Commissioner, International Joint Commission

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Foreign Affairs
Position title:
Per diem:
$875.00 - $1,025.00
National Capital Region
Application Review Date:
January 25, 2023
Opportunity number:

The International Joint Commission is a binational, independent, quasi-judicial organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to prevent and resolve water related disputes along the boundary between Canada and the United States. The International Joint Commission is composed of three Canadian and three American Commissioners. Two of the Canadian Commissioners customarily serve on a part-time basis while a third Commissioner, selected as Chair, serves on a full-time basis and spends all, or a good part of each working week, at the Commission’s office in Ottawa. The Commissioners are supported by Secretariat offices in Ottawa and Washington and a binational Great Lakes Regional Office in Windsor. The International Joint Commission’s Canadian Section is under the portfolio responsibility of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Commissioners have responsibility for preventing and resolving disputes between Canada and the United States of America concerning transboundary water and other environmental issues in a manner that serves the common good of both countries. The Commissioners are representatives of the International Joint Commission and not of the government that appoints them. Commissioners must work constructively with the other Canadian Commissioners, the U.S. Commissioners, and the U.S. and Canadian staff who serve the Commission. Canadian Commissioners generally hold office for a four-year term.

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 discipline or a combination of equivalent education, job-related training and experience;

  • Demonstrated management and leadership experience at the senior level, including managing financial and human resources within a government or business context;

  • Experience dealing with and providing advice to senior government officials;

  • Experience developing and fostering productive relationships with other governments, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous peoples and communities and various stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds following principles of inclusiveness and transparency;

  • Experience working for or with national or international organizations and working in or with the water management and/or ecosystem management sectors; and

  • Experience in the interpretation and application of Canadian legislation and policies.

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

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and policy frameworks including: the Boundary Waters Treaty, the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and the Rules of Procedure of the International Joint Commission;

  • Knowledge of sound governance and management principles and practices of the Public Service of Canada and an understanding of the public policy environment, processes, and best practices including the policy-science interface;

  • Knowledge of the operations and challenges of working with both the Canadian and American federal and sub-federal governments, as well as an understanding of the mandates of Global Affairs Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada;

  • Knowledge of relevant scientific principles and approaches as they relate to the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of shared waters;

  • Knowledge of current water management issues, stakeholder engagement trends, Canadian water policy, relevant provincial legislation and initiatives, international water policy, and Indigenous peoples’ interests and concerns;

  • Superior intellectual, strategic leadership, and organizational management skills, as well as demonstrated problem-solving, consensus-building, facilitation and mediation skills to ensure that the Commission fulfills its treaty and legislative mandate;

  • Ability to anticipate emerging issues and develop strategies to enable the Commission to seize opportunities and resolve problems;

  • Ability to develop effective working relationships with peers and staff as well as with relevant government departments and strategic partners within Canada and internationally;

  • Ability to interpret relevant statutes, regulations, policies and scientific findings, to analyze complex issues, and to provide sound recommendations and advice to governments;

  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral, including excellent listening skills, with a view to act as a spokesperson when dealing with stakeholders, media, public institutions, governments, the public and other organizations.

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:

  • Superior interpersonal skills

  • Integrity, discretion and strong professional ethics

  • Sound judgement

  • Dependability and collegiality

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • 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 Conflict 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.

  • If you are appointed to the position of Commissioner, you must reside in or be willing to relocate to the National Capital Region, or to a location within a reasonable commuting distance, or be willing to commit to productive teleworking.

  • If you are appointed to the position of Commissioner, you must willing to travel across Canada and internationally.

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 available here) will begin on January 25, 2023. 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 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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