy. In recent years, she served as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Public Safety and Enforcement Branch with the Department of Justice and Public Safety, and as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Corporate Services and Policy Branch, as well as the Labour, Policy and Services Branch with the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. Her public service career in the Department of Justice and Public Safety also included serving as Director of Policy and Strategic Planning, Director of Family Justice Services, Director of the Aboriginal Research Unit, and Provincial Manager of Victim Services, which she was hired to establish. She served as departmental lead for interdepartmental initiatives such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy, Violence Prevention Initiative, and Northern Strategic Plan, and chaired the Justice Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women.

Jackie has also tremendously enjoyed the opportunity to teach at Memorial University in the Faculty of Arts Police Studies Program, the School of Social Work and in the Criminology Certificate Program. She has developed course curriculum and has taught courses on-line and in-class.

Prior to joining the Public Service, Jackie’s roots rest with community based agencies including Iris Kirby House, the St. John’s Women’s Centre, and Adolescent Health Counselling Service. As a young professional working with seasoned and brilliant advocates and clinicians, she learned many valuable lessons about diversity, marginalization, equity and resilience which she has carried through her career.

Jackie holds a Master of Social Work degree in Social Policy and Administration, a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Certificate in Criminology, and has completed Memorial’s Executive Development Certificate. She was recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence in 2006.