Macdonald-Laurier InstituteThe Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) is the leading federal public policy think tank in Ottawa. It exists to help ensure Canada is the best governed country in the world. To do this we must not only produce public policy research and commentary of the highest quality and greatest relevance to Canadians, we need to ensure our work reaches the broadest possible audience of policy makers, opinion leaders, and the public. We also need to manage the growth of our projects and ensure commitments to a growing number of donors are met.

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

The ideal candidate 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 Program Lead will be reporting to the Managing Editor. He or she will be responsible for establishing the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’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 Program Lead 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 Program Lead may 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 Institute is strictly non-partisan; working for MLI is incompatible with active membership in any political party.

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Developing a compelling program of research;
  • Fundraising, proposal writing and donor reporting;
  • Recruiting and managing a growing network of senior fellows and top experts;
  • Research and writing to produce compelling think tank reports;
  • Managing the production schedule of the program and ensuring project goals are met on time and on budget;
  • Raising the profile of MLI’s domestic policy work with media and stakeholders;
  • Writing for media including MLI’s online platforms and social media and op-eds for mainstream media;
  • Representing MLI in the media and assisting with media relations and social media promotion for the project;
  • 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 public policy area or equivalent experience;
  • Comfort with a wide range of federal domestic public policy areas;
  • A minimum of five years (eight years preferred) of 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.
  • Experience on television, radio, and other media
  • Exceptional writing and communication ability in English; French language capability is an asset, though not required

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,

Application deadline: November 15, 2019

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