Working with immigrants and refugees has always given Krista Daley a strong sense of satisfaction.

Daley, appointed the new head of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission yesterday, said she was drawn to immigration issues early in her legal career.

“You’re often dealing with people who were leaving very desperate circumstances and yet who had a strong sense of resilience,” Daley said yesterday.

Daley, 47, a Dartmouth native, was chosen after a nearly two-year search by headhunting firm Staffing Strategists. She’ll make $131,000 a year and has been appointed for three years.

She plans to settle into the commission before she figures out what its priorities will be under her leadership.

For the last seven years, Daley was senior general counsel and director of legal services with the Canada Immigration and Refugee Board. She also spent a year advising the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. She holds law degrees from the University of Alberta and Osgoode Hall.

Eighty per cent of the Nova Scotia commission’s complaints are workplace issues, with those breaking down to disability, race and gender complaints.

Daley replaces acting director Michael Noonan, who stepped in after Mayann Francis was appointed lieutenant governor in 2006.

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