Assistant Director, Government Relations

Universities Canada is the voice of Canadian universities, at home and abroad. We are a membership organization providing university presidents with a unified voice for higher education, research and innovation. Universities Canada advances the mission of our member institutions to transform lives, strengthen communities and find solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our world.

We are currently recruiting an assistant director who will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the government relations group which ensures that the needs and interests of the membership are represented and positions Universities Canada as the voice for higher education at the federal level.

Working closely with the director and other assistant directors, you will develop and implement government relations strategies and ensure coordination of association-wide government relations and advocacy activities. You will be be proactive in developing and maintaining networks in governments, member institutions, and other stakeholders and advancing the interests of Canadian universities in national and international fora.

In order to advance Universities Canada’s advocacy agenda, the ideal candidate will be pro-active, responsive, nimble and collaborative, with proven success in gathering strategic information, as well as in developing and maintaining information sources in government.

If you are right for this opportunity, you will possess the education and experience listed below:

Education and experience

  • A graduate degree in a related discipline.
  • Five to seven years of relevant experience.
  • Prior experience working on Parliament Hill or within the federal government.
  • Experience working in a university, national association and/or membership organization is an asset.


  • Knowledge of current federal political and policy environment, including parliamentary procedures.
  • Knowledge of tactics for advocating to government.
  • Understanding of higher education, research and innovation issues and trends.


  • Tenacious and can easily translate ideas and strategies into concrete plans and action to achieve desired outcomes.
  • A capacity to work at the senior levels of the university sector, governments and other pertinent groups.
  • Superior ability to plan, analyze trends and forecast activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to gather strategic intelligence, and to develop and maintain information sources in government and universities.
  • Strong leadership and management skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, in both official languages.
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure while balancing competing priorities.

High degree of judgment, discretion and insight. The position is based in Ottawa. Universities Canada has adopted a hybrid work model where employees are expected to work in the office a minimum of two days per week.

The salary range for this position starts at $103,747 depending on experience. Candidates who do not meet all of the position requirements may be considered in an underfill capacity, in which case the candidate would be hired at a lower level than the position level.

Universities Canada is a National Capital Region Top Employer. We offer a comprehensive benefit package which includes four weeks of vacation (five weeks after two years of service), an attractive pension plan, group insurance, free gym membership and scholarships for children of our employees.

Interested candidates are asked to submit their curriculum vitae and a cover letter to the human resources service, Universities Canada, 1710-350 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1 by February 26, 2024. Email address: [email protected].

To learn more about us, visit us at or find us on social media.

Twitter: @univcan


Insta: univcanada


While all responses will be appreciated and handled in strictest confidence, only those being considered for interviews will be acknowledged.

Universities Canada promotes the principles of diversity and inclusion and adheres to the tenets of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code. We encourage applications from women, Indigenous peoples and persons of all races, ethnic origins, religions, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities and expressions. Universities Canada provides accommodation during all parts of the hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. If contacted to proceed to the selection process, please advise us if you require any accommodation.

Universities Canada respectfully acknowledges that our offices are situated on the traditional lands of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people.

Universities Canada