Chairperson, Canadian High Arctic Research Station

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Northern Affairs
Position title:
Per diem:
$550.00 - $650.00
Anywhere in Canada
Application Review Date:
March 21, 2022
Opportunity number:

The mission of Polar Knowledge Canada (Canadian High Arctic Research Station) is to conduct world-class cutting edge Arctic research. Polar Knowledge Canada is responsible for advancing Canadas polar knowledge and strengthening Canadian leadership in Arctic science and technology.

This federal organization anchors a strong research presence in Canada's Arctic that serves Canada and the world, and advances knowledge of the Canadian Arctic in order to improve economic opportunities, environmental stewardship and the quality of life of its Northern residents and all other Canadians. Polar Knowledge Canada continues to support the Government of Canadas commitment to and respect for the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

Polar Knowledge Canada operates out of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

The Chairperson plays a leading role in the nine-member Board of Directors in its responsibilities for the oversight of Polar Knowledge Canadas organization and administration, including specific responsibilities for approving the science and technology plan, as well as annual work plans and budgets as outlined in the federal Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act (2014). This includes developing and maintaining a clear direction, a strategic plan, and priorities that are consistent with Polar Knowledge Canadas role within the Government of Canada.

The Chairperson of the Board, working with the Board, plays a leading role in ensuring that the Board follows sound governance principles and practices. The Chairperson presides over all meetings of the Board, serves as the principal point of liaison between the Board and the President, and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Northern Affairs. He or she is accountable for ensuring strategic leadership and decision making for Polar Knowledge Canada in accordance with the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act (2014).

Further details about the organization and its activities can be found on the Polar Knowledge Canada website

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;

  • Experience serving as a member or chairperson of a board of directors, preferably in a public sector organization and/or a large private sector organization;

  • Management experience at the senior executive level, including managing financial and human resources; 

  • Experience working with Indigenous partners and associated communities and stakeholders and in developing and maintaining effective working relationships with senior officials from different levels of government and diverse stakeholders;

  • Experience working on northern and Arctic issues, particularly as related to advancing knowledge, through research and/or Indigenous-led approaches; and experience working with international organizations; and

  • Experience in strategic planning and managing organizational change to promote improved governance and performance.

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 mission of Polar Knowledge Canada, its program and strategic priorities, as well as its governing legislation, including the Financial Administration Act;

  • Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Chairperson, the Board of Directors, and the President (as Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Head);

  • Knowledge of the operations of the Federal Government, including those related to sound corporate governance and management practices and principles;

  • Knowledge of the Government of Canadas strategic priorities for the North and Arctic and understanding of the operating context of the Canadian North;

  • Knowledge of the key players, challenges, and emerging issues in Arctic science and technology in Canada and internationally;

  • Knowledge of Indigenous cultures, societies and economies, along with the environmental characteristics of Arctic regions;

  • Strong leadership and managerial skills to foster cooperation and teamwork, as well as to ensure the Board of Directors conducts its work effectively and efficiently;

  • Ability to anticipate emerging issues and develop strategies to enable the Board to seize opportunities, resolve problems, and lead organizational change;

  • Ability to foster debate and discussion among Board members, facilitate consensus, and manage conflicts, should they arise;

  • Ability to balance fiscal responsibilities with risks and uncertainties without sacrificing innovation that, inherently, incurs risk;

  • Ability to inspire, influence and establish credibility with government, Arctic and northern stakeholders in order to advance the organizations goals; and

  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.

Familiarity with Indigenous languages of the North, particularly Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun, would be considered an asset.

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:

  • Strategic and innovative

  • Sound judgment

  • High ethical values and integrity

  • Superior interpersonal skills

  • Tact and diplomacy

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 Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees will be 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 Commissioner, 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 successful candidate must be available approximately 25 days a year for Board meetings, including preparation and agenda setting for such meetings; representation of Canadian High Research Arctic Research Station before government bodies or stakeholder organizations; regular communication with the organizations President; and other meetings and events as required.

  • A minimum of three Board meetings are to be held each year; of which, at least one will take place in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

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 21, 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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