Director, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

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Mental Health and Addictions
Position title:
Application Review Date:
July 12, 2023
Opportunity number:

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction is an arm’s length, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction has a legislative mandate to provide national leadership in reducing the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction is Canada’s only agency with a legislated national mandate to reduce the harms of drugs and alcohol on Canadian society. We achieve this by gathering the latest evidence and sharing that evidence widely. Created by an Act of Parliament in 1988, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction has provided national leadership and expert advice, advanced knowledge, and prepared information and resources based on the latest evidence to inform policy, practice and programs that bring forward solutions for government, industry, stakeholders and experts in the field. Together with our partners, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction helps mobilize individual and collective efforts to achieve united impact on the major health and social issue of problematic substance use.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of 13 members that meets three to four times a year. The Chairperson and four Directors are appointed by the Governor in Council. Other Directors, known as members-at-large, are recruited from a number of sectors, including the business community, academia, government and professional and voluntary organizations. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction reports annually to Parliament and to provincial and territorial governments.

The Board of Directors is responsible for providing oversight, leadership and governance for the organization, assisting in strategic planning and developing policies and procedures to help the organization fulfill its mandate. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction helps to inform substance use and addictions policy and practice within Canada, provides national leadership to respond to emerging issues and produces evidence-based information to address substance use and addictions in Canada.

Further details about the organization and its activities can be found on the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction's 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 and / or a combination of education and experience related to the field of substance use and / or addictions;

  • Experience in contributing to strategic planning initiatives for an organization to achieve its identified priorities; and

  • Experience in the substance use and addictions sector.

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 Centre on Substance Use and Addiction's mandate and activities, including knowledge of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Act;

  • Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Board of directors;

  • Knowledge of the principles of sound governance, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of performance;

  • Demonstrated knowledge or expertise in matters pertaining to Board governance or not-for-profit management experiences and their related functions in any of the following areas:

    • leadership or management;

    • service provision and delivery;

    • financial management or business acumen;

    • strategic thinking;

    • executive performance management;

    • risk management;

    • legal matters;

    • marketing and communications;

    • public policy;

    • political acumen; and

    • strategic business planning.

  • Ability to think strategically and develop strategies to respond to opportunities and solve problems;

  • Ability to contribute to Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction's current and future business interests;

  • Ability to work with a diverse range of stakeholders toward an outcome or solution that has broad acceptance by the field;

  • Ability to participate in the deliberation of issues impacting Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction's strategic direction; and

  • Ability to reinforce Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction's public image and reputation.

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:

  • High ethical standards

  • Integrity

  • Sound judgment

  • Respectful of multiple perspectives and points of view

  • 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.

  • You must be prepared to attend three (3) in-person Board meetings per year, as well as participate in virtual meetings of at least one Board committee and occasional meetings with stakeholders and community groups.

  • You must be prepared to travel to the National Capital region or other locations within Canada and abroad.

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 July 12, 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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