Director, Policy and Advocacy

Please note that this is a non-unionized position. Full proficiency in both English and French is a requirement for this position.

About the Job

The Director of Policy and Advocacy is a key member of Cooperation Canada’s leadership and management team. You have the experience, and commitment, to push for effective and high-impact Canadian leadership on international cooperation. You bring your own expertise to the role. And you’re excited to manage and grow the capacities, team and expertise of the Cooperation Canada policy team.

You will manage Cooperation Canada’s strategies and investments related to strategic political engagement and government relations. Working with your team, members and other partners, you will work to strengthen Canada’s international cooperation through excellence in messaging development, policy analysis, advocacy, coalition coordination, and government relations at political and bureaucratic levels. You will help build an innovative, agile and ambitious organization that consistently advances the values and interests of the international cooperation sector and advocates for bold Canadian leadership international development and humanitarian action.  You are entrepreneurial, and able to pitch, secure and deliver exciting policy-focused initiatives that have the support of institutional and philanthropic funders.

If you are applying for this job, you are a strategic thinker and doer, a compassionate and caring leader and enthusiastic team player eager to help shape the future of Canada’s role in the world and our contribution to a fairer, safer and more sustainable world. You are bilingual (French and English), comfortable on Parliament Hill, hold the pen with ease and skill, centre equity in your work and are looking for an opportunity to be challenged, to create and to build. A natural collaborator, you are excited to work extensively with team members across Cooperation Canada, in communications, membership and events and the organization’s capacity strengthening programs to advance a coherent policy and advocacy agenda. 

Responsibilities of the role, which is based in Ottawa, include, but are not limited to:

Resource mobilization – 15%

  • Expand the capacity of Cooperation Canada’s policy, advocacy and government relations efforts through creative partnerships, grants and contracts, and effective member engagement.
  • Identify business development opportunities as appropriate arising from the needs of Global Affairs Canada, other government partners, philanthropic partners and Cooperation members/Working Groups and prepare funding proposals, narrative reports and other documentation as necessary.
  • Manage and maintain relationships with partners that support Cooperation Canada’s work by ensuring effective and ongoing relationship development and monitoring and reporting on funded initiatives.

Policy influence and strategic analysis – 45%

  • Regularly engage Cooperation Canada’s membership and partners through attendance at events and other opportunities as they relate to your portfolio.
  • Represent Cooperation Canada in communications, media and in meetings with external stakeholders, including Global Affairs Canada and elected officials.
  • Represent Cooperation Canada in standing committees, working groups etc. managed by Global Affairs Canada, other government departments and other partners such as Imagine Canada, Forus, etc.
  • Strengthen overall international cooperation advocacy effectiveness in Canada, by supporting r strategy creation and activity coordination. Partner with the CEO and team members to develop and execute strategy for accomplishing Cooperation Canada’s short- and long-term policy and advocacy goals.
  • Manage, curate and/or conduct research and policy analysis on Cooperation Canada policy priority areas and support dissemination of policy analysis through publications, blogs, events, social media, etc.
  • Monitor Canadian international cooperation policies and trends in the non-profit and charity sector which are relevant to our members and the international cooperation sector in Canada.

Strategic coordination and engagement – 20%

  • Convene Canadian civil society organizations on a regular basis around ODA advocacy ODA to facilitate the development and implementation of shared communications, policy and government relations strategies and support the administrative elements of ongoing coordination.
  • Engage directly and coordinate relations with policymakers, trade associations, sector partners, key opinion formers and others to support approaches that will help create/maintain support for overall development aid effectiveness in Canada and which can unlock more ODA funding.
  • Support relevant Cooperation Canada working group policy initiatives and capacities, through assisting in goal setting, strategy development, policy formulation and delivery in priority policy areas.
  • Organize workshops, webinars, or other learning activities to advance policy and advocacy priorities.
  • Support members’ collaborative initiatives in areas relevant for international cooperation, including Canadian international assistance policies and finance, humanitarian work, the implementation of the Feminist International Assistance Policy and the ODA Accountability Act, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Organizational management and leadership – 20%

  • Champion an organizational culture that advances anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and justice (AEDIJ), reduces power abuse and inequalities and fosters trust and safety. Support team members to contribute to AEDIJ efforts.
  • Integrate AEDIJ into delivery of responsible areas of work, including policy, advocacy, external communications, and strategies.
  • Provide leadership on organizational management including strategic planning and implementation, staff recruitment, management, growth and performance management, and financial oversight of activity portfolio.
  • Serve as a caring and compassionate leader that ensures team cohesion at all levels, working with the COO and CEO to inform and translate organizational goals into effective implementation by providing guidance and support to team members to lead in their areas of responsibility.

