Chairperson, International Development Research Centre

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Global Affairs (International Development)
Position title:
Per diem:
$360.00 - $420.00
Application Review Date:
March 29, 2022
Opportunity number:

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges faced by developing countries. IDRC invests in applied research and innovation by researchers in developing countries; shares knowledge with researchers and policymakers for maximum uptake and use; and mobilizes global alliances to achieve impact at scale. The Centre is a vital part of Canada’s international development and foreign policy efforts. Its five regional offices and global network of partners contribute to Canada’s presence in the world. IDRC was established by an Act of Canada’s Parliament in 1970 with a mandate “to initiate, encourage, support, and conduct research into the problems of the developing regions of the world and into the means for applying and adapting scientific, technical, and other knowledge to the economic and social advancement of those regions.”

IDRC is a Crown Corporation and is governed by a board of up to 14 governors. The Chairperson of the Board of Governors reports to Parliament through the Minister of International Development. The Board provides oversight and strategic guidance to the President, who has supervision over and direction of the work and staff of the Centre. The Chairperson fulfills three broad roles: leading the Board, working with management, and representing the IDRC. The Chairperson provides leadership to the Board for all matters pertaining to the organization and functioning of the Board. This includes presiding over meetings and ensuring the Board functions within the terms of the IDRC Act. The Chairperson leads the Board as it reviews and monitors the development and implementation of strategic plans, provides oversight on all fiduciary matters, and ensures that the Board has sufficient knowledge to permit it to make major decisions when required. The Chairperson also acts as a link between the Board and the President and fosters constructive and harmonious relationships between the Board and management. The Chairperson plays a role in representing the IDRC to the Minister, Parliament, other governments around the world and key stakeholders. The Chairperson is the key interlocutor with the Minister on the governance and business of the Centre.

Diversity and Official Languages

We are committed to providing a healthy and accessible workplace that supports one’s dignity, self-esteem and the ability to work on one’s full potential. With this in mind, all appointees will be expected to take steps to promote and maintain a healthy, respectful, inclusive and harassment-free work environment.

Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group.

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore encouraged to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training, and/or experience;

  • Experience in serving as a member of a board of directors of a public and/or private organization, preferably as chairperson, or proven professional leadership experience;  

  • Experience in working with government and public officials at senior levels;

  • Experience in implementing modern corporate governance principles and best practices;

  • Experience or demonstrated interest in the field of international development or foreign policy; and

  • Experience or training in the natural, health or social sciences, or technology or engineering.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the mandate and activities of the IDRC, its related public policy issues and the legislative framework within which it operates;

  • Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Chairperson, the Board of Governors and the President and Chief Executive Officer;

  • Financial literacy and experience in managing human and financial resources at the senior executive level;

  • Strong leadership and managerial skills to ensure the Board of Governors conducts its work effectively, including monitoring and evaluating progress towards achieving objectives;

  • Ability to set priorities, provide the corporate vision needed to fulfill the IDRC's mandate and attain its objectives;

  • Ability to communicate effectively, foster debate and discussion among board governors, facilitate consensus and manage conflicts;

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with the Minister and his or her office, the Deputy Minister, the President (CEO), and the IDRC's partners and stakeholders; and

  • Ability to anticipate and address emerging issues and conflicts, and develop strategies to enable the Board of Governors to seize opportunities and resolve problems that may arise.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • Leadership and sound judgment

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Superior interpersonal skills

  • Tact and diplomacy

  • Initiative

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Further to the Terms and Conditions applying to Governor in Council Appointees Governor in Council appointees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless accommodated based on a certified medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground for discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • Applicants must be Canadian citizens (Statutory);

  • If you are appointed to this position you must willing to travel across Canada and internationally; and

  • The Board shall meet at least twice in each year, with at least one such meeting at the head office of the Centre, and at such other times and places as the Chairperson deems necessary (Statutory).

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.

A list of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Review of applications (more information here) will begin on March 29, 2022. Candidates should apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. After this date, your application will be retained and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made. Your cover letter should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office, and should be sent only through the online application.

Instructions on how to apply for an appointment opportunity can be found on the Governor in Council Appointments website.

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