Director, Canadian Museum of Nature

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Canadian Heritage
Position title:
National Capital Region
Application Review Date:
March 8, 2022
Opportunity number:

The largest museum of natural history in Canada covers four billion years of Earth's history. It houses one of the most important natural history collections in the world, including 24 major science collections of more than 14.6 million specimens referenced in over 300 annual scientific research publication from 40 countries. The specimens and the knowledge derived from their study serve as the backbone of the museum's many special exhibitions, its permanent galleries and educational programs. The Canadian Museum of Nature is more than Canada's national natural-history museum. In addition to its exhibition spaces, the Museum is composed of world-renowned research scientists creating, advancing and sharing knowledge about the natural world in collaboration with universities, museums, NGOs and government organizations across Canada and around the world. It also has conservators' collection managers, data scientists as well as education, content design and multimedia specialists. The Museum is also a leader in the documentation, digitization and understanding of biodiversity and of the geological history of Canada.

As a national institution with an international role and a member of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio, the Museum's mandate is to increase interest throughout Canada and internationally, knowledge of, as well as appreciation and respect for, the natural world. The museum fulfills its mandate by focusing its research and education programs on Arctic knowledge and exploration, species discovery and change and nature inspiration and engagement. The museum fulfills its national and international role through its active participation in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility), Alliance of Natural History Museums, Arctic Council CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna) and many other national and international science forums. The Corporation is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and nine other trustees. The Board has responsibility for the overall stewardship of the Corporation and is expected to provide strategic guidance to management and to oversee the activities of the Corporation. It has a duty to act in the best interests of the Corporation and to exercise care and due diligence. The Board is also responsible to evaluate the performance of the Chief Executive Officer on an annual basis.

The Director is the CEO and is responsible, under the direction of the Board of Trustees, for providing corporate leadership for the management of the Museum's resources and assets and for the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations in meeting its mandated objectives. The Director serves as the chief spokesperson for the museum and will be expected to travel nationally and internationally. 

Further details about the organization and its activities can be found on the Canadian Museum of Nature 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 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 relevant education, job-related training and/or experience;

  • Corporate leadership experience at the Chief Executive Officer or senior executive level in a museum, scientific research institute, nature conservation organization or university with a strong earned revenue component;

  • Leadership experience in outreach and engagement initiatives;

  • Experience in major fundraising initiatives and establishing collaborative relationships;

  • Experience in leadership development and succession planning;

  • Experience in communications and community engagement;

  • Experience in financial management and revenue generation;

  • Experience in establishing and implementing strategic vision and change management at senior levels;

  • Experience in advancing diversity & inclusion strategies in an institutional context;

  • Experience in reporting to and/or serving a board;

  • Experience leading a unionized staff would be considered an asset;

  • Experience in implementing digital/virtual access to heritage programs and artifacts would be considered an asset; and

  • Experience in senior position managing a public or private cultural institution 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 legislative framework, mandate and activities of the Canadian Museum of Nature;

  • Knowledge of current challenges and opportunities for Canadian cultural, scientific and nature conservation institutions;

  • Knowledge of the government's policy agenda and how it relates to the national museums;

  • Financial literacy and knowledge of sound governance and principles and practices of management;

  • Knowledge of branding, positioning, marketing and corporate identify;

  • Knowledge of labour relations and collective bargaining;

  • Ability to provide corporate vision, leadership and strategic direction needed to ensure the Canadian Museum of Nature is able to carry out its mandate and achieve its objectives;

  • Ability to identify, analyze and define priorities and strategies within a local, national and global context;

  • Ability to develop effective working relationships with the Board of Trustees, the Museum's management, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and his Office, the Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Museum's key stakeholders and partners; and

  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to manage communications with a variety of stakeholders.

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:

  • Innovative and strategic leader

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Tact and diplomacy

  • Sound judgment

  • Superior interpersonal skills

  • 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 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.

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 8, 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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