Job Posting: Director of Research

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa invites applications for the position of Director of Research. MLI is a vibrant young think tank in Canada's capital city which has already had a major impact on public policy debate.

We are seeking a full-time Director of Research with a combination of skills in oral and written communication, high-level editing, problem-solving, and time and people management. The Director of Research/Managing Editor will manage the effort to make MLI the nation's indispensable source of thoughtful research and commentary on all issues falling under its mandate, most notably by: a) defining where the national interest lies in every area of public policy within Ottawa's jurisdiction; b) contributing to and managing the most timely, insightful and hard-hitting research programme of any think tank in Canada; and then c) ensuring that the research arising from that programme is carried out to the highest standards of clarity, probity, integrity and comprehensiveness.

This position, reporting to the Managing Director, is a member of a four person Executive Team.

Reporting to the Managing Director, the Director of Research/Managing Editor will:


  • Take a leadership role in defining and executing a programme of major and  minor research projects as agreed with the Managing Director and revised from time to time in consultation with him, including managing the research efforts of others carrying out projects for the Institute when requested by the Managing Director;
  • Identify  appropriate researchers/authors to carry out research and publication projects for the Institute;
  • Advise the Managing Director on matters pertaining to research and publications, including the identification of potential research topics and authors, and taking managerial responsibility for such projects as will be agreed with the Managing Director;
  • Manage  the  content editing of all Institute  regular or occasional publications, whether in paper or electronic form;
  • Assist on other projects, whether carried out by the Managing Director, other policy analysts within MLI, or outside researchers working on contract with MLI, when so directed by the Managing Director.


  • Assist in the elaboration of the Annual Plan (including the communications, fundraising and research programmes) submitted to the Board of Directors for their approval;
  • Assume a major share of the responsibility for raising funds to carry out the research programme;
  • Be a full member of the Executive Committee that administers the day to day affairs of the Institute;
  • Assist with the organization and execution of conferences and other events, including identifying appropriate speakers, as needed;
  • Represent the Institute in general and its work to as wide an audience as possible, using the media, speaking engagements, newspaper columns and op-ed pieces and other vehicles to the greatest extent possible, in consultation with the Managing Director or his designate;
  • Accept occasional unsociable hours;
  • Perform all other duties as shall be prescribed by the Managing Director or his designate from time to time.


  • Must enjoy the cut and thrust of a fast paced and competitive public policy debate;
  • Possess a good command of history and current affairs;
  • Post-graduate degree in a relevant discipline;
  • Five to ten years relevant work experience;
  • Proven track record in written and oral communication;
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills, including effective time management and success in managing the work of independent-minded collaborators in a fast-paced and entrepreneurial atmosphere;
  • Creative, with a passion for editorial excellence;
  • Excellent analytical, interpretive and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities.


  • Pay is negotiable but will be competitive with similar jobs in Ottawa.


  • Applications will be received until the position is filled.

Please send applications by email to: