Chairperson, Business Development Bank of Canada

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Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development
Position title:
Per diem:
$410.00 - $485.00
Annual retainer:
$10,500.00 - $12,400.00
Application Review Date:
February 9, 2023
Opportunity number:

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) aims to support Canadian entrepreneurs in their efforts to build strong, growing businesses and, in doing so, contribute to creating a more competitive, prosperous and inclusive Canada. We take more risk in supporting entrepreneurs in a way that is complementary to services offered by the private sector. BDC’s main objectives are to: (i) Increase access and reach: BDC is striving to reach more entrepreneurs, especially underserved and diverse entrepreneurs, and have a greater impact on their businesses in good times and bad, (ii) Drive SME competitiveness: we provide the capital and advice for businesses to innovate, increase productivity, expand and export, which are crucial for their long-term success, and (iii) Provide an excellent client experience: to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and serve them better, BDC must continue creating a faster, simpler and more personalized experience for clients across all channels.

To provide the best possible support to Canadian entrepreneurs, the BDC must invest in people and ensure that they have the tools needed to succeed. To do so, they strive to hire and retain talented, engaged and diverse employees. It is through differing perspectives and experiences that the BDC is able to grow, innovate and ultimately have a greater impact on Canadian entrepreneurs.

BDC’s performance measures support its goal of helping Canadian entrepreneurs in their efforts to build strong, growing businesses. They are aligned with Shareholder priorities and strategic objectives.

The Chairperson leads a Board of Directors comprised of up to 12 members from the private sector, including the Chairperson. BDC's President and CEO is also a member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors oversees the Corporation's activities. Under the direction of the Chairperson, the Board ensures a tone of integrity and ethics and establishes the highest standards of corporate governance. In this regard, the Board of Directors ensures that appropriate systems of governance, leadership and stewardship are in place to enable BDC's management to lead the organization effectively and to act in an advisory capacity to the President and CEO.

The Chairperson serves as a key link between the BDC and the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development. The core governance responsibilities are to oversee strategy, talent, and risk management.

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 discipline (business, finance, Master of Business Administration) or an acceptable combination of equivalent education;

  • Experience serving as a member of a board of directors for a public or private sector organization, preferably as Chairperson;

  • Experience in governance principles and best practices in a culture of accountability and transparency;

  • Experience in at least one of the following:

    • Banking experience in the commercial or investment banking sector;

    • Experience dealing with entrepreneurs in a variety of industries and sectors across Canada, senior government officials and corporate stakeholders; or

    • Significant financial, investment, and business experience with a proven track record as a Chief Executive Officer or senior executive of a major national or international enterprise, preferably from the financial services sector.

  • Experience with deep organizational change;

  • Experience in the economic empowerment of under-represented groups such as women, new Canadians, black entrepreneurs, and Indigenous peoples would be considered an asset;

  • Experience dealing with public policy issues in a business context would be considered an asset; and

  • Experience as a small business owner or serial entrepreneur including scaling a firm, acquisitions, or international expansion, in sectors such as Information, Communications and Technology; Life Sciences and/or Energy/Cleantech 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 mandate and activities of BDC as well as the legislative framework within which it operates;

  • Knowledge of financial and human resources management, strategic corporate planning, risk management, monitoring and evaluation of corporate performance and of corporate governance, including good governance and best practices;

  • Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Chairperson, the Board of Directors, the President and Chief Executive Officer and corporate governance principles and best practices including fundamental accountabilities to the Government of Canada as Shareholder;

  • Sound knowledge of the Canadian business sector – the key leaders, emerging trends and competitive forces, and the challenges and opportunities faced by small and medium enterprises;

  • Financial expertise;

  • Ability to anticipate emerging issues and trends and develop strategies to enable the Board to seize opportunities and solve problems, particularly as they relate to digital transformation, complex financial transactions, diversity, equity and inclusion and sustainable development, in particular in the area of climate change;

  • Ability to develop and maintain strong and effective relationships with other Board members, BDC's management, the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, and the Minister's Office;

  • Ability to foster debate and discussion amongst Board Members in an open and trusting environment to facilitate consensus and manage conflicts, should they arise;

  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and excellent decision-making skills in analyzing and resolving complex contractual and business matters; and

  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral.

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 and leadership skills

  • Sound judgement

  • Excellent communication skills

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • 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 behaviors 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 behaviors 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.

  • No individual is eligible to be appointed or to continue as a director if the individual is (a) neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (b) a Canadian citizen who is not ordinarily resident in Canada; (c) a permanent resident, within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, who has been ordinarily resident in Canada for more than one year after first becoming eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship; (d) a member of the Senate or House of Commons or a member of the legislature of a province; or (e) employed in the public service of a province (statutory).

  • You are willing to travel across Canada, as required.

  • You are willing to commit up to 32 days per year to Board business.

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 on February 9, 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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