Job Posting: Director of Communications


Position Type: Full time, contract

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Posting Date: June 19, 2018

Deadline: July 16, 2018

Start Date: Negotiable



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


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, goal and growth.

Working closely with the SPI senior management, members of the SPI Steering Committee, and the Smart Prosperity CEO-level 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


Knowledge, Experience and Skills:

  • Graduate degree (or equivalent experience) 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 CEO-level partners (business, government)
  • Ability to deal with competing priorities and focus on deliverables
  • Knowledge of environment, energy and/or economic issues an asset (passion for them essential)
  • Excellent communication skills (English essential, French an asset)


Smart Prosperity Institute staff are employees 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 16

Click here to view job posting as a downloadable PDF.

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