Director, Corporate Services

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We have an immediate opening for a talented and engaged leader to be our new Director, Corporate Services and to join our team at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa, Ontario. This position reports to the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is a member of the senior management team. 

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Congress), bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit


We are seeking a Director, Corporate Services who will play a key role in contributing to the success of the organization. If you are a results-driven team player, you will thrive in our collaborative environment where we enjoy our work while achieving a lot for our members. In this role, you will oversee a four-person team responsible for a range of key functions, including finance, human resources, technology, and facilities.

The ideal candidate holds a professional accounting designation (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA) or has equivalent experience, including significant familiarity with legislative requirements pertaining to charities and not-for-profit organizations, employee relations, operational planning, and risk management.

The position comes with a competitive salary, and a great compensation package including health/dental benefits, participation in the employer’s pension plan, and a generous vacation and holiday policy. There is also the ability to work in a fun, collegial and supportive work environment, where work-life balance is highly valued!

There will be travel required up to two weeks during the annual Congress event, and potentially overnight stays on a periodic infrequent basis. Please note that Congress 2021 will be virtual and travel will not be required for it.

Remote work

The office is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. You will be working from home until such time as the office reopens. You will be provided with a laptop computer and the necessary software to complete your duties, including the use of Zoom and other online collaboration tools. You will be expected to provide your own internet connection and telephone in order to stay connected. When the office reopens, you will be expected to work out of the office in downtown Ottawa.

What you will do

Showing value to our members is the number one priority in our strategic plan. We are looking for a collaborative leader as we put our members’ needs at the centre of everything we do, ensuring that every decision and interaction helps build positive, productive, long-lasting relationships with the community we serve, and with our staff.

As the Director, Corporate Services, you will have responsibility and accountability for our budget and financial strategy, annual work plan and performance measurement, risk management, and administrative services. You will be a proven leader who can mentor and direct a team with a mix of responsibilities that include finance, human resources, technology, and facilities.

You will need to provide strategic leadership to identify and respond to emerging opportunities and risks, both inside and outside the organization. You will provide expert analysis and advice to advance the Federation’s strategic plan priorities, and direct the planning and decision-making cycles.

Within your portfolio, you will:

  • Work collaboratively with other senior management members, create efficiencies, service improvements, and new revenue opportunities to maximize value for all events and activities.
  • Ensure the Federation’s long-term financial sustainability.
  • Ensure our human resources management functions promote our people-centred culture that emphasizes ‘best practices’, quality, continuous improvement and high performance.
  • Ensure the Federation is compliant with all legislated requirements including Employment Standards Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Human Rights Code, and Labour Relations Act.
  • Provide oversight and strategic direction in the use of internal and external resources, and the implementation and day-to-day functioning of Information Technology systems, websites, tools, and equipment used by the Federation and member organizations.
  • Develop, implement and monitor strategies, policies and procedures for capital projects, preventative maintenance, energy conservation, waste management, green construction and other initiatives.
  • Establish, implement and control all financial processes and reporting, using all customary financial statements in accordance with General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to protect the financial and capital assets of the Federation, including review of the financial statements, reports and year-end audit process, and the investment management strategy. 
  • Ensure all statutory requirements are met as a registered charity and employer within Ontario and Canada.
  • Establish guidelines for budget and lead preparation of annual budgets and forecasts on a project, section and organizational level.
  • Provide support and guidance to the Director, Congress and Events to:
    • Oversee the bidding and selection process for Congress, and lead contract negotiations with partner institutions.
    • Sustain and diversify Congress revenues, and develop new revenue opportunities as part of an organization-wide sponsorship strategy.
  • Support the CEO in the preparation and presentation of financial reporting to the Board.
  • Other duties as required.

What you need

As the ideal candidate, you will have 10 or more years of relevant work experience with significant time (at least five years) spent in management roles. You have completed a university degree in accounting, finance, business, or a related field and you hold a professional accounting designation (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA), or you have extensive equivalent related experience which would also be considered. An MBA would be considered an asset.

