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 and our Fellows program. PPF is an applied policy shop that works across multiple sectors to put forward fresh policy approaches to nettlesome and emerging public policy challenges. Our research is generally accompanied by convening of interested parties coming from differing perspectives. The Vice-President of Policy is a member of the leadership team and is responsible for planning, coordinating our research and engagement activities, and ensuring their excellence. The Vice-President will manage a team of about 6-8 Policy Leads and Research Assistants, as well as 15- 20 PPF Fellows. The Vice-President is a key member of the management team and will represent PPF in policy discussions at conferences and in the media. The successful candidate will report directly to the President & CEO and will work closely with the Executive Vice President and other members of the PPF team in delivering on the organization’s strategic mandate.


  • The social and economic determinants of growth and competitiveness
  • Canada’s evolving energy and climate future
  • New policy demands from technological transformation, including on the future of work
  • Good governance and healthy democracy
  • Canada’s place in a changing geo-political order
  • Indigenous growth and governance

A primary task of the Vice-President of Policy is to identify gaps in policy-making by different orders of government in the face of changing times and to design research initiatives and lead the programming of public PPF events, such as our annual Canada Growth Summit and Ottawa Lecture. Working closely with the Director of Partnerships, the Vice-President of Policy also interacts with PPF’s diverse group of 200+ members, who reside on the frontiers of policy-making and policy impacts.

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

  • In conjunction with the President and EVP, 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 and programs and ensuring they are of consistently high quality;
  • Manage our roster of PPF Fellows in extracting policy insights from them and organizing their participation in PPF undertakings
  • Lead the recruitment of future PPF Fellows;
  • Through readings and contacts with key contacts in government and elsewhere, ensure the ongoing monitoring of trends and issues in PPF’s priority areas of concentration;
  • Serve as a public face of PPF in the media and in policy discussions;
  • Identify and bring to the attention of the PPF team emerging issues requiring further exploration and attention
  • Work with the PPF Learning Unit to design curriculum opportunities flowing from the policy team’s research agenda;
  • Collaborate with the other PPF departments to heighten the impact of PPF’s research publications; and
  • Where necessary, work with other members of the management team in securing research partnerships of various types.
  • 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;
  • Work with other members of the PPF team in liaising with foundations, private and public sector organizations, and other external partners in attracting funding for PPF initiatives;
  • Represent PPF at external events and in media;
  • Prepare and deliver presentations and briefings to policy conferences, membership meetings, and external parties.
    Management and Team Building
  • Assign project work to Policy Leads, ensuring the team’s workload is managed effectively, that assignments are carried out, and that outputs 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;
  • Work closely with the Director of Finance on budget and project management;
  • Administer performance appraisal of your direct reports and participate in providing feedback to management colleagues on your interactions with other PPF teams;
  • Work within budgets;
  • Be a great colleague with a long-term stake in building a better organization and a happy, inclusive workplace.
  • A graduate degree or higher and a minimum of 6-10 years of relevant experience in a research or policy environment;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to work in a dynamic and inclusive 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, editing 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 with collaborative software.

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