Director, Business Operations

Director, Business Operations

We have an immediate opening for a talented and energetic leader to be our new Director, Business Operations and join our team at the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. This position reports to the Executive Director and is a member of the senior management team.

If you’re a results-driven, team player, you’ll thrive in our collaborative environment where we enjoy our work while achieving a lot for our members. In this role, you will oversee a seven-person team responsible for a range of key functions, including Finance, HR, IT, Facilities and Events.

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is a national, non-profit organization that is a champion for Canadian scholars and their contributions to a prosperous, diverse, and democratic society.

With roots tracing back more than 75 years, the Federation today serves a membership of 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, and represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. (For more information visit

What You Will Do

Showing value to our members is the number one priority in our Strategic Plan. We’re looking for a strategic leader to shape a cultural transformation and take our business operations from good to great. With your help, we will 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, Business Operations, you will have responsibility and accountability for the Business Strategy, Corporate Services and Event Management portfolios. You will be a proven leader who can mentor and direct a team with a diverse mix of responsibilities.

An important part of your role will be leading the development and implementation of strategies that enhance our overall business operations. 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 the business strategy portfolio, you will:

  • Create efficiencies, service improvements, and new revenue opportunities to maximize value for all members events and activities
  • Ensure the Federation’s long-term financial sustainability

Within the Corporate Services portfolio, you will:

  • Ensure our human resources management functions promote our people-centred culture that emphasizes `best practices’, quality, continuous improvement and high performance.
  • Ensures 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. This would include reviewing financial statements, reports and year-end audit process, and the investment management strategy.
  • Validate all statutory requirements are met as a registered charity and employer within Ontario and Canada.
  • Establish guidelines for budget and coordinates preparation of annual budgets and forecasts on a project, section and organizational level.
  • Support the Executive Director in the preparation and presentation of Financial reporting to the Board.

You will provide leadership for the Events Management portfolio and work with the Manager, Events to:

  • Provide oversight on strategies to improve the Congress experience for delegates and partners.
  • Build and manage high-level relationships with Congress hosts, sponsors, scholarly associations, book publishers, and government partners.
  • Interact with the Congress working group and integrate any recommendations into the planning of future Congress events
  • Oversee the bidding and selection process for Congress

What You Need

As the ideal candidate, you will have 10 or more years of relevant work experience with significant time spent in management roles. You have completed a university degree specializing in Accounting, Finance and/or Business 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 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. The right candidate will have experience in providing reports and presenting to the Board of Directors, and other external stakeholders.

Your experience in an academic environment or comparable non-profit organization will serve you well. 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.

What You Bring

  • Your presentation skills and your ability to have presence in front of a wide variety of audiences including Executives, Board of Directors, members, staff and other stakeholders are known for being effective.
  • You are goal-oriented, have a strong sense of urgency and tackle projects in a proactive manner. You understand the details yet lead and motivate teams to execute on deliverables.
  • You are able to effectively multitask to prioritize the complex demands of multiple stakeholders, and diverse portfolios.
  • You are committed to continuous learning and use your knowledge and understanding of how businesses run to continually mentor and coach the team.
  • You enjoy the collaborative process and look forward to partnering with other team members to effectively service our member/stakeholder base.
  • You are a respected leader; seen as a knowledgeable and credible change agent.
  • Your past team members acknowledge your leadership style and would work for you again.

What Success Looks Like

  • You are able to articulate the story behind why change in our organization is required and as a result your team understands and supports the need for change.
  • You will have created strong working relationships with Board Members, colleagues and staff.
  • 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.
  • You feel rewarded and recognized when our members and employees experience the transformational change you are leading.
  • The organization’s strategic objectives are translated into workable operational plans and budgets, ensuring that resources are used effectively and maximizing impact.
  • 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

This position will remain posted until the position is filled. 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.

Please submit your cover letter and résumé to: by May 18, 2018. Please note that all applications will be acknowledged but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.