Senior Director, People and Culture

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 we support integrating 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. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with a global network of partners to bring successful innovation to scale, catalyzing sustainability and impact.

Grand Challenges Canada is seeking a Senior Director, People and Culture to provide strategic leadership on:
• People: leading our Human Resources and Operations functional groups working towards building and maintaining a deeply engaged and highly motivated team
• Corporate Operations: maintain, enhance, and build new corporate systems and processes that best enable the Grand Challenges Canada team to be as effective as possible using the available resources; ensure our systems serve our people.
• Culture: working with the senior leadership team to create and maintain a psychologically safe work culture that supports equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility initiatives, high impact and meaningful work alongside a healthy work-life balance that is aligned with and supports our values and mission.

The ideal candidate is experienced at leading and building high performing teams and organizations. They have exceptional judgement and interpersonal skills, respect for confidentiality, and are open to thoughtful debate, trauma informed respectful dialogue. They are driven by curiosity and embrace new experiences. The ideal candidate must have demonstrated excellence in coaching and supporting diverse individuals and teams with strong experience in human resources leadership.

The Senior Director, People and Culture’s responsibilities will include:

Enhancing and Maintaining Grand Challenges Canada’s Values and Culture
• Providing thoughtful leadership on all elements of Grand Challenges Canada’s lived values and culture ( )
• Working with the leadership team and the Senior Manager, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) to ensure that activities and initiatives across the organization are in alignment with GCC’s values and support a culture of mutual respect and strong work/life balance ( )

Strategic Leadership
• Providing strategic thought and guidance on key issues relating to Culture, Diversity, Human Resources, and Corporate Operations including the four day work week
• Developing recommendations to the Co-CEOs on strategies and processes to address key organizational challenges and to build a stronger, more engaged, impactful, and growing hybrid team
• Managing and leading all internal communications of Human Resources and Corporate Operations processes and activities (verbal and written).
• Serving as a thought leader on leadership and developing strategic recommendations to support and enable the delivery on Grand Challenges Canada’s Strategic Plan and annual Plans and Priorities

Human Resources and Performance Management
• Managing and leading the Human Resources team
• Supporting all Functional Leads and managers on processes relating to hiring, promoting, and retaining staff and staff departures to enable a diverse team to thrive.
• Serving as a thought leader and have overall accountability for processes around Grand Challenges Canada’s annual Plans and Priorities processes, including support to monitor how they feed into the Strategic Plan
• Developing knowledge and leadership capabilities of managers is a rapidly changing and growing organization
• Leading and managing the implementation of the annual Performance Management process and the Four Day Work Week initiative
• Ensuring the fair and thoughtful implementation of the recent Compensation Review and ongoing approach to compensation
• Leadership and management of the relationship with UHN Human Resources (note: the University Health Network manages some aspects of Grand Challenges Canada’s human resources on behalf of Grand Challenges Canada).

Corporate Operations
• Managing and leading the Corporate Operations team
• Understanding the organization’s strategic priorities and initiatives and ensuring that operations and human resources processes are aligned with and support their implementation across the organization
• Accountability for the corporate operations of Grand Challenges Canada including oversight of and leadership on the Operations and Administration component of the annual budget and corresponding procurements and contracts, with a commitment to ensuring core business needs are met and GCC’s spending targets are maintained
• Ultimate accountability for the functioning of IT, knowledge management and data management systems, such as the grant management system (Fluxx) and the corporate server
• Providing strategic direction on Grand Challenges Canada’s built environment and office in the context of a hybrid workforce
• Working with all Functional Leads to identify and support the delivery of special projects and organization-wide priorities related to corporate operations and human resources
• Oversight of the organization’s core communications platforms, including website and social media platforms in close collaboration with the communications team
• Management of internal retreats and strategic meetings.

• A minimum of ten years of team leadership and management experience, including some tangible and successful experience in human resources; familiarity with employment legislation including the Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act
• Highly developed interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to make decisions with good judgment, strong conflict resolution skills.
• Experience in successfully coaching and managing individuals and teams from diverse professional and lived experience backgrounds. Familiarity with intersectional equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives.
• Project management experience or demonstrated experience successfully implementing complex systems changes.
• Clear and compelling communications skills.
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.

• Proposed Start date: January-February 2023 (negotiable)
• Full time, Permanent

How to Apply:

• Please send your resume and cover letter:

Vaccines (COVID and others) are a requirement of the job unless you have an exemption on a medical ground pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

If you are interested in making your contribution at UHN, please apply on-line. You will be asked to copy and paste as well as attach your resume and covering letter. You will also be required to complete some initial screening questions.

Posted Date: November 10, 2022                Closing Date: December 1, 2022

For current UHN employees, only those who have successfully completed their probationary period, have a good employee record along with satisfactory attendance in accordance with UHN’s attendance management program, and possess all the required experience and qualifications should apply.

UHN thanks all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

UHN is a respectful, caring, and inclusive workplace. We are committed to championing accessibility, diversity and equal opportunity and welcomes all applicants including but not limited to: all religions and ethnicities, LGBTQ2s+, BIPOC, persons with disabilities and all others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process providing the applicant has met the Bona-fide requirements for the open position. Applicants need to make their requirements known when contacted.


November 16, 2022


December 1, 2022


Full-time Permanent




Grand Challenges Canada