University of Waterloo

  • Director, Climate Resilence

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

    The Senior Director is responsible for leading the Climate Resilience Program at the Intact Centre and will oversee work across the following focus areas: 1) community-scale flood resiliency programming; 2) wildfire risk reduction standards development; 3) extreme heat reduction best practice development; 4) natural infrastructure conservation research; and 5) engagement with capital markets to identify solutions for financing climate resiliency initiatives in Canada.


    The Senior Director is responsible for strategy development; program management; research coordination; partnership development; evaluation, communication, reporting and outreach, as well as administrative oversight of the program. The Senior Director will help to establish the University of Waterloo as a clear leader on climate-resilience within federal, provincial, and municipal governments, capital markets, relevant industries and stakeholder groups across Canada


    This position is contingent on funding. 


    Strategy and Leadership

    • Guide the overall strategic development of the Climate Resilience Program including, but not limited to:
    • Developing a multi-year strategy and an operational plan to execute on the program, consistent with guidance from the Intact Centre’s Advisory Committee and direction from the Head of the Intact Centre
    • Measuring, monitoring, and reporting on the progress of the program relative to meeting its objectives, goals, and targets
    • Managing staff, including oversight of the Casual Employees, Students, and activities of other Directors, as hired.
    • With guidance from the Intact Centre’s Advisory Board and Faculty of Environment, communicating the value of the program to senior government officials and business leaders to secure funding support and to promulgate program nationally
    • Leading multidisciplinary dialogue in Canada related to the mandate of the program, involving key stakeholders to advance national uptake of the program through standards development, policy change, and industry endorsement

    Partnership Development

    • Build relationships with key stakeholders, including federal, provincial, and municipal governments, industry representatives (engineering professionals, developers and builders, property owners and managers, insurance and capital market representatives), NGOs, and academe to promulgate the program
    • Outreach will be facilitated by:
      • Seeking collaboration opportunities, including co-authoring publications and research and advancing existing best practices, guidelines and standards relating to wildfire, extreme heat and flood risk reduction
      • Seeking technical feedback to ensure national applicability of the program outcomes
      • Collaborating with industry groups (e.g., insurance and capital markets) to develop incentives for on-the-ground adoption of wildfire, extreme heat and flood risk reduction best practices, guidelines and standards in Canada
      • Seeking endorsement through recognition of the program outcomes in frameworks and standards to facilitate climate adaptation and flood risk reduction in Canada
      • Promulgation of the program through key communication channels, including participation in conferences and workshops
      • Soliciting direct in-kind and/or monetary support

    Research Coordination and Program Management

    • Design and facilitate the execution of the program, including, but not limited to:
    • Coordinating research activity on the topics relevant to the mandate of the program, including oversight of the Community Flood Resilience Program at the Intact Centre
    • Coordinating publication and communication of the research findings within the university and to external stakeholders
    • Ensuring that projects are delivered on time, on budget, and to the satisfaction of funder’s and supporting organizations
    • Ensuring that the funding is used effectively and appropriately
    • Ensuring that staff who support the Climate Resilience program are well-trained
    • Reporting to the Intact Centre’s Advisory Board and the Head of the Intact Centre, as required

    Communication and Outreach

    Ensure a high profile for the Intact Centre and the program with government representatives, business leaders, and the general public. This profile will be achieved through the following:

    • Establishing working relationships with national experts and securing endorsement for the program from federal, provincial, and municipal governments, industry representatives (engineering professionals, developers and builders, property owners and managers, insurance and capital markets), NGOs, and academe
    • Timely communication with media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and online publications) as material research findings emerge, with guidance from the Media Relations team at the University of Waterloo
    • Overseeing the development and growth of the program brand in a manner consistent with the direction from the Intact Centre’s Advisory Committee, Faculty of Environment, and IC3/P4A
    • Participating in speaking engagements across Canada to profile the program, in consultation with Community Relations staff at the University of Waterloo, where appropriate
    • Creating and maintaining a professional portfolio of marketing and communication materials to ensure the program is understood by internal and external audiences

    Operations and Supervision

    Manage all operational and supervisory functions of the program (finance, legal, administrative, human resources, etc.) including, but not limited to the following:

    • Overseeing Climate Resilience program targets, project budgets, and reporting requirements, including review of the Community Flood Resilience Program, to internal and external stakeholders, as required
    • Supervising program staff (including aspects of training and development, performance appraisals, and assigning job responsibilities
    • Maintaining internal relationships and communications with the Faculty of Environment and the Office of Research, as well as with other university departments (e.g., Finance, Human Resources, Creative Services, and Media Relations)


    • Master’s degree required or equivalent education and experience
    • Minimum 7 years of experience with strategy development and partnership creation
    • Minimum 7 years of experience in climate adaptation field
    • Minimum 7 years of project management and business development experience
    • Experience with guideline and standards development processes in Canada and internationally
    • Experience working with insurance industry and capital markets sectors in Canada to advance sustainability and climate resilience files
    • Experience with facilitating climate resilience best practice uptake at a level of new and existing communities in Canada, including municipal and homebuilder support and on-the-ground adoption
    • Experience with facilitation and stakeholder consultations with senior-most government and business leaders as it relates to climate resilience in Canada
    • Experience with development of compelling and timely business propositions, based on emerging industry trends and regulatory developments
    • Experience in leveraging interdisciplinary subject matter experts for research advancement
    • Effective communication (report writing, public speaking, and media relations)
    • Experience with project development and implementation, including scoping, design, reporting, contractor management, financial planning, and team leadership
    • Experience with project proposal development
    • Proven network of climate resilience experts, which can be mobilized to advance the deployment of climate resilience initiatives in Canada on-the-ground

    • Proven record of publications, thought leadership and media content development as it relates to promulgating climate resilience initiatives in Canada

    • Interpersonal and presentation skills are essential

    • Stakeholder facilitation and negotiation skills are required

    • Proven ability to develop, build, and maintain effective relationships with senior-most government and business leaders

    • Proven ability to prepare strong project funding proposals, including budget development, project scoping, team and activity planning 

    • Proven ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects of complex nature and diverse teams

    • Proven ability to lead dialogue with a wide array of stakeholders at all levels and across multiple organizations, with diverging viewpoints

    • Conflict management skills

    • Knowledge of the standards development process and ability to facilitate standards uptake

    • Knowledge of climate change and infrastructure adaptation topics, their relevance to government and industry
    • Strong attention to detail and exceptional follow-up skills
    • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
    • Advanced proficiency using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel
    • Moderate travel required within Canada; regular working hours, with some evening and weekend work required


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