You are interested in this role because you know of Cooperation Canada’s reputation and critical role in advancing Canadian leadership and policies for a fairer and better world.  You are good at policy analysis and advocacy, but you’re also a good manager and you see the potential to grow Cooperation Canada’s work through partnerships, grants and creative engagements.

If you are applying for this job, you are functionally bilingual (French and English), you know the positive potential of knowledge when it gets into the right hands, and you love to build.  With sustainability in mind, you are good at actively recruiting supporters and resources to assist in your work. You have a commitment to AEDIJ which allows you to engage in self-reflection, leading you to adapt and change your approaches when needed to better align to our values.



  • Functionally bilingual in English and French.
  • Minimum of 8 years relevant work experience.
  • Post-graduate degree(s) in relevant field(s), or equivalent experience with sound knowledge of theory, policy and practice regarding international development and humanitarian assistance, and familiarity with the international cooperation policy agenda in Canada.
  • Good knowledge of Canada’s policy making process particularly as it relates to international cooperation and foreign policy.
  • Significant experience working in advocacy, parliamentary engagement, working with government departments, and communications for policy influence.
  • Successful experience raising funds and developing strategic partnerships to advance policy and advocacy efforts.
  • Familiarity with the Canadian civil society community, including knowledge of international networks and civil-society partnership relations.
  • Strong organizational, facilitation, coordination and communication skills.
  • Reputation for effective, creative and caring leadership, initiative-taking and collaboration in multidisciplinary settings, and across organizations.
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks and work under pressure.
  • Demonstrated tact and judgement, particularly in communications with leaders, media and public officials.
  • Demonstrated experience managing others and growing a diverse team, centring AEDIJ.
  • Strong analysis, research and writing skills, with good computer skills, including data analysis.
  • Experience in monitoring and managing programs and budgets.

How to Apply:

Interested? What you need to know about how we recruit.
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with the final submission deadline January 21, 11:59PM. While timelines can shift, our goal is to have the position filled by March 2024, if not earlier. We will keep you updated on our timelines throughout the recruitment process.

Applications are accepted at THIS LINK.

Your application will need to demonstrate the competencies for this role to move on in recruitment.

1. Provide your application through BambooHR, the platform we use to manage people and culture from recruitment to onboarding and employee experiences. We want this process to be as accessible as possible. On BambooHR, you will find a request for a short submission to show us your skills! This could be a video clip, an example from your portfolio, an illustration and/or your CV – anything you feel will help us understand how you would be a great fit for this role and our team. You will have the option to upload multiple documents or inputs for your application. Please feel free to share an example from your work or portfolio of work. This can be a link to a project, website, article, etc. You will also be asked some pre-screening questions, including your motivation to work for us, and confirmation of your eligibility to work in Canada.

2. We start with a 10–15-minute conversation with selected candidates following this step – essentially a chance for us to ask any questions we are unsure about from your application and for you to ask us any questions you have! We believe strongly that recruitment is a reciprocal process, and it is important that you have a chance to raise any questions you may have before continuing in the process.

3. We know that one of the best ways for you to show us your skills is through an opportunity to demonstrate them. Up to six candidates will be asked to participate in a role-related exercise. This exercise will take no more than 2 hrs to complete, and you will have 24 hours to complete the exercise. You can expect it to include two or three small tasks similar to what you would be expected to do in your role. You may be asked to provide links or documentation of previous work that you have completed.

4. After we review the role-related exercise through an identity-hidden review, we will invite 3 to 4 candidates to an interview, no earlier than the week of February 12. Here is what you can expect:
– A 60-75 minute in-person interview with questions sent in advance;
– A presentation from you to us, with the focus on your approach to the role and information sent well in advance to enable your preparation;
– A portion of the interview is dedicated to your question for us; it is as important that we are a good fit for you as you are for us!

5. Following the interviews, we will request and check your references.

6. If you are successful, you can expect a call from us to share our offer to join our team and confirm your start date, followed by a contract sent via email.

You will be compensated for your time in the written exercises (2 hours) and interview (3 hours) (up to 5 hours).

Cooperation Canada is committed to an inclusive, diverse, and safe workplace and to advancing anti-racism in all that we do. This includes removing barriers to employment that are faced by equity-seeking groups, including through self-identification, anonymous review processes and by ensuring diverse hiring panels. Applications are encouraged from all candidates, particularly those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities, persons with disabilities (visible or not), people of diverse gender identities and expressions, and other marginalized groups in our sector who share Cooperation Canada’s mission. We kindly encourage (but do not require) members of these groups to self-identify in their cover letters. We are happy to provide accommodations at any stage throughout the hiring process.


January 3, 2024


January 21, 2024


Full-time Permanent


Ottawa, ON


Cooperation Canada