2016 Zenith Award Winners
Marc-André Blanchard is an esteemed lawyer from Québec who in April became Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In this role, Ambassador Blanchard works to advance Canada’s interests, promote international development, security and human rights, and to keep our government informed on multilateral issues. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Blanchard had been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, one of the country’s most prominent law firms. He also has a long history of political involvement, as the former president of the Québec Liberal Party and, more recently, as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s transition team. Ambassador Blanchard holds several degrees including a Master's in Public Administration and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He is a Lexpert Rising Stars alumnus, and in 2013 was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer.
As Director of Research and Advocacy for the Canadian HIV/
AIDS Legal Network, Sandra Ka Hon Chu works to advance the
rights of sex-trade workers, drug users and prisoners. Sandra’s
work includes leading litigation against the Government of
Canada for failing to provide needle and syringe programs in
prisons. She has written extensively in the area of HIV/AIDS,
including a legislative reference work on women’s rights in
the context of HIV and briefing papers on the sex trade and
HIV law in Canada and internationally. Before joining the
Legal Network, she worked in The Hague with the Women’s
Initiatives for Gender Justice, advocating for gender-inclusive
justice before the International Criminal Court. She has
worked for human rights and United Nations agencies in
Libya, Timor-Leste, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.