The Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) is the leading federal public policy think tank in the nation’s capital, with expanding programs in Domestic Policy, Indigenous Affairs, and Foreign Policy, Security and Defence.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the institute has grown dramatically in productivity, media attention and fundraising over our first decade. We are constantly adding new expertise on the issues that matter most to Canadians, and we have been nationally and internationally recognized as one of the top platforms for the best public policy ideas. We are looking for the right people to help us continue to grow in our second decade.

MLI is seeking a full-time, permanent employee in the role of Director, Domestic Policy Program, based at MLI’s Ottawa office.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic self-starter who is full of great ideas and excels at working in a team environment to get first rate results quickly. He or she will have extensive expertise in one or more policy area including economic policy, tax policy, justice, and health care, and comfort with most major federal government domestic responsibilities.

The Director, Domestic Policy Program, will be reporting to the Managing Editor. He or she will be responsible for establishing MLI’s Domestic Policy Program, securing the necessary funds to grow the program, recruiting and managing a diverse roster of senior fellows, and ensuring the timely delivery of all funded projects.

The Director will undertake a variety of research and writing assignments – including major reports, commentary papers, op-eds and Inside Policy articles – that contribute to the success of MLI’s widely recognized work on domestic policy. He or she will also be responsible for developing projects and writing proposals for donors, managing project budgets and assisting with planning events and communications efforts.

The Director will be required to represent MLI professionally at conferences or events, and in meetings with donors. Occasional domestic travel may be necessary.

The ideal candidate will be extremely comfortable working with tight deadlines and enjoys the cut and thrust of vigorous debate over national public policy in Canada. The Macdonald-|Laurier Institute is strictly non-partisan; working for MLI is incompatible with active membership in any political party.

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Working with senior management to develop the strategic objectives and plan for the institute;
  • Developing a compelling program of publications, commentary, events and media products;
  • Fundraising, proposal writing and donor reporting;
  • Research and writing to produce compelling think tank reports, op-eds for mainstream media, and other forms of publications;
  • Managing the production schedule of the program and ensuring project goals are met on time and on budget;
  • Recruiting and managing a growing network of senior fellows and other top experts to MLI’s platform;
  • Representing MLI in the media and raising the profile of MLI’s domestic policy work with media and stakeholders;
  • Organizing domestic policy events;
  • Overseeing the production of videos and podcasts;
  • Taking on other projects as required.

Desired technical skills, qualifications and experience:

  • Graduate degree in a discipline relevant to a major domestic public policy area, or equivalent experience;
  • Comfort with a wide range of federal domestic public policy areas;
  • At least seven years relevant experience in journalism, government, think tanks or academia;
  • Extensive knowledge of and ideally practical experience with how government works in Canada and how policy is made;
  • Thorough research skills and a strong, clear writing style, as demonstrated by publications or other forms of output;
  • Significant experience in grant proposal writing;
  • Significant experience in project management;
  • High level of ownership of tasks, accountability and initiative;
  • Ability to recognize and act on the organization’s priorities;
  • Results-orientated with the ability to manage multiple tasks and competing priorities in a small organization.

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute offers a pay and benefits package that is competitive with equivalent positions in Ottawa.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and CV to David Watson, Managing Editor and Communications Director, david.watson@macdonaldlaurier.ca.

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