Executive Director

You are here

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada’s premiere progressive policy research institute, is seeking a new Executive Director.

This position will be responsible for leading the CCPA, including overseeing research, publications, fundraising, relationships with stakeholders and supporters, communications, and staff and office management. A detailed job description and list of required qualifications is provided below. The CCPA offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience. 

Please submit a cover letter and resume by November 20, 2015 to Larry Brown, CCPA President, c/o lbrown @ policyalternatives.ca or 251 Bank Street, Suite 500, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X3. You can also submit your application via Charity Village's application manager.

No phone calls please. We thank all applicants in advance; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


The Executive Director provides leadership, planning and direction to all aspects of the CCPA in compliance with the vision, mission, and policies established by the Board of Directors and the Members Council. 

The Executive Director is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the reputation of the CCPA as one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates and an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

The Executive Director responsibilities include maintaining the research integrity of the CCPA.  

The Executive Director is also responsible for research coordination, strategic planning for ensuring financial accountability, fundraising, projections and analyses, in setting priorities and budgets.  

This position is responsible for maintaining effective and cooperative relations with civil society organizations, policy makers, academic organizations, the labour movement, CCPA provincial offices and CCPA's funders.  

The Executive Director is accountable to the CCPA National Board of Directors. 


Strategic Planning and Growth

The Executive Director is responsible for providing strategic leadership to ensure the resources and capacity of the CCPA are deployed and developed to maximum effect/impact. The Executive Director will provide leadership and direction for the CCPA by motivating and overseeing staff and by developing, implementing and monitoring programs in conjunction with Board and staff. This includes proposing targets for operations, finances, staffing, donors, research and communications strategic goals, and responsibility for attaining strategic objectives. 

Relationship Building 

The Executive Director is responsible for building, strengthening and maintaining relationships with heads of existing major funders and partners of the CCPA. 

As a spokesperson for the CCPA, this position is also responsible for the public “face” of the organization as a progressive research institute. This involves media commentary and public talks, attending relevant functions, participating in conferences and meetings to ensure CCPA’s public presence, and involvement in new and developing relevant initiatives. 


The Executive Director provides direction to the fundraisers, initiating or approving direct mail and other fundraising appeals for core funding, research desks and projects, ensuring that the strategies complement the goals and philosophy of the CCPA. The Executive Director will also make direct approaches to the existing and potential funding partners.


Responsible for supervising and assisting the work of other national staff members through a consultative and collegial approach to staff supervision and management while respecting the necessary autonomy of staff. This includes regular communications with national staff, establishing priorities and goals for staff and the strategies for meeting them, and performance evaluation. The Executive Director also maintains an effective and collegial relationship with the bargaining unit representing national staff, including implementation of the Collective Agreement at the national office. The Executive Director does not supervise the staff of provincial offices, but maintains regular communication and collaboration with the provincial directors.

Financial Planning

Includes developing projections, financial analyses, as well as establishing the annual national office budget and project/desk budgets; reviewing the provincial office budgets; reviewing with the Operations Director month-end statements and year-end statements to ensure financial accountability and ensuring that all aspects of the organization are adequately staffed.  

Communications and Research Coordination

The Executive Director is responsible for supervising the CCPA research agenda, and ensuring its rigorous and credible reputation. This includes arranging the commissioning and review of national research papers, opinion pieces and articles (reviewed both directly and through a credible peer-review process); initiating and administering research projects and grant writing; liaising with the provincial offices and research associates; and recruiting new research associates. 

The Executive Director must also act effectively as a spokesperson for the CCPA — at conferences and other public events, in the media, with policy makers and other civil society organizations. This also involves understanding and supporting the public communications role of researchers, who are essential to the profile and reputation CCPA.


  • Must have strong experience and a proven record in a policy research or research-based advocacy setting.
  • Must be an expert strategic planner; have a proven ability in expanding a growing organization through fundraising and the nurturing of new and existing partners and donors.
  • Must have management experience in the non-profit sector. Since this position is a leadership role, the Executive Director must have strong skills in providing staff with clear, goal-oriented directions and supporting and supervising their attainment of those objectives. The position also requires a strong capacity for problem solving and decision-making.
  • Experience in managing organizational structures.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are mandatory in this position to provide direction, administer contracts and research projects, and to make and present reports or proposals to a wide variety of funders and organizations, including with the media, partner organizations, policy makers and others.
  • The Executive Director must be a solid and effective writer, able to author newspaper opinion pieces and research papers.
  • Ability to effectively liaise with the Board of Directors, Members’ Council, and provincial directors of the organization, providing accurate reports to the board, participating in decision-making and operationalizing the policies established by the Board of Directors.
  • Must possess oral and written fluency in both of Canada’s official languages.
20 Nov 2015
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Ottawa  Ontario
Policy Development & Advocacy