University of Waterloo

Managing Director, Economics and Resiliency

Requisition ID 2021-6321
Job Category
Dean of Environment Office
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$97,008 - $121,260


The Managing Director will be responsible for (1) determining how adaptation to limit physical climate risk translates into Economic Impact (“EI”)/jobs creation for Canada, (2) liaising with senior levels of government(s), business community and regulatory authorities to deploy adaptation guidelines and standards (based on EI analytics), and (3) leading a prominent public position with the Canadian financial media to promote the financial/business case for adaptation.


The Managing Director will focus on, but not be restricted to, EI applied to (1) home flood protection, (2) new community-design flood protection, (3) existing community flood protection, (4) commercial real estate flood protection, (5) coastline resiliency preparedness, and (6) retention and restoration of natural infrastructure. EI will be calculated for Canada’s FireSmart protection in consultation with national developers and builders. Extreme heat protection, considered through the lens of EI, will constitute a third key area of focus for the position.


The Managing Director will engage with the UW Economics Department and other key stakeholders across campus, identify and secure research funding for national research projects, supervise research associates, manage day-to-day operations, and support of the University of Waterloo’s leadership in climate change adaptation.


This role is contingent on funding.


Strategy, Governance, and Leadership

  • Creates, implements and reports on a multi-year strategic plan to execute the EI research and deployment program

  • Manages relationships with internal staff, including oversight of the casual employees and students

  • Communicates the value of the EI to senior government officials and business leaders, to secure funding support and to deploy adaptation guidelines nationally, drawing on direction from the Intact Centre’s Advisory Board and Faculty of Environment

  • Leads multidisciplinary dialogue in Canada related to the mandate of the program, involving key stakeholders (e.g., Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, Corporate Executives) to advance national uptake of adaptation programs

  • Monitor ongoing efforts and implement changes that best position Intact Centre to support increased uptake of climate adaptation initiatives (new programs, infrastructure, process, resources, etc.)


Partnership Development and Management

  • Develops and maintains external partnerships with industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and academia, including collaborative agreements and tracking outcomes to promulgate the adaptation programs

  • Seeks out external research and knowledge mobilization relationships with industry, government, and non-governmental organizations, including fostering direct funding opportunities

  • Collaborates with industry associations (e.g., Business Council Canada, CD Howe, Global Risk Institute, Insurance Bureau of Canada) to develop and measure incentives for on-the-ground adoption of best practices, guidelines, and standards to reduce the risk of floods, wildfires, and extreme heat, and to retain and restore Canada’s natural infrastructure

  • Addresses interview requests from media (primarily CBC, CTV, Global News, Globe & Mail, Canadian Press) in relation to the EI Program

  • Addresses inquiries from prospective partners and the general public on the EI Program

  • Leads EI Program development, implementation, and reporting of major research and program funding proposals led by the Intact Centre to advance research and climate adaptation best practice adoption

  • Develops and cultivates relationships with leading domestic and international research centres through memorandum of understanding and creates opportunities for Intact Centre staff to participate in domestic and international research and professional networks

  • Supports and strengthens collaborations with other research Centres/Institutes on campus; Provides advice and guidance on the benefits of implementing climate risk mitigation strategies


Operations Management and Supervision

  • Oversees general management and staff supervision for the EI Program, including human resources, financial management, authorization of purchase of equipment and materials for research and outreach (in coordination with UW non-academic units as required)

  • Supervises EI Program staff, including planning for training and development, conducting performance appraisals, assigning job responsibilities and liaison with Human Resources regarding all staffing

  • Supports internal relationships and communications with the Office of Research, Faculty- and University-level administrative and non-academic units (including Finance, Human Resources, Creative Services, Media Relations, etc.)

  • Oversees EI related targets, project budgets, scope, and timelines and reporting requirements applicable to all Intact Centre created adaptation standards and guidelines

  • Conducts regular reviews of project progress made towards goals and objectives

  • Defines and measures success metrics that provide strategic insight and measure change progress


Research Coordination

  • Design and facilitate the execution of EI Program, including, but not limited to
    • Coordinates research activity on the topics relevant to the EI mandate

    • Coordinates publication and communication of research findings within the University and to senior external stakeholders

    • Ensures that projects are delivered on time, on budget, and to the satisfaction of funders and supporting organizations

    • Ensures that funding is used effectively and appropriately

    • Ensures that staff who support EI are well informed on the topic

    • Reports to the Intact Centre’s Advisory Committee and the Head of the Intact Centre, as required


Communications, Marketing and Knowledge Mobilization

  • Advances the creation and implementation of integrated marketing and communications plan to raise the profile of the Intact Centre EI Program on campus, across Canada and internationally

  • Develops a brand strategy for the EI Program in a manner consistent with the direction from the Intact Centre’s Advisory Committee, Faculty of Environment, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3), and Partners for Action (P4A)

  • Develops a professional portfolio of marketing communications materials (including website, social media, brochure, conference booth); to ensure EI is understood by internal and external audiences

  • Manages media relations (e.g., press releases, media interviews, social media), and supports Intact Centre media opportunities in coordination with Faculty and University communications staff

  • Participates in creating content for website and social media accounts

  • Participates in campus visits, invited lectures, seminars, events and workshops

  • Presents to government, industry and other external partners to profile and promote EI

  • Acts as subject matter expert related to EI initiatives

  • Contributes economic expertise to preparation of annual report(s) and newsletters for university administration and external partners

  • Establishes working relationships with national experts and securing endorsement for EI from federal, provincial, and municipal governments, industry representatives, NGOs, and academe

  • Maintains a high profile for the Intact Centre and EI with government representatives, finance/business leaders, institutional investors, and the general public


  • Master’s degree required

  • Degree from field related to climate change an asset

  • MBA or other management degree an asset

  • Certification(s) in Enterprise Risk Management or Sustainability and Climate Risk related courses preferred

  • 10+ years of experience as a professional economist

  • 3+ years of experience in climate adaptation field

  • 10+ years of project management and business development experience (including business proposal writing, scoping, design, reporting, contractor management, financial planning, and team leadership)

  • 5+ years of previous experience in organizational development and strategic planning

  • Experience with organizational communication strategies, report writing, public relations, and media management

  • Substantial experience with partner relationship development and management with senior leaders in government, business, and NGOs

  • Experience with research or other project development and implementation, including financial planning, team development, management, and monitoring and reporting

  • Experience in climate change professional practice in Canada or internationally an asset

  • Experience facilitating the uptake of climate resilience best practices, standards, and guidelines in Canada and internationally

  • Bilingual strongly preferred due to nature of international work (fluency in speaking and writing English, and French preferred)

  • Advanced knowledge of climate change or closely aligned sustainability issues as well as related governance and professional practice in Canada (and internationally is an asset)

  • 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

  • Proven ability to work successfully with a wide range of groups and individuals, including community groups, researchers, the private sector, and multiple levels of government, taking into consideration diverging viewpoints

  • Proven network of finance and climate resilience experts which can be mobilized to advance the deployment of climate resilience initiatives

  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, stakeholder facilitation, negotiation, persuasion and communication skills

  • Proven management and strategic planning skills

  • Proven project management skills (including preparing strong project funding proposals, budget development, project scoping, team and activity planning)

  • Excellent writing and presentation skills

  • Intermediate computer skills: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint

  • Moderate travel within Canada in addition to some international travel required
  • Disruption in lifestyle due to travel requirements and/or unusual schedules
  • Regular working hours, with some evening and weekend work required

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.


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 Inuit/Inuk, 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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