Ellen Pekilis

LawyerLawyer, Barrister and SolicitorCorporate

Ellen Pekilis provides strategic advice and practical solutions to executive teams and boards of directors in complex regulated industries. Ms Pekilis was General Counsel of Canadian Standards Association and Executive Director of Energy Exchange. She has domestic and global acquisition and compliance experience. She serves on the boards of the College of Optometrists of Ontario and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Ellen is a speaker and writer on compliance, governance and standards-related issues.

Ellen Pekilis was general counsel with CSA Group, where she was accountable for delivery of a full range of legal services to global operations in 14 countries. Ms. Pekilis led the legal team in numerous international and domestic acquisitions. As a member of the senior leadership team, she led an array of strategic initiatives, including development of a code of conduct for global operations, revitalization of the Enterprise Risk Management Program and creation of new corporate values through leadership of a multi-stakeholder team. She was a core member of the business council on corporate strategy and the standards strategy team, as well as senior cross-functional teams responsible for global rebranding and customer service. She was recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel with its Value Challenge Award (2014) for strategic alignment of legal services with corporate vision and mission.

She is a Board Member of the Council of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, where she is a member of five board committees, including governance, licensure (registration), quality assurance and professional discipline. She also serves on the board of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Ellen is an Activator with SheEO, a global initiative focused on advancing the economy via a unique financing model to empower innovative female entrepreneurs. She takes great pride in mentoring young lawyers and provides career mentoring to foreign trained professionals through CultureLink. She is active in various charities focusing on literacy and adoption.

She is a native of Montreal and graduated with her B.A. from the University of Toronto (1987) and LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School (1989).


  • Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, LL.B., 1989
  • University of Toronto, B.A., 1987

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 1991


  • Acquisition of certification and test business (U.K.)
  • Divestiture of division (Australia)
  • Acquisition of management system business (Alberta)
  • Acquisition of climate change registry service (Ontario)
  • Joint venture for test services (Germany/U.S.)
  • Acquisitions in U.S. (various)
  • Established Global Code of Conduct and related management system for operations across 14 countries and 22 subsidiaries
  • Led development of Corporate Values

Awards & Honours

  • Value Challenge Award, Association of Corporate Counsel, 2014