Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

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Position title:
Chief Executive Officer
Salary range:
$244,800.00 - $287,900.00/Year
Ottawa, Ontario
Application Review Date:
October 31, 2022
Opportunity number:

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), a federal Crown corporation dedicated to its mission to protect the public by securing critical elements of the air transportation system, is seeking a dynamic and strategic leader to be its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

CATSA delivers the mandate of security screening at 89 designated airports across the country through a third-party screening contractor model. CATSA is responsible for the delivery of the following four mandated activities:

  • Pre-board screening:  The screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their belongings prior to their entry to the secure area of an air terminal building.

  • Hold baggage screening:  The screening of passengers’ checked (or hold) baggage for prohibited items such as explosives, prior to it being loaded onto an aircraft.

  • Non-passenger screening:   The random screening of non-passengers and their belongings, including vehicles, entering restricted areas of the aerodrome at the highest risk airports.

  • Restricted area identity card (RAIC):  The system which uses iris and fingerprint biometric identifiers to allow non-passengers access to the restricted areas of airports.

The Authority is governed by an eleven-member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor in Council, including representatives of the airline industry and airport operators.

The President and CEO leads the day-to-day operations of the organization to deliver its mandate while advancing a vision to be a recognized global leader in aviation security screening through using innovative technology and an agile approach to maintain the highest level of security and provide the best possible passenger experience; delivering value to Canadians with an optimal use of resources; attracting, cultivating and supporting a diverse and engaged workforce; and working collaboratively with partners towards common goals and interests.

The President and CEO reports to the Board of Directors of CATSA. CATSA is funded by parliamentary appropriations and accountable to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Transport.

In 2019, the Government of Canada enacted the Security Screening Services Commercialization Act (SSSCA), which enables the commercialization of Canadian aviation security screening services. The SSSCA provides for the Governor in Council designation of a corporate body under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act as the designated screening authority to assume legal responsibility for security screening services at Canada’s designated airports. Formal negotiations with stakeholders related to the sale of CATSA’s assets and liabilities were put on hold in March 2020 as the Government of Canada and the various private entities that comprise the Designated Screening Authority (airport authorities and airlines) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the timeline for the potential sale remains undetermined, CATSA will continue to deliver aviation security screening services, while supporting the seamless transfer of responsibility to a private not-for-profit entity, Within this context, if and when requested by the Minister of Transport, the role of CATSA’s next President and CEO would be to work in collaboration with the Board of Directors to lead the organization through the commercialization and ultimate transfer of responsibilities.

In the event commercialization does not move forward, the CEO would be responsible to work with the Board to position the organization to ensure the long-term ability to successfully deliver on its mandate as a Crown corporation.

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 achieve 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;

  • Significant experience as a CEO or Senior Executive within private or public sector organizations responsible for providing a vital service to the public, preferably in a similar area such as transportation or security, and of similar size, scope and complexity to CATSA;

  • Experience in building and maintaining productive and effective multipartite relationships with partner organizations, diverse stakeholders, and senior government officials;

  • Decision-making experience with respect to complex and sensitive issues;

  • Experience managing human and financial resources at a senior executive level;

  • Experience demonstrating leadership of people, including motivating employees to reach corporate objectives, talent management, and organizational change; and

  • Experience reporting to a board would be considered an asset.

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 Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s mandate, mission, and strategic priorities, preferably related to aviation and/or security;

  • Knowledge of the role and responsibilities of the Chairperson, the Board of Directors, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, including fundamental accountabilities to the Government of Canada as shareholder;

  • Knowledge of the public policy environment facing a Crown corporation, and a general understanding of the legislative environment in which it operates, including the Financial Administration Act;

  • Knowledge of sound corporate governance and management principles and practices;

  • Knowledge of operational and strategic corporate planning, monitoring, and evaluation of corporate performance;

  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective working relationships with a Board of Directors, business partners and stakeholders such as airport and airline executives, as well as senior government officials;

  • Demonstrated ability as a transformational leader;

  • Ability to anticipate emerging issues and lead organizational change; and

  • Strong communications skills, both written and oral, and be able to act as a spokesperson in dealing with the media and other government or private 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:

  • Sound judgment and ability to make decisions in complex situations

  • Strategic leadership and thinking

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

  • Tact and diplomacy

  • Fair and unbiased

  • Respect and encouragement of diverse perspectives

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.

  • The Canadian Air Transport Security Act stipulates that the following individuals may not be directors of CATSA (statutory):

    1. an individual that is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;

    2. an individual that is a member of the Senate or House of Commons or a member of a legislature;

    3. an individual that is employed on a full-time basis in the public service of Canada or of a province; or

    4. an individual that is a mayor, councillor, officer, or employee of a municipality.

  • You reside in or are willing to relocate to the National Capital Region, or to a location within reasonable commuting distance. Candidates who indicate that they are ready to move within the National Capital Region or within reasonable distance from the workplace will also be taken into consideration.

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 October 31, 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 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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