University of Waterloo

  • Director, Partners for Action

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    2625 - Dean of Environment Office
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $83,875 - $104,844
  • Overview

    The Director, Partners for Action, is responsible for strategy and governance, partnership development, communication and public relations, research management, and overall administrative oversight of the Partners for Action (“P4A”) research network. This position is central to the establishment of P4A and the University of Waterloo (UW) as a national leader advancing flood resiliency in Canada.


    This role is contingent on funding. 


    Strategy, governance and leadership

    • Recruiting and continually engaging with an advisory committee and stakeholder group, both of which will include senior public and private sector leaders, as required to execute strategy
    • Developing a multi-year strategic plan for P4A in consultation with the P4A advisory committee and Dean of Environment
    • Monitoring and responding to trends in research, education, training, and applied practices related to flood resiliency for Canadian communities
    • Leading program planning stemming from the long-term strategy, and planning for operationalization through team and individual objectives
    • Engaging and leading cross-sector dialogue across Canada related to P4A’s mandate, including convening and facilitating meetings of a P4A advisory committee and stakeholder group

    Partnership development

    • Build capacity to advance the goals of P4A by developing new partnerships and nurturing existing relationships with a diverse group of industry, government, non-governmental organization, and academic stakeholders in Canada. Working in collaboration with UW Advancement staff and the Office of Research, this partnership development will be achieved through, but not limited to:
      • Planning, organizing and executing a strategy for partnership development that will enable P4A to secure financial and in-kind resources to deliver on its mandate from a range of sources which may include: public grants, corporate or government contract research agreements, sponsorship, and/or philanthropic donations
      • Raise additional funds in support of P4A by working with University of Waterloo Advancement personnel
      • Negotiating research, project, and gift agreements
      • Stewarding collaborations, managing expectations and tracking outcomes of partnerships on an ongoing basis

    Research and program management

    • Facilitate the development and ongoing management of research projects and other programming through, but not limited to:
      • Developing proposals, work plans, and project budgets
      • Building research teams consisting of the most qualified personnel from both internal areas and external institutions (in consultation with the Faculty Academic Liaison)
      • Monitoring progress of projects and maintaining documentation to ensure fulfillment of agreement terms including receipt and expenditure of funds
      • Ensuring P4A research projects and programs (i.e. reports, events) are delivered on time, on budget, and meet organizational quality and brand standards
      • Seeking synergistic collaborations with other research groups on campus, including for example for the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change and the Water Institute
      • Reporting to funders and partners, as required, and ensuring funding is used effectively and appropriately
      • Facilitating knowledge mobilization of research outcomes to external audiences, including policymakers and business decision-makers

    Communications and public affairs

    • Raise the profile of the P4A network and establish UW as a leading voice on flood resiliency in Canada by planning and implementing a wide range of public relations and communications initiatives, including but not limited to:
      • Developing an overall communications strategy for the P4A network, working in consultation and co-operation with Environment and other UW communications staff
      • Overseeing the development and growth of P4A’s brand/reputation credibility throughout all areas of activity, including working with senior UW and partner marketing/communication staff to ensure that P4A’s brand is in alignment with partner brands
      • Seeking and participating in speaking engagement across Canada to a variety of industry, government and general public audiences, in consultation with Community Relations staff where appropriate
      • Liaising with media (press releases, media inquiries, advertisements), in consultation with UW media relations staff, and acting as the key spokesperson for P4A
      • Creating and maintaining a professional portfolio of marketing and communications tools to ensure P4A’s work is understood by internal and external audiences (e.g., website, annual report, brochures, presentation slide sets, and collateral)
      • Collaborating on writing opinion editorials and other knowledge mobilization strategies with UW and external experts to raise the profile of flood resilience across Canada

    Operations and supervision

    • Manage all operational and supervisory functions of the P4A network (finance, legal, administration, human resourses including but not limited to:
      • Overseeing the P4A budget and reporting on financial activities to internal and external stakeholders
      • Supervising P4A support staff (permanent, casual, temporary, and students), including aspects of training and development, performance appraisals, and assigning job responsibilities
      • Maintaining internal relationships and communication with the Office of Research, Faculty- and University-level Advancement staff and other UW services (Finance, Human Resources, Creative Services, etc.) 


    • Master’s degree required or equivalent education and experience
    • At least five years of experience with client/partner relationship development and management (both government and business-related experience preferred)
    • Substantial experience with public relations, media management, and communication strategies and execution
    • Experience with research project development and implementation, including scoping, financial planning, reporting, and team formation and management
    • Knowledge of business sustainability and climate change issues as well as related governance and professional practice in Canada
    • Intermediate level proficiency with Microsoft Office suite 
    • Basic level proficiency with Financial/Project Management and Desktop Publishing Software
    • Extensive travel required
    • Regular working hours, some evening/weekend work required


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