Current job postings

Government relations officer

(One-year term position)

Universities Canada is the national organization that represents Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university-degree level colleges at home and abroad. 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 contract management services.

This position reports to the assistant director, government relations. The government relations officer will be an experienced professional with exceptional government relations 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 gathering strategic information, as well as in developing and maintaining information sources in government.


  • Support the overall advocacy strategy of the association through active government relations activities.
  • Understand higher education, research and innovation issues and 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.
  • Monitor 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
  • Prepare background notes, briefs, submissions and other written documents related to Universities Canada’s government relations activities.
  • Support the organization of Universities Canada government relations meetings, events and initiatives.

This candidate profile sets out the education, experience, knowledge, abilities and personal qualities that ideal candidates would possess.

Education and experience

  • A graduate degree in a related discipline
  • A minimum of two years of relevant experience
  • Candidates with five to seven years of solid experience in a similar position will be considered for a position at level 9 while candidates with less experience in a similar position will be considered for a position at level 8
  • Prior experience working on Parliament Hill or within the federal government an asset
  • Experience working in a national association and/or membership organization an asset


  • Knowledge of current federal political and policy environment, including parliamentary procedures
  • Knowledge of tactics for advocating to government.
  • Excellent understanding of higher education, research and innovation issues and trends.


  • Excellent ability in analyzing complex files and advancing related advocacy with various stakeholders
  • 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.
  • Bilingualism essential including excellent English writing skills and verbal communication skills in both official languages.
  • Ability to monitor and understand the latest higher education, research and innovation trends.
  • Ability to understand and use data effectively.
  • 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.

The hiring salary range for the government relations officer position at level 9 is from $75,204 to $86,441 commensurate with experience. The hiring salary range for the government relations officer position at level 8 is from $64,834 to $74,519 commensurate with experience.

Universities Canada offers a comprehensive benefit package which includes four weeks of vacation, an attractive pension plan, and life, disability, medical and dental care insurance.

Interested candidates are asked to submit their curriculum vitae with a cover letter to the human resources service, Universities Canada, 1710-350 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1 by April 27, 2017. Email address:

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 Division. The information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially and will not affect the evaluation.


Universities Canada