Lesley Brown

Phone Number: 
(416) 963-5787 ext. 27
Executive Director
In an ever-evolving knowledge landscape, Lesley is a change leader. She transformed Essential Skills Ontario from the former Ontario Literacy Coalition, a provincial membership-based association, into a dynamic not-for-profit corporation with an important voice at key decision-making tables across Ontario and Canada. Currently, as Executive Director at Essential Skills Ontario, Lesley is leading a number of important research initiatives. This includes testing workforce training models which explicitly involve employers in the design and delivery of skills to the unemployed and a large pan-Canadian project which examines rural human capital and its relationship to economic development. In previous management roles, at both AlphaPlus Centre and the Toronto District School Board, Lesley was instrumental in leading change through such initiatives as building accountability through the establishment of a project-management office; managing and developing a training department that served five district schools boards; establishing the first certificate programs for adult literacy education and numeracy programs in Toronto; and developing the Open Circle: Learner-Centred assessment process for adult literacy students. Lesley holds a Masters Degree in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University, a Bachelor’s degree from York University, a certificate in Conflict Mediation from Guelph University, and a Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate. In 2012, Lesley was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work and commitment to the cause of adult education and training. Lesley is very passionate about education as a means of improving the well-being and civic engagement of adults. She sits on the Board of Directors for ABC Life Literacy Canada, and previously sat on the boards of the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network and TESL Canada.