Head of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations

Save the Children Canada (SCC) is a member of Save the Children International, a federation that works in more than 120 countries worldwide delivering programs focused on health and nutrition, education, child protection, child poverty, humanitarian response, and child rights governance. As the world’s leading independent organization for children, Save the Children’s vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.  

The Impact You will Make:

The Head, Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations will play a pivotal role in aligning the execution of the policy and advocacy function to strategy. This hands-on role will act as a change agent for the organization, leading the shaping of the policy, advocacy, and government relations work to align to SC Canada’s ambitious transformative agenda, including developing influencing partnerships. Internal to SC Canada, this will entail working with business units to defines and support policy change related to Save the Children Canada (SCC)’s priority areas of Gender Equality, Children in Crisis and Climate Justice and child rights.  Within the Save the Children international movement, the Head role will engage with senior policy and advocacy staff to strengthen the global gender equality policy agenda. This role will have oversight of an operational unit, that are charged with engaging external stakeholders including child rights duty bears, policy influencers and decision makers. 

The incumbent will have proven knowledge and hands-on experience to navigate complex Canadian government regulatory landscapes, engaging with policymakers, and advocating for policies that align with SC’s mission and goals. The incumbent will have experience developing and executing policy/advocacy strategies for non-profits, including measurement of multi-year outcomes.  Aligned to the organizational priority of achievement of gender equality impact through policy, the successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in advancing a policy agenda related to gender equality internationally and/or in Canada and experience with feminist foreign policy. 

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Strategy development and implementation, including partnership development:

  • Formulate and execute comprehensive advocacy strategies with KPIs, across SCC and with relevant stakeholders. Annually, develop action plans for strategic goals. 
  • Engage with SC Canada change processes and stakeholders to refine the policy/advocacy function aligned to the organizational transformation agenda. 
  • Play a leading role with the Save the Children International Policy and Advocacy leadership teams to strengthen the global gender equality policy agenda.  
  • Regularly review and assess potential risks and opportunities related to policy changes, highlighting to the Senior leadership team, and building mitigation strategies. 
  • Work with SCC teams to identify partnership building opportunities, including aligning with partners to join influencing agendas. 
  • Provide strategic guidance to leadership and staff on navigating regulatory and policy challenges. 
  • Develop change management and contingency plans and proactive approaches to mitigate risks. 
  • Ensure systems are maintained to track progress towards long term goals.  

Cross functional achievement of impact:   

  • Develop and deliver integrated campaigns with the Communications, Media & Public Relations function for a strengthened organizational voice on priority policy issues.  
  • Work closely with the Programs functions to influence relevant areas of child-focused Canadian government policies, using evidence from research and programs.  
  • Work closely with the Programs functions to support influence of improved donor practices and strategies. 
  • Work closely with Philanthropy functions to identify partnerships for influence. 
  • Influence Save the Children International, SC members and other Partner plans.
  • Leverage CEO’s platform as an effective and appropriate resource for policy advocacy and impact alignment.  
  • Develop resourcing plans to articulate financing of advocacy impact priorities. 
  • Monitor legislative and regulatory processes, providing timely analysis and updates to leadership. 

Convening and Representation:   

  • Convene partners, policy influencers, local networks and other power and knowledge holders to advance policy change. 
  • Accountability for SC Canada’s strategic participation at relevant forums, legislative hearings, and meetings to communicate policy positions. 
  • Representing SC Canada with external coalitions, Government of Canada stakeholders, and duty bearers gathering intelligence as well as defining and influencing strategic alignment and impact. 
  • Conduct outreach to external partners, identifying and cultivating relationships with policymakers, government agencies, and industry influencers engaging directly to advocate, drive, and advance SCC’s priorities and goals.  
  • In collaboration with the Communications and Programs teams, develop and deliver compelling advocacy messages to diverse audiences.

Team Management and People Management:    

  • Development workplans for operation unit, including setting objectives and tasks for team members. 
  • Build operational budgets, manage and approve expenses. 
  • Active member of SCC’s People Management team, participating in all trainings, etc. 
  • Responsible for recruitment and performance management within the team.  
  • Set clear team and individual performance expectations for productivity, quality, and success; providing direction and support as needed.  
  • Accountable for oversight of spend to approved budget targets and for implementing course correction measures where necessary.
  • In compliance with HR policies and the Collective Agreement, lead employees using a performance management process that includes regular one-on-one interaction, performance goal setting, timely feedback, and recognition. 
  • Model behaviours consistent with Save the Children values, actively creating an organizational culture that reflects values.
  • Managerial responsibilities of ensuring health and safety, proactive risk management through organizational policy enforcement and maintaining currency of organizational policies and procedures, and integrating Child Safeguarding practices across our work.
  • Provide oversight and direction to direct reports, including coaching and mentorship to support employee career development.  
  • Ensures regular strategic communications with employee teams to share relevant and timely information related to organizational strategy, operations, leadership decisions, policies and other important information. 
  • Commit to living and the organization’s principles and values and conducting oneself in a professionally and respectfully and reporting any violations witnessed.  
  • Commit to creating and maintaining a safe and includes environment for all and to treating others with respect and dignity

Qualifications (include but are not limited to):   

  • Extensive knowledge of government structure, political processes, procedures & public policy with the strong ability to influence change. 
  • Post-secondary education in Public Policy, Political Science, Law, International Development, or special studies in Advocacy, and/or related equivalent fields. 
  • A minimum of 7 or more years of proven progressive hands-on experience leading a policy and advocacy function, policy development, advocacy, or government affairs. 
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing a policy agenda related to gender equality internationally and/or in Canada and experience with feminist foreign policy. 
  • Strong understanding of regulatory environments and legislative processes as well as gender equality and feminist framework. 
  • Experience with developing and executing policy, advocacy strategy, including developing measurement frameworks. 
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills with proven ability to build, influence and maintain relationships with stakeholders. 
  • Strong emotional intelligence, solutions-oriented approach, and ability to work independently.  
  • Ability to design, develop, translate, and execute on strategy frameworks, tools, resources, solutions, plans, and practices. 
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to foster a positive, collaborative work environment. 
  • Analytical mindset with the ability to synthesize complex information and operationalize on strategies. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to ethical and responsible advocacy practices. 
  • Skilled in organizing resources and establishing priorities with the ability to work in collaboration with cross-functional teams and external stakeholders. 
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse changing environment. 
  • Change management experience is considered an asset. 


This position salary range between $93,843.88 – $104,188.07 depending on skills and experience. In addition to this, our employees will have the following package of additional benefits:

  • Comprehensive benefits package for you and your dependents available in three months after employment. 
  • Hybrid workplace, and flexible work hours to support employee wellbeing and productivity.
  • Coordinated benefits for your partner paid by Save the Children Canada.
  • Confidential Employee Assistance Program services available to you and your dependents from your first day of employment.
  • Discounted rate for a GoodLife membership.
  • Organization-wide membership with Headspace. 
  • 3 weeks of annual leave.
  • In addition to annual leave, we offer a December 24 – January 1 office closure (SAVE Days) so we can all recharge simultaneously.
  • Paid 3-day-personal days.
  • Paid 2-day-float days.
  • Paid 10-day-sick leave.
  • Parental leave top-up.
  • Employer contributions to group pension plan.
  • Learning and development opportunities and specialized training.

How to Apply:

Applications will be reviewed on ongoing basis. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

SCC is committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (‘AODA’). If you require accommodation for disability during any stage of the recruitment process, please notify Human Resources (416) 221-5501.

Click here to apply!


April 30, 2024


May 14, 2024


Full-time Permanent


Ottawa, ON


Save the Children