Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer & Public Affairs

Melissa J. Kennedy is responsible for the company’s enterprise legal, compliance, corporate secretarial and public affairs functions.

Melissa came to Sun Life in 2014 with a breadth of experience spanning private practice, regulatory and in-house roles. Prior to joining Sun Life, she was Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Affairs for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Canada’s largest pension funds. Melissa started her career in private practice followed by roles as head of the prosecution team at the Ontario Securities Commission and as Vice-President, Associate General Counsel at a major Canadian bank.

Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1989 and is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors. She is also a member of the University of Toronto’s Law Alumni Association Council, is on the Executive Committee of the Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion and received the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for her volunteer work.

In 2017, Melissa received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and in 2016, The Women’s Executive Network recognized her as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. In 2012, Melissa was named Canada's General Counsel of the Year and received the Women of Influence, Canadian Diversity Champion award.