Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer & Public Affairs
Melissa J. Kennedy is responsible for the company’s enterprise legal, compliance, corporate secretarial and corporate and public affairs functions. She joined Sun Life in 2014.
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 of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, since 2009. 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 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.
Melissa was named Canada’s General Counsel of the Year in 2012 and received the Women of Influence, Canadian Diversity Champion award. She received the Zenith Award in 2013 as one of Canada’s leading female lawyers. In 2016, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network.