Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas Grand Challenges Canada supports integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – known as Integrated Innovation®. One of the largest impact-first investors in Canada, Grand Challenges Canada has supported a pipeline of over 1,300 innovations


Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is seeking a Program Officer to play a critical role in supporting the Options for Pregnancy Termination Innovation Initiative (“OPTions Initiative”). GCC supports innovations in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, with an aim to save and improve lives of unserved and underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries. Through the OPTions Initiative, Grand Challenges Canada seeks innovative and transformative approaches that put women, girls and people with diverse sexual and gender identities in control of where, when, and how they terminate their pregnancy, and provides grant and concessionary risk capital, along with technical advisory, to support them.

As one of the largest impact investors in Canada, GCC has supported a pipeline of over 1,300 innovations in 106 countries. Grand Challenges Canada estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1.78 million lives and improve up to 64 million lives by 2030. GCC is hosted in Toronto at the Sandra Rotman Centre at the University Health Network and this is a Toronto-based role.

Program Officer

Formally reporting to the Director, Global Health Innovation, managing a small team, and working closely with other Program Officers, Investment Managers, and the broader Global Health Innovation team, the Program Officer will play a key role in developing, shaping and managing a growing portfolio of seed and transition to scale investments. Employing deep thematic expertise in sexual and reproductive health program implementation and/or reproductive health research, global health innovation, business acumen, and investment knowledge and experience, responsibilities of the Program Officer include but are not limited to:

• Leading the OPTions Initiative and further developing GCC’s profile in the safe abortion and reproductive health ecosystem;
• Managing a high-performing, resilient team in order to grow the OPTions portfolio;
• Monitoring and supporting seed investments in order to ensure sufficient quality transition to scale investments from (primarily) internal sources;
• Evaluating investment opportunities, including conducting financial and operational due diligence and risk analysis, as well as gender considerations and impact assessments;
• Preparing investment memorandums and presenting potential investments to GCC’s Investment Committee;
• Engaging in negotiations of term sheets and their translation into investment agreements (grant and/or loan), including the development of appropriate funding structures;
• Conducting ongoing management of investments including review and approval of progress reports, supporting innovators via a dedicated technical assistance platform, assisting innovators in developing partnerships and fundraising, and managing other issues as they emerge;
• Engaging with innovators throughout the investment process (i.e. relationship management);
• Leading and contributing to the analysis of portfolio progress, results and lessons on a continual basis;
• Serving as a thought leader in pregnancy termination innovation, particularly as this relates to next generation abortifacients, and developing best practices for impact-first investing in innovations targeting safe abortion;
• Establishing a network of donors, foundations, impact investors, social entrepreneurs, development organizations critical to accomplishing the ultimate goal of building out the space for innovation in safe pregnancy termination in low and medium income countries;
• Overseeing and contributing to the development of key communication collateral to promote the OPTions brand, increase public and donor knowledge and engagement in this critical area of women’s health;
• Acting as a brand ambassador for GCC, represent GCC and Canada’s strategic interests and promote their activities and opportunities through external collaborations, presentations and communications with potential partners, innovators, external thought leaders, and Canadian government representatives.


• Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., global health, reproductive health research, midwifery, ob/gyn, business, impact investing)
• A minimum of 5-8 years’ working experience in relevant field, preferably with experience working and/or living in low resource contexts in sexual and reproductive health.
• Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of relevant domains (e.g., reproductive health, drug development, early stage investing)
• Previous experience working with early stage investments, grant management and/or social enterprise a plus
• Excellent analytic, strategic thinking and project management skills to oversee a growing portfolio
• Highly developed verbal and written communications skills, with an aptitude for relationship building
• Demonstrated ability to maximize process efficiency
• Passion, humility, problem solver, team player, and proven self-direction
• The ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential
• Some international travel may be required
• Personal networks in the international sexual and reproductive health sector is an asset
• Working knowledge of French, Spanish and/or Arabic is a significant asset

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


June 18, 2021




Full-time Permanent