University of Waterloo

  • Government Relations Advisor (Institute for Quantum Computing)

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    Government/External Relations
    5692 - Government Relations
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $79,296 - $99,120
  • Overview

    Term: 2 years


    Provides advocacy and advice for the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and supports the University of Waterloo’s relations with all levels of government. Supports the AVP GR, the Executive Director of IQC and senior leadership on the development of IQC and University priority projects and positions on University issues, government relations strategies, activities and information sharing with campus leaders.


    IQC is a faculty-member-led multidisciplinary research institute within the University of Waterloo.  Its mission is to develop and advance quantum information science and technology at the highest international level through collaboration of computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and physical scientists.


    Strategic Advice and Advocacy Support

    • Works closely with IQC leadership, faculty, and staff on issues related to institutional government funding, messaging, reporting, visits from government officials, and communication with government audiences
    • A key developer of IQC’s broad advocacy and engagement strategy and ongoing awareness campaign for all levels of government
    • Acts as a resource for IQC leadership, faculty, staff, and students who are seeking advice and assistance on engaging with government on advocacy and promotion of priority files (e.g., guest lists, funding opportunities, partnership opportunities)
    • Co-ordinates and supports external advocacy initiatives. The incumbent will be expected to assist IQC leadership and faculty to lobby and represent IQC with the ministers, political staff, and senior public officials in the federal and provincial governments
    • Conducts background research on important issues and anticipates the need for information
    • Gathers intelligence and conducts environmental scanning of major initiatives and developments both on campus and externally to keep IQC leadership up-to-date on emerging issues and opportunities
    • Identifies and cultivates relationships with key individuals in organizations and with other strategic partners who have objectives and interests that align with IQC in existing and new areas of work
    • Fosters, develops and effectively liaises with key stakeholders including industry, alumni, donors, government and community partners in order to advance IQC’s strategic relationships
    • Supports major government relations initiatives
    • Has a direct and positive impact on both IQC and University Relations and all lines of government engagement

     Environmental scanning, opportunity and threat analysis, and advice

    • Proactively monitors, analyzes and interprets government programs, legislation and activities and provides advice on the implications and opportunities for the University, especially with respect to science, innovation, commercialization and quantum-specific programs
    • Brings new initiatives to IQC

    Relationship management

    • Establishes and manages high-value relationships with government, industry and community organizations, especially in the quantum ecosystem
    • Builds a network of government and influential relationships in both Toronto and Ottawa including both political, public service officials and thought leaders
    • Develops, builds and nurtures strategic relationships with key research organizations (e.g., NSERC, NRC, Universities Canada, and U15) and colleagues at other institutions which can be leveraged in advocacy or partnership opportunities
    • Supports IQC faculty in their meetings with government officials
    • Acts as an additional contact for government officials at all levels
    • Develops positive relationships within and among University Relations, IQC, and their primary stakeholders, both internal and external, and identify opportunities for internal collaboration and consultation with faculties, colleges, institutes and departments on government relations
    • Develops and build strong relationships and maintain a network with University colleagues involved with government relations
    • Contributes to the development and implementation of annual and longer-term government relations plans for both IQC and the University
    • Builds collegial relationships based on trust and mutual respect is critical to the effectiveness of this role
    • Develops and maintains a strong cross-campus network of administration and advocacy professionals, particularly in the faculties of Math, Science, and Engineering as well as the Office of Research, and leveraging the support of campus advocacy channels

    Issue Management

    • Evaluates emerging and longer-term opportunities as they relate to government
    • Responds to and meets with a broad range of internal and external individuals and groups, frequently related to matters of immediate concern, and coordinates responses, solutions and follow-up as appropriate

    Hosts high-value guests to IQC, UW campus and the region

    • Creates and/or identifies opportunities for government officials to participate in activities at the University and opportunities for the University to engage in government initiatives
    • Coordinates and participates in government visits, campus, Quantum Valley and ecosystem tours

    Leadership of government communications activities

    • Provides writing and advice on responses to inquiries from government officials, advocacy documents, proposals for funding and special project

    Other Duties

    • Performs other duties of a comparable level/type as assigned


    • University degree in physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering or equivalent education and experience
    • Seven (7) or more years of experience working in the government (federal, provincial or municipal) sector, media, and/or a post-secondary or research institution, including building relationships with multiple stakeholders
    • Experience in science and research communication is considered an asset
    • The highest ethical standards, tact and diplomacy are essential
    • Must be confident, organized and an accomplished problem solver
    • The ability to handle complex multiple assignments at the same time and with competing demands and deadlines while maintaining a calm demeanor is essential
    • Advanced oral and written communications skills including the ability to write and edit quickly, accurately and creatively
    • Advanced mediation, communication and relationship management skills including an ability to influence, negotiate and build productive working relationships with key stakeholders
    • Highly developed people management, relationship building and leadership skills with the demonstrated ability to develop and support a professional, service and continuous improvement focused workplace culture
    • Ability to form relationships with all senior IQC and UW management levels to serve the mission of the University
    • Ability to think and act strategically, creatively and dynamically in a high-pressure work environment
    • Ability to make difficult and complex decisions with good judgment and with acute sensitivity to the political environment and to the reputation of the University
    • Strong analytical and financial skills to understand budget, proposal and planning documents
    • Intermediate proficiency with MS Office Suite
    • This position requires outstanding customer service, strong work ethic, the ability to work under very challenging time constraints, constant interruptions and competing priorities
    • Public speaking and social media skills an asset
    • Travel to various destinations in support of the University’s government advocacy is expected
    • The incumbent must be available to accommodate extended hours beyond the traditional UW workweek for communications and travel


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