Global Mental Health Portfolio Manager

Site: MaRS Discovery Tower (Temporarily Remote)

Department: Grand Challenges Canada, Global Health Innovation

Reports to: Associate Director, Global Health Innovation

Pay Range: $95,500 + temporary benefits premium per year commensurate with experience and consistent with UHN Compensation Policy

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Status: Temporary Full-time Contract – 12 months

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is seeking a Global Mental Health Portfolio Manager for the Global Health Innovation department.

GCC is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, GCC funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – we call this Integrated Innovation®. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives. GCC works closely with a global network of partners to bring successful innovation to scale, catalyzing sustainability and impact.

Through the Transition to Scale program, GCC provides catalytic investment to innovators who have achieved proof-of-concept and are now seeking to scale their solution. GCC provides both grant and non-grant financing, as well as technical support, to best support the growth and impact goals of innovators. Since 2011, GCC has supported >230 innovators in >100 countries globally at Transition to Scale.

As one of the largest impact-first funders in Canada, GCC has funded over 1,300 innovations championed by innovators in more than 106 countries. These innovations have already improved 10 million lives, and are expected to save up to 1.78 million lives and improve up to 64 million lives by 2030.


The Global Health Innovation (GHI) area of impact is the first and largest at GCC. GHI’s current investments focus on mental health, maternal and newborn health, early childhood development, sanitation, access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights including safe abortion, and include portfolios of innovative service delivery, digital solutions and medical products. We provide grant and concessionary risk capital, along with technical advisory, to support innovators through seed and transition to scale funding. 

GCC’s global mental health program, Being, funds research and innovation to understand and address the mental health and wellbeing needs of young people aged 10 to 24 in low- and middle-income settings, with a special focus on urban and peri-urban areas.

The PORTFOLIO MANAGER develops, shapes and manages a dynamic portfolio of global health innovations.  Deploying relevant thematic expertise, business acumen, and investment knowledge, the Portfolio Manager has the following responsibilities:  

 Fund innovative deals aligned with portfolio strategy:

  • Source and secure sufficient and quality pipeline innovations from external and internal sources in line with GCC and portfolio priorities
  • Launch RFPs for targeted innovations and manage the intake and review process
  • Evaluate new grant opportunities, including facilitating scientific peer review and conducting operational, financial and programmatic due diligence and risk analysis
  • Prepare investment memorandums and present potential investments to GCC’s Investment Committee
  • Oversee negotiations and their translation into grant agreements
  • Monitor portfolio budget and spend to meet annual targets

 *For the majority of Portfolio Managers, more than half of one’s time is allocated to this objective*

Refine and adjust the portfolio’s investment strategy:  

  • Provide strategic oversight of the portfolio and support the development of annual priorities, targets & budgets
  • Recommend areas for investment focus based on population needs, health impact, and GCC’s catalytic value add in the ecosystem
  • Present semi-annual portfolio reviews and raise strategy, partnership, (re-)investment, and budget considerations for consultation
  • Lead and contribute to the analysis of portfolio progress, results, and lessons on a continual basis

Manage an active portfolio of GCC investments that achieve impact:  

  • Manage a portfolio of investments including review and approval of progress reports, financial reports, and results reports; processing contract and budget amendments; and managing milestone delays or other concerns as they emerge (act as primary deal lead and/or oversee work done by others)
  • Engage with innovators on a regular basis (i.e. relationship management) to support needs in meeting program milestones, including facilitating partnerships or venture advisory as required
  • Retain suitable venture advisory services and oversee support and outputs developed with innovators

 Provide collaborative leadership to advance a high-performing, resilient team:    

  • Supervise and manage Analyst and Associate staff
  • Coach junior staff to engage with innovators and partners, exercise judgement in supporting deals, and contribute to project and portfolio progress
  • Provide targeted support to priority GCC initiatives, other teams, and/or coverage during staff absences
  • Model effective work behaviours that support personal and team wellness, and are aligned with GCC’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility

 Represent GCC and the portfolio with external audiences to achieve the objectives above:

  • Establish and/or manage partnerships with a range of stakeholders – such as foundations, development organizations, government officials, researchers, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs – to develop quality pipeline, define and collaborate on strategic focus areas, and enable innovators to succeed
  • Establish councils/advisory bodies, as required, to ensure a coordinated and strategic portfolio approach that combines funding, research, innovation, policy and advocacy, and engagement with people with lived experience
  • Act as an ambassador for GCC, representing GCC’s strategic interests and serving as a thought leader in global health and innovation through external collaborations, presentations to partners, participation in local and international conferences, and communications with innovators, external thought leaders, and Canadian government representatives
  • Contribute to donor and partner reporting as well as fundraising efforts, as required


  • Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of mental health in a global context
  • Demonstrated engagement with key stakeholders and networks in relevant domain areas
  • Excellent analytic, strategic thinking and project management skills to oversee a large portfolio
  • Self-directed with an entrepreneurial approach to source, fund, and support innovators
  • Highly developed verbal, written and presentation communications skills
  • Ability to take initiative and effectively manage competing priorities and deadlines
  • Effective people management skills and commitment to teamwork
  • Commitment to GCC’s strategy of shifting power to those closest to the challenge


  • A minimum of 8-10 years of work experience with 3-5 years relevant experience managing large programs, investments, and/or staff, preferably including work with early-stage investments and/or social enterprises in low and middle income countries
  • Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. impact investing, global health, mental health, international development) – or commensurate work experience

Some international travel will be required.

People with lived experiences in relevant thematic areas are encouraged to apply.

Don’t meet every requirement? Studies have shown that women, people of color, people from LGBTQ2S+ and disabilities communities are less likely to apply to jobs when they do not meet every qualification. At Grand Challenges Canada, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, authentic, and accountable workplace, so if you are excited about this role but your experience does not align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply, as you may be the ideal candidate we are looking for.

Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to relocate to the Greater Toronto Area or neighboring areas and able to spend 1-2 days in the office per week when the Grand Challenges Canada offices open.


  • Start Date: June 1, 2023
  • Status: Temporary, Full time – parental leave

How to Apply:

Application process

  • Please send your resume and cover letter

Click here to apply!


April 5, 2023


April 10, 2023


Full-time Permanent




Grand Challenges Canada