Candidate Profile

The Public Policy Forum is seeking a broad-minded and intellectually ambitious individual with a passion for public policy and a track record in one or more of government, academia, think tanks or related organizations. The person we are seeking will oversee PPF’s policy research and engagement activities by building on PPF’s existing work and seeking opportunities to review or refresh public policy thinking in Canada within any and all orders of government.  The Vice-President of Policy plans, coordinates, and undertakes research and engagement activities of priority to our 200-plus members and to Canadians-at-large, as determined by the management team and policy group.

The Vice-President will manage a team of about a half-dozen Policy Leads and 15-20 PPF Fellows and is a key member of the management team. The successful candidate will report directly to the President & CEO and will work closely with the Senior Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, members of the Forum’s management team, and other staff in delivering on PPF’s mandate.

The Organization

The Public Policy Forum is a 31-year-old non-profit organization that works with all levels of government and the public service, the private sector, labour, post-secondary institutions, NGOs and Indigenous groups to improve policy outcomes for Canadians. As a non-partisan, member-based organization, we work from “inclusion to conclusion,” by convening discussions of emerging and established thinkers, doers and deciders on fundamental policy issues and by identifying fresh policy options and paths forward. The Public Policy Forum researches and convenes around topical public policy challenges and celebrates great policy contributions at our testimonial dinners. We are committed to making a meaningful contribution to policy development that leads to a better Canada.


Scope and Objectives 

The Public Policy Forum conducts research and engagement activities on a wide variety of public policy issues of relevance to Canadians with a primary focus on the following five areas of inquiry

  • The social and economic determinants of growth
  • Good governance and healthy democracy
  • Policy-making in an age of disruption
  • The changing nature of work
  • Indigenous growth and governance

A primary task of the Vice-President of Policy is to coordinate the policy and engagement activities of the Forum staff in order to identify gaps in the current federal or provincial policy environment that lead to opportunities for new projects and to enable the Forum to continue to build areas of depth. Working closely with the Director of Membership, the Vice-President of Policy also has a responsibility to integrate policy areas of interest and importance for our roughly 200 members, who reside on the frontiers of knowledge in their various areas of pursuit.  

The major activities of the Vice-President of Policy are :

Research and Policy Analysis                                                                                                            

  • In conjunction with the SVP and President, and in consultation with the policy team, plan PPF’s research and engagement activities, ensuring the quality and timeliness of our research projects;
  • Provide oversight and guidance to the team members working on reports, briefs, submissions, and letters and ensuring they are of consistently high quality;
  • Through readings and consultations with colleagues, members, and key contacts in government and elsewhere, ensure the ongoing monitoring of trends and issues in the areas of priority concern for the Public Policy Forum;
  • Identify and bring to the attention of the President and SVP, emerging issues requiring further exploration and attention; 
  • Collaborate with the directors of Membership and Communications, as required, to ensure the greatest impact of PPF’s research publications; and
  • Where necessary, work with other members of the management team in securing research partnerships of various types.

Outreach and Project Development

  • Collaborate with external partners in order to properly develop PPF’s projects and initiatives;
  • Build broad networks reaching into the various communities with a public policy interest;
  • Liaise with foundations, private and public sector organizations, and other external partners to attract funding to key PPF initiatives.
  • Represent PPF at external events and in media, as appropriate;
  • Look for opportunities for PPF to participate in conferences, presentations, and/or briefings on priority and timely issues, both at the national and provincial/territorial levels as well as internationally; and,
  • Prepare and deliver presentations and briefings to conferences, membership meetings, and external parties as requested.

Management and Team Building                                                                                                     

  • Assign project work to Policy Leads, ensuring that the staff’s capabilities and expertise are exploited effectively, work plans are carried out, and the results of the work are of consistently high quality;
  • Mentor and develop the policy team to ensure both the quality of PPF’s work and the professional advancement of team members;
  • Identify new approaches and resources for fulfilling our mission and share them with the team, as appropriate;
  • Administer the performance appraisal process of Policy Leads;
  • Ensure professional development of the staff, as appropriate;
  • Achieve budget targets;
  • Participate as an active member of the PPF team;
  • Be a great colleague with a long-term stake in building a better organization and a happy, inclusive workplace.

Skills and Education

  • A graduate degree or higher and a minimum of 6-10 years of relevant experience in a research or policy environment; 
  • Exceptional interpersonal and inclusive skills and ability to work in a dynamic team environment;
  • High degree of initiative, discretion and insight;
  • Ability to help support the conception, development and implementation of multi-stakeholder, non-partisan dialogue projects;
  • Proven experience in delivering complex projects and overcoming obstacles;
  • Ability to communicate with people at all levels on complex matters and to bring conflicting points of view to consensus;
  • Proven record working to agreed timelines and budgets;
  • Ability to quickly develop a working knowledge of new subject matter;
  • Strong knowledge of topical public policy issues and the public policy process in Canada;
  • Strong research and analytical skills;
  • Excellent writing and oral communications skills;
  • Demonstrated experience in project development and management;
  • Ability to speak and write fluently in both English and French is preferred; and
  • Comfort with the MS Office suite, including Excel, Word and Outlook, and collaborative software such as Basecamp.

To apply, please send a CV and cover letter to

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