Current job postings

Government relations specialist
External relations and research

Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians. We provide a forum for discussion and a framework for action at the federal level, facilitating the development of public policy on higher education, research and innovation. We also encourage cooperation among universities and among partners with whom we share interests. We are a non-governmental, not-for-profit association, funded through membership fees and revenues from our publications and other services. We are currently recruiting a government relations specialist.

This position reports to the director, external relations and research. The government relations specialist will be an experienced professional with exceptional government relations, management and communications skills whose ability to network and communicate Universities Canada’s mission and priorities will add value to the association’s advocacy, government relations and member engagement activities.

In order to advance Universities Canada’s advocacy agenda, the ideal candidate will be pro-active, responsive, nimble and collaborative, with proven success in developing and executing strategic government engagement strategies, delivering tangible results and managing a team of policy and government relations professionals.

If you are right for this opportunity, you will possess the education and experience listed below:

Education and experience

• A graduate degree in a related discipline (preferably in Political Science or Public Administration).
• A minimum of seven years of relevant experience.
• Proven track record as an effective team leader in an environment emphasizing teamwork and collegiality
• Knowledge of current federal political and policy environment, including parliamentary procedures.
• Knowledge of tactics for advocating to government.
• Experience working in a national association and/or membership organization or a university in a related function a strong asset.

You’ll stand out if you have…

• Excellent understanding of higher education, research and innovation issues and trends.
• Strong presentation and facilitation skills.
• Ability to understand and use data effectively.
• Prior experience working on Parliament Hill or within the federal government a strong asset.


• Support the overall advocacy strategy of the association through active government relations activities.
• Communicate related Universities Canada positions to a variety of audiences, including parliamentarians, federal officials, political staffers and other postsecondary stakeholder organizations.
• Develop and maintain networks of contacts in the federal government, political parties, government relations offices in member institutions, and in other postsecondary stakeholder groups, and implement engagement and outreach activities with these networks to support Universities Canada advocacy efforts.
• Maintain a strong awareness of trends related to federal higher education, research and innovation policy and program development, including proposed legislative and regulatory changes, and studies conducted by parliamentary committees.
• Analyse policy positions and formulate policy alternatives on complex files and advance related advocacy with various stakeholders
• Review or prepare background notes, briefs, submissions and other written documents related to Universities Canada’s government relations activities.
• Contribute to the organization of Universities Canada government relations meetings, events and initiatives.


• Excellent ability in analyzing complex files and advancing related advocacy with various stakeholders
• Bilingualism is essential
• Demonstrated ability to gather strategic intelligence, and to develop and maintain information sources in government and universities.
• Ability to recognize and seize opportunities to advance an organization’s mission.
• Excellent organizational and planning skills.
• Proactive, responsive, nimble and flexible.
• High degree of judgment, initiative, discretion and insight.
• Ability to work independently towards set objectives within government relations team and collaboratively with other staff across the association.
• High degree of tact and excellent networking, diplomacy and interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrated problem-solving and decision-making ability.

Tell us your story! Interested candidates are asked to submit their curriculum vitae and their story to the Human Resources Service, Universities Canada, 1710-350 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1 by January 26, 2019. Email address:

The hiring salary range for this position is from $78,717 to $90,478 commensurate with experience. Candidates who do not meet all of the position requirements may be considered in an underfill capacity, in which case the person will be hired at a lower level than the position level.

Universities Canada is a National Capital Region Top Employer. We offer a comprehensive benefit package which includes four weeks of vacation, an attractive pension plan, group insurance, free gym membership and scholarships for children.

While all responses will be appreciated and handled in strictest confidence, only those being considered for interviews will be acknowledged.

Universities Canada is committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. All documents provided by Universities Canada can be provided in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.

If contacted in relation to a job opportunity or testing, you should advise Universities Canada in a timely fashion of the accommodation measures which must be taken to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. If such accommodations are needed, please contact the human resources service. The information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially and will not affect the evaluation.

For more information, contact Human Resources Service Universities Canada 1710-350 Albert Street Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1 Fax number: (613) 563-9745

Universities Canada