Samanthea Samuels (she/her/hers) is the Chief EDI Officer at Cassels. In this role, Samanthea is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing comprehensive EDI initiatives at the firm, driving the firm’s EDI strategy, and serving as a key point of contact and expert resource for firm leadership.
Prior to taking on the role of Chief EDI Officer, Samanthea served as the firm’s Assistant Director of Professional Resources, Equity & Associate Performance, where she was responsible for supporting the Cassels’ work allocation program, leadership development initiative, and the firm’s mentorship program, as well as coaching associates to reach their career goals.
Before joining Cassels, Samanthea was the Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at a full-service Bay Street firm, and led the firm’s EDI initiatives and programming. In her role, Samanthea developed and implemented strategic plans, policies, and initiatives aimed at advancing EDI within the firm; developed and managed a national demographic data collection initiative; rolled out education and awareness programs; ensured that Firm policies and practices were aligned with diversity and inclusion goals; ensured that all talent-related activities and Firm processes were viewed through a diversity lens; tracked and reported on progress in these areas, and led the firm’s EDI reporting efforts.
Samanthea has also practiced general corporate and securities law at a full-service Bay Street firm, and has led equity and inclusion efforts in schools, workplaces and in the broader community. In addition to her formal EDI work in a firm setting, she has also assisted with the creation of a Black Lives Matter affinity group and the inception of a mini pro bono clinic offering legal advice to Black businesses affected by COVID. Samanthea is also the founder of a community program that provides mentorship and guidance to high school students in pursuit of post-secondary education. In this capacity, she encourages and assists students with future planning, application building, and extracurricular involvements, and pairs students with legal and other professional mentors in the Greater Toronto Area.