Your finance knowledge and strong familiarity with reporting, governance, and legislative requirements of charitable organizations including financial planning, cash management, risk management and financing practices will be important. You will have experience in providing reports and presenting to the Board of Directors, and other external stakeholders.

You have previously had oversight of administrative areas (human resources, technology, facilities), and you have strong knowledge of human resources best practices, policies, and legislation. You have negotiated contracts with external partners, stakeholders and vendors, and you have provided strategic leadership on operational improvements.

Your experience in a comparable not-for-profit organization will serve you well, along with experience serving members who are academics or other professionals. You value work-life balance and a collaborative office culture, and you believe in the importance of universities and the value of the humanities and social sciences.

You are a respected leader, seen as a knowledgeable and credible change agent, and your past team members acknowledge your leadership style and would work for you again.

You are comfortable using Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel), SharePoint, and QuickBooks.

Strong written and oral communication skills in English are required. In addition, written and oral communication skills in French are an asset.

What you bring

  • Effective presentation skills and ability to have presence in front of a wide variety of audiences including Executives, Board of Directors, members, staff and other stakeholders.
  • A goal-oriented mindset, with a strong sense of urgency to tackle projects in a proactive manner, understanding the details and yet leading and motivating teams to execute on deliverables.
  • A continuous improvement mindset using lessons learned along with a coaching approach.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively organize tasks and prioritize the complex demands of multiple stakeholders and diverse portfolios.
  • High ethical standards and a desire to work with like-minded high-achievers.
  • Entrepreneurship, initiative, creativity and a proactive attitude.
  • Clarity of expression — both in writing and orally. 
  • A sense of ownership of tasks and the motivation to follow through to achieve personal and team goals.
  • Establishment of strong and trusted relationships with colleagues and external partners.
  • A sincere respect for the values and differences that all members of a small team bring to an office environment; adaptability to different approaches and a flexibility to move in new directions as needed.
  • Commitment to Federation values, vision, and direction.
  • Willingness to continuously develop skills and knowledge, and provide mentorship and coaching to the team.
  • A good sense of humour.

What success looks like

  • You will have created strong working relationships with colleagues, staff, and Board Members.
  • You are able to solidify your relationships with your staff members and create a high-performance team, confident in their abilities and able to deliver on their performance goals.
  • The organization’s strategic objectives are translated into workable operational plans and budgets, ensuring that resources are used effectively and maximizing impact.
  • You are able to articulate the rationale behind why continuous improvement in our organization is required, and as a result your colleagues and your team understand and support the need for change.
  • You feel rewarded and recognized when our staff and members experience the operational changes that you are leading.
  • You have advanced the efficiency of the Federation through process improvements and/or the implementation of technology that will digitize paper-based processes.
  • You will have been instrumental in successfully delivering the Federation’s strategic plan through collaboration with all staff at the Federation.
  • You leave an indelible mark on the Federation by leaving it in a better position than when you joined.

To Apply

If this opportunity intrigues you and relates to your experience, then we want to hear from you. Please take the time to tell us about yourself in a cover letter – we want to hear your story – your background, your accomplishments, and why this role is a good fit for you, and your career at this time.

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free recruitment process and work environment. We are an equal opportunity employer, and we are seeking applications from employment equity groups including but not limited to: persons with disabilities, and Black, Indigenous and/or persons of colour.

You must be legally allowed to work in Canada in order to be eligible for this position. Please note that all applications will be acknowledged. Those selected for an interview will be contacted directly. Compensation will be market competitive and will be dependent on your qualifications and experience. The posting will remain active on our website until our search process is complete. We anticipate that the first round of interviews will be scheduled the last week of January 2021.

Please contact us in confidence and provide notice in advance if you require accommodations at any stage of the recruitment process. All requests for accommodation will be considered in a fair and objective manner that will ensure applicants are treated with respect and dignity.

We know that fit for a role goes both ways – you may have other questions – so feel free to contact us in advance of applying and we can set up a time for a call.

Please submit your cover letter, including salary expectations, and résumé, by January 18, 2021, at

For any questions or to request accommodations, please email us at