Careers

A nimble team—with nationwide influence

Don’t be fooled by our modest size—the Federation team of professionals wields considerable influence across Canada and on Parliament Hill.

To further the multi-faceted Federation cause, our cohesive group administers a wide range of programs and services, balanced with the hosting of high-profile events such as our annual Congress and lecture series on Parliament Hill.

If you have the aptitude to join such a team, return frequently to this page for details on the latest full-time, part-time and contract opportunities with the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as co-op and paid internship positions.


Director, Member Engagement and Communications

We have an immediate opening for a talented, energetic and member-focused leader to be our new Director, Member Engagement and Communications 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 communications, membership, programs and policy.

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 ideas-idees.ca.)

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 member engagement 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.

As the Director, Member Engagement and Communications, you will have responsibility and accountability for the Communications, Programs, and Policy portfolios. 

An important part of your role will be leading the development and implementation of strategies that improve the quality and coordination of communications, outreach, and member services, including the successful rollout of a new Client Relationship Management system (CRM).

You will provide expert analysis and advice to advance the Federation’s Strategic Plan priorities, strengthen key partnerships with government, and build our community’s public profile and influence. You will need to provide strategic leadership to identify and respond to emerging opportunities and risks, both inside and outside the organization. Within the communications portfolio, you will:

  • Develop and implement fully integrated strategies to market the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, promote core programs and services, and demonstrate the value of membership. 
  • Provide leadership and mentorship to strengthen and coordinate internal and external communications across all platforms (i.e. via website, media relations, social media, e-bulletin, speeches and presentations.) 
  • Update the Federation’s branding strategy, and oversee major upgrades to its website and other key communications tools, engaging outside consultants as required.
  • Develop key messages about the importance of the humanities and social sciences in Canada and their role in addressing economic, social, and political challenges.
  • Provide strategic direction to the Manager of Communications and oversee all communications activities, including drafting, editing, producing and distributing a wide range of products.
  • Tailor communications to target specific groups such as scholarly associations and universities, funding bodies, Members of Parliament, federal government officials, journalists, and the Canadian public.

Within the Programs portfolio, you will:

  • Oversee programming for major events requiring multi-year planning, most notably the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Canada’s largest annual academic gathering.
  • Lead programs and projects that meet our members needs and promote the value of their work, including the Big Thinking lecture series which recruits leading scholars to share their insights on Parliament Hill and at events across the country.
  • Oversee management of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP), a federally-funded program that helps 180 Canadian scholars publish new books each year.
  • Work with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and other key partners to renew and expand funding programs that benefit our members.

You will provide leadership for the Policy portfolio to:

  • Lead the development of new policy positions on issues important to our members, including federal support for research.
  • Oversee development of new policy reports and submissions to government.
  • Create and support new opportunities for members to become involved, including advisory groups, grass roots advocacy campaigns, and round-table consultations.

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, preferably a graduate degree, in a related field or equivalent experience.  You will have extensive experience working in a comparable member/client service environment. 

You have communications or marketing experience, and you will have excelled at building partnerships and collaborations.  This means a solid track record of developing excellent, long-term partnerships/relationships in service delivery, program management, policy development or public affairs, ideally at a national level. Your experience in an academic environment and/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

  • You are an outstanding communicator. You can speak confidently in both official languages.  You actively listen, understand the needs of different types of members and tailor your responses accordingly based on each member’s varying needs.  Your presentation skills to a wide variety of audiences including Executives, Board of Directors and 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.
  • You are committed to continuous learning and use your knowledge and understanding of member engagement to enhance and showcase the value of services that the Federation brings to it’s various members.
  • 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

  • Our member clients are engaged, satisfied and understand the value that the Federation brings to the table.
  • You feel rewarded and recognized when our members and employees experience the transformational change you are leading, and your team understands and supports the need for change.
  • 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 and effectiveness levels through process improvement and/or the implementation of technology.

To Apply

If this opportunity intrigues you  and relates to your experience, then we want to hear from you in January. 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: hr@ideas-idees.ca. Please note that all applications will be acknowledged but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.