Job Posting: Director of Communications

Position Type: Full time, contract
Salary Band: commensurate with experience
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Start Date: August-September 2018
Deadline: July 6, 2018

Are you a communications professional with expertise in the environment and economy? Smart Prosperity Institute - Canada's premiere green economy think tank - is looking for a Director of Communications to grow our brand, expand our reach, and improve our knowledge translation. Apply by July 6.

Smart Prosperity Institute (formerly Sustainable Prosperity) is a national research network and policy think tank based at the University of Ottawa. We deliver world-class research and work with public and private partners – all to advance practical policies and market solutions for a stronger, cleaner economy. More info at:

Position Overview:

The role of the Director of Communications is to provide strategic direction, vision, leadership and management for all aspects of Smart Prosperity Institute’s communications activities. The successful candidate will be responsible for creating and executing high-impact, measurable, integrated communications, branding, and media relations strategies to align with SPI’s vision, goals and growth. 

Working closely with the SPI senior management, members of the SPI Steering Committee, and the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative, the individual will help to develop a dynamic communications strategy. The Director will have responsibility for implementing this strategy, including overseeing design and production of policy briefs and reports, infographics, videos, newsletters, webinars and other communications products; overseeing website development, social media, and all digital communications; developing and implementing a strategy to disseminate SPI’s key messages; and coordinating extensive media relations activities. The Director will also liaise closely with communications teams in partner organizations.

This is a senior position that reports directly to the Executive Director. The position has multiple positions reporting to it, including up to four full-time staff, a number of contractors, and often a selection of part-time or variable student positions.

Specific Accountabilities:

  • Develop a dynamic communications strategy to increase the profile of SPI and its highest-profile initiative, the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative
  • Design and production of publications and products and oversee media strategy, product releases and SPI events
  • Lead the Communications Team and ensures effective individual performance, team-level performance and appropriate use of resources for maximum policy and communications impact
  • Represent SPI with stakeholders, funders, project partners, steering committee members, media and others, ensuring clear, balanced and non-partisan positioning of SPI as Canada’s leading green economy think-tank
  • Ensure hands-on management of the resources – both human and financial – of the Communications Team in order to deliver excellence in project outcomes and team management  

Experience & Competencies:

  • Graduate degree in communications, journalism, public policy, or related field
  • Experience in all facets of communications such as e-communications, media relations / social media/ new media, crisis / issue management, advertising, etc. and in identifying audiences, developing strategies, and crafting messages for achieving communications objectives
  • Ability to take complex issues and communicate them in a simple and effective manner 
  • Writing fluency in digital communications and social media
  • Strategic: Ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels. Also brings the ability to operationalize the communications function of SPI
  • Relationship builder with the flexibility and finesse to "manage by influence"
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute national public relations and social media initiatives
  • Experience in communicating technical material to broad audiences
  • Minimum of 5 years of related national-scope experience, or equivalent blend of education and experience, preferably in like-sized organizations including strong management skills
  • Superior writing skills and experience including for traditional media, social media, and web
  • Experience working with a Board and senior volunteer leadership
  • Ability to deal with competing priorities and focus on deliverables
  • Extensive knowledge of energy, environment and economic issues in Canada


  • English mandatory. Bilingualism is an asset.

By joining Smart Prosperity Institute, you will become an employee of the University of Ottawa. We invite you to consult the University’s benefits and policies for Non-Union Support Staff:

To apply for this position, please email the following materials to Mike Wilson,

  1. CV
  2. Cover letter

The deadline for applications is July 6, 2018.

We thank all candidates for their interest. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Click here to view this posting as a downloadable PDF.