University of Waterloo

Manager, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations

Requisition ID 2023-11221
Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$70,099 - $87,623
Job Category
Student Services
Job Location : Location


Term: 21 months 


Representing over 33,000 students, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association advocates for the needs of its members to make their end-to-end post-secondary career a meaningful and a positive experience. As there are many moving pieces for the delivery of post-secondary education, from tuition and funding, access to food and housing, to frameworks that enable access for marginalized communities, it is important that advocacy efforts are an around the clock business that require a pulse on a wide variety of subject matters of all sizes and maintaining positive relations with the people behind the efforts.


The Manager, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations provides leadership with the strategic planning of

WUSA’s advocacy efforts in accordance with WUSA’s long range plan and executive/board priorities. The role helps provide advisory and operational support to ensure that WUSA’s advocacy efforts are planned out and effective. The position helps ensure continuity throughout changing student executive by ensuring comprehensive transition support and advisory throughout their terms. The position will lead WUSA’s growing complement of advocacy related staff, as well as playing a key role in improving the strategic approach to advocacy on behalf of students.


Plans, proposes, and implements strategic initiatives within the department:

  • Design and develop strategies and plans for future initiatives within department
  • Responsible for the execution of various strategic initiatives and projects as assigned
  • Serves on or leads committees, taskforces, and project groups to advance cross-departmental strategic initiatives, as assigned
  • Conducts scans of the current research, policy, and political environments relating to post- secondary education and student issues
  • Provide recommendations on how WUSA can effectively advocate for students through enhanced research and stakeholder capabilities

Support the development of annual and multi-year advocacy plans:

  • Provide expert advice in the context of long-range planning discussions to inform the creation of long-range visioning for advocacy activities in the organization
  • Develop annual plan prioritizing advocacy objectives at the direction of the Executive Committee and the Director
  • Ensure strategic objectives and a prospective timeline to advance plan priorities
  • Monitor progress of advocacy plans, recommending changes as necessary to alter either the plan or staff activities
  • Maintains a high degree of familiarity with ongoing activities throughout WUSA, and provide advisory/support, when necessary, to ensure our operations and actions are in line with WUSA’s annual and long-range goals and advocacy policies
  • Identify areas of opportunity for collaborations within WUSA, UW departments and externally to bring a unified approach to similar advocacy efforts

Coordinates with WUSA Executive and other staff to support organizational objectives:

  • Leads advocacy projects involving WUSA staff across their departments, coordinating action and ensuring timelines are met
  • Work with equity personnel to help drive WUSA priorities and initiatives around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Develop and assist in facilitating annual executive transition for department to ensure business continuity with advocacy, research, and policy efforts
  • Serves as a resource for advocacy support/advisory around student-run services, societies and other student run advocacy groups managed by WUSA
  • Innovates and proposes, in coordination with their SR team, new strategies and/or projects that further the Executive Committee’s advocacy objectives
  • Through regular contact with Executive and Associate Vice Presidents, ensures attention to agreed upon timelines for advocacy activities

Provides leadership and support for research efforts, advocacy policy development, and stakeholder relations activities for the organization:

  • Responsible for the recruitment, training, development, and performance management of the full- time personnel of the Stakeholder Relations department
  • Ensure compliance with WUSA and UW advocacy policies and procedures within operations
  • Actively monitors department projects and staff workload to ensure effective productivity and prioritization
  • Provide regular updates to Director about progress on efforts
  • Assist Director with the development and management of department budget
  • Champion new methods and systems to reduce stress and improve productivity, efficiency and business continuity
  • Stay updated on practices at leading organizations to ensure best practices at WUSA


  • A bachelor’s degree is required. A Master’s degree or post-degree certificates in government relations, management, strategy/foresight, public service, policy, or research would be an asset
  • 5+ years in a managerial position in an organization with a public affairs function
  • Experience in leading high-profile cross departmental projects
  • Minimum 3 years’ progressive experience in an advocacy, policy, stakeholder or government relations focused position
  • Experience demonstrating ability to lead, motivate and mentor student leaders and support their personal and professional development an asset
  • Advanced relationship building skills and strong interpersonal skills required. Excellent verbal/presentation skills
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, including the ability to write and edit quickly, accurately and creatively
  • Ability to handle complex multiple assignments at the same time and meet tight deadlines
  • Strong time management
  • Strong coaching/mentorship skills
  • Ability to work with small team/high functioning
  • Flexible/adaptable to changing organizational priorities
  • In depth knowledge of post-secondary education sector
  • In depth knowledge of the student association environment an asset
  • Highly complex issues are involved which may bring in different levels of government, media, corporate leaders, opinion leaders, faculty, staff and students – with potential impacts on institutional reputation and resources
  • Understanding of 2 or more areas of the following:
  • Strong knowledge of effective policy
  • Strong understanding of advocacy strategy
  • Strong understanding of the stakeholder relations process
  • Strong understanding of research methods

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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