Inger Hansen, QC

Class of 1960

Inger Hansen's father, a Danish civil servant, was adamant that he would not send his only child to university, no matter how smart she was, because she was a girl. So Ms. Hansen found her own, rather circuitous, way to a stellar career. After first coming to Canada in 1950-where she took a job as a cook on a farm in the West-she eventually managed to work her way through to a law degree at the University of British Columbia. That credential led to ground-floor roles in three key areas of public life that have now become an integral part of the national dialogue.

As the country's first penitentiary ombudsman, Ms. Hansen, who died on September 28, 2013, at the age of 84, was an advocate of inmates' rights and prison reform. As Canada's first privacy commissioner, she handled complaints regarding the Human Rights Act's privacy provisions. And as the first information commissioner, she was responsible for complaints regarding the Access to Information Act and fought to make the workings of the federal government more transparent…

For more, read Profile of Inger Hansen from The Advocate, 72 (2014).