News release

Joseph Fraser Appointed New CEO of Human Rights Commission

Nova Scotia has appointed longtime human rights leader Joseph Fraser as the new director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. The appointment takes effect April 19.

Mr. Fraser, currently the director of human rights and equity services with Nova Scotia Community College, has more than 20 years experience in leadership and the promotion of human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion. His previous experience includes a variety of roles with the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission where he was accountable for government-wide workplace policy and diversity programming.

Mr. Fraser will take over from interim director and CEO Kymberly Franklin, a senior solicitor with the commission.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Mr. Fraser to this important position. His collaborative leadership style, relationship-building skills and extensive experience working with diverse groups will be a great asset to the commission in fulfilling its mandate to help build inclusive communities and protect the human rights of Nova Scotians,” said Randy Delorey, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “I also want to thank Ms. Franklin for stepping into the director’s role and ensuring continuity of service while the search was underway.”

Mr. Fraser, a graduate of Cape Breton University and Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law, began his career working with adults with disabilities and is a former executive director of Highland Visions Society. He has also served as executive officer with the Labour Standards Tribunal and appeal commissioner and registrar with the Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal.

The appointment is for a five-year term.


The Human Rights Commission plays a critical role in the necessary work of anti-racism and protecting human rights. I’m eager to join the commission in advancing this important work. Joseph Fraser, incoming director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Through a highly competitive selection process, Mr. Fraser demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of human rights law, a track record in dispute resolution, use of restorative approaches and success working with diverse communities. His extensive experience, relationship-building skills, and innovative and inspirational leadership make him uniquely qualified for this position. We are pleased to welcome him as director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Cheryl Knockwood, chair, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Quick Facts:

  • Mr. Fraser is a certified diversity executive and holds certificates in executive leadership development, conflict management and Mi’kmaw studies
  • he is a proud member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community
  • the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission administers the province’s Human Rights Act and operates independent of government
  • the roles of the commission and director are guided by the Human Rights Act
  • the commission is mandated by the act to help build inclusive communities and protect human rights in Nova Scotia

Additional Resources:

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission:

Nova Scotia Human Rights Act: rights.pdf