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CBA names new chief executive officer

Friday, January 08, 2021 @ 9:42 AM | By John Chunn

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) announced on Jan. 7 that Simon Coakeley has been named chief executive officer.

According to the CBA press release, Coakeley’s appointment will take effect on Feb. 15, and at that time, he will replace Steve Pengelly, who has been the interim CEO since July 2020. Pengelly has agreed to stay on for a period of transition following Coakeley’s appointment taking effect, to ensure an orderly and effective transfer of responsibilities.

“The board of directors is very pleased with the choice made by our selection committee,” CBA president Brad Regehr said in the press release. “Mr. Coakeley has an extensive background that includes senior executive experience in government and non-for-profit associations, is perfectly fluent in both official languages, and is a lawyer. Mr. Coakeley’s experiences, qualifications and capabilities are very well suited for the CBA’s CEO role and responsibilities.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Steve Pengelly for his commitment to the association and his agreement to step away from his practice for several months to ensure there was no gap in the effective ongoing operations of the association,” Regehr added. “He stepped in at a challenging time, and we are all very grateful for his calm and effective management style.”

“As a lawyer, I have long admired the work of the Canadian Bar Association and am thrilled to be joining the CBA at this point in my career,” said Coakeley, who is currently the CEO of the National Association of Federal Retirees.