Director, External Engagement and Knowledge Management

How to Apply – Job ID 30474


Part of the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, CIRDl’s mandate is to act as an interdisciplinary centre for Canadian and world-class expertise that assists developing countries to improve and strengthen their natural resource governance through policy, legislation, regulatory development and implementation, training, technical assistance and applied research.

The Director, External Engagement and Knowledge Management will lead and manage the design, development and implementation of external engagement and knowledge management strategies for the Canadian International Resources Development Institute (CIRDI). The Director is required to conceptualize, implement and lead a full range of comprehensive external engagement strategies at both national and international levels designed to strengthen CIRDl’s mission and long term sustainability. This role will set the strategic direction for CIRDl’s internal and external knowledge management, learning and training programs. Additionally, the Director will provide strategic oversight of communications, issues management, and media relations.


This role reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and works dosely with the Senior Management Team, coalition members and the Board. The role will also require working with the Government of Canada (Global Affairs Canada) public affairs personnel and with the full range of CIRDl’s beneficiary, delivery and funding partners.



  • Conceptualize, design, develop and implement comprehensive External Engagement and outreach strategies focused on identifying, informing and engaging new national and international partners ranging from government, industry and NGO’s with the intent of leveraging CIRDl’s impact
  • Develop and implement mid/long range funding, sustainability and growth plans
  • Cultivate and foster strategic relationships with key individuals and stakeholders, strategic partners, funding agencies national and international governments
  • Cultivate and foster strategic relationships and interdisciplinary collaborative opportunities with UBC faculties, departments, and key individuals and stakeholders
  • Develop outreach strategies to engage faculty and students within UBC and partner universities induding faculty at other national and international universities
  • Design and develop opportunities and activities to engage and strengthen CIRDl’s existing beneficiary, delivery and funding partnerships
  • Design and develop engagement opportunities focused on strengthening the influence and impact of CIRDI
  • Promote the alignment of CIRDI strategic goals across a range of strategic partners.


  • Provide strategic direction on communication and media strategies in alignment with CIRDl’s overarching External Engagement strategy, and focussing on promotion of the Institute nationally and internationally
  • Provide strategic direction on external and public relations, emergency response, business continuity and risk management
  • Provide strategic direction on the public presence of CIRDI induding identifying communication activities or events to support the lnstitute’s mission
  • Set strategic direction for the Institutes public profile and developing the CIRDI “story”
  • Develop an integrated communications and engagement strategy, including use of social media that supports the Institute’s mission ensuring consistent and audience appropriate messaging to multiple audiences including coalition partners, the Board, staff members, current and prospective stakeholders, the public, and local and foreign governments
  • Provide oversight for the multi-lingual communication and marketing activities for the Institute
  • Provide leadership and direction in the design of new technologies to build and/or leverage existing databases and inventories to provide CIRDI with a dynamic, on-going way of capturing the work done by CIRDI staff and partners to share with the
    public and engage with prospective stakeholders
  • Lead the development of digital projects to maximize the use of this information, which will serve multiple purposes (telling a story, linking and networking, engaging participation)
  • Provide critical issues management including providing both proactive and reactive advice to the CEO and the Board on public relations/media relations opportunities and developing strategies to mitigate risk
  • Prepare briefs, speeches and presentation notes for executives and senior staff.


Provide strategic leadership in the overarching and comprehensive design, development and implementation of CIRDl’s Knowledge Management and Learning programs. Examples of existing CIRDI Knowledge Management and Leaming programs include:

  • CIRDI Training program
  • CIRDI Scholars and Fellows program that provides funding to students in our target countries
  • Development and strategic dissemination of CIRDI learning products, including reports, guidance documents, case studies, lessons learned, articulation of CIRDI approaches and models, etc.
  • Presenting and providing workshops and seminars at international conferences and as part of CIRDI projects.
  • Develop short-term tactical goals and comprehensive plans for expanding and strengthening CIRDl’s Knowledge Management and Learning Programs.
  • Develop and oversee effective integration of CIRDI External Engagement, Communications and Knowledge Management activities.
  • Lead the collaboration with CIRDl’s project teams to align and strengthen training approaches for in-country learning initiatives within each project with an aim to attaining excellence in this area of CIRDl’s work.
  • Create a full life-cycle (outreach – recruitment – alumni/partnership networks) participant (“student”) engagement plan.
  • Provides oversight and recommends direction for the Scholars and Fellows Program.
  • Lead the development and implementation of strategies to engage and maintain relationships with “alumni” of Institute programmatic activities nationally and internationally.
  • Identify and facilitate learning opportunities for CIRDI staff and partners including workshops, roundtables and informal lunch & learns.
  • Perform other duties as required.


The work and decisions of the Director, External Engagement and Knowledge Management will have a direct and critical impact on the reputation and effective operation of CIRDI. Poor decisions or judgment will result in damage to the Institute and the University reputation nationally and internationally and may affect the sustainability of the Institute. Incorrect decisions will affect CIRDl’s ability to effectively communicate with its audience, with a direct negative impact on the ability to meet the Institute’s mandate. Inaccuracies or poor quality could have significant impact on the public image and reputation of the Institute and coalition members.

The Institute will have significant reputational benefits to UBC and its coalition members. Mismanagement of this portfolio would have significant reputational consequences for faculty and schools associated with the Institute, for the Presidents of the coalition Universities, and for funders, including Global Affairs Canada and Canada more broadly.


The Director, External Engagement and Knowledge Management works within a broad mandate and objectives. Reports to the CEO, and works in close collaboration with the Executive Committee, Academic Directorate, CIRDI directors and staff across project sites. Required to exercise extensive judgment and initiative in duties and responsibilities. Works with considerable latitude within a broad policy framework. Work is reviewed in terms of achievement of high professional standards in delivery of the communications services.


Manages a team of 5-10 staff including managers and support staff.


Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Masters degree in a relevant discipline preferred. Minimum of ten years of related experience in a senior management position involving strategic business planning or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Minimum ten years of experience in a senior position involving strategic business planning with a strong focus on stakeholder relations or an equivalent combination of education and experience. People management experience. Proven leadership abilities. Experience in program development, delivery, and management. Experience in strategic planning, implementation, and marketing communications. Experience in budget development and control required. Experience working in a complex private or public sector organization, with international development and/or in the extractive industries resource sector experience an asset. Proven experience developing engagement, learning and communication strategies.

Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills, with a strong bias for creating win/win solutions. Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, must be both a skilled communicator and a persuader. Must be a strategic and creative thinker and problem-solver, with an orientation towards customer service. High level of comfort with consultative processes but persuasive and able to move to consensus quickly, agile in a team environment and in working with a wide range of people. Excellent organizational skills, the ability to effectively manage time and to work well under pressure. Excellent attention to detail. Ability to manage multiple priorities, complex tasks, and to meet deadlines.

Ability to think and act independently and see the broad implications of events, able to see long-range opportunities and potential problems. Able to identify and handle aitical issues and remain calm under pressure.

Ability to work effectively with contacts and stakeholders in diverse and cross-cultural environments, with sensitivity and a high degree of courtesy and professionalism. Demonstrated ability to develop an innovative team environment that fosters enthusiastic collaboration. Able to work in an environment that is decentralized, complex and with diverse range of stakeholders. Ability to write and speak in English, as well as French and/or Spanish preferred.

How to Apply – Job ID 30474

Subscribe to our newsletter
stay connected
Copyright © - CIRDI