Career Opportunity: Senior Program Specialist

Join our team! We’re currently looking to hire a Senior Program Specialist.


Reporting to the Executive Director, the role of the Senior Program Specialist is focused on managing programs and projects directly related to creating and transforming knowledge of diversity and well-being of families in Canada. You will be adept at building new and ongoing relationships with our research partners, key stakeholders, academia and government officials at all levels. In line with the vision and priorities of the organization, you will work with the Executive Director to raise the organization’s profile in the community through partnerships, program participation and knowledge transformation. Experienced in project and program management tools and techniques, you will be responsible for the life-cycle management of projects.

Who We Are

The Vanier Institute of the Family is a national, independent, charitable organization dedicated to understanding the diversity and well-being of families in Canada. A national resource for anyone interested in or involved with families in Canada, the Institute provides information and evidence-based insights to facilitate the work of those who study, serve and support families. Through research, publications, partnerships and collaborations, presentations and social media, we elevate the national understanding of families in Canada. Our culture is one of respect and inclusivity. For more information about the Institute, visit here.

The Vanier Institute of the Family was founded in 1965 by Governor General Georges P. Vanier and Madame Pauline Vanier. They envisioned an enduring organization dedicated to understanding and sharing the understanding of families in Canada. This vision, along with the commitment of the founding thinkers, staff team and volunteers from across the country provided a solid foundation from which the Vanier Institute has since grown. In the almost 60 years that have followed, Canada’s family landscape has changed significantly, but the importance of families has not. The Vanier Institute remains as committed as ever to carrying on this legacy as it continues to expand the national understanding of families in Canada.

What You Will Do

As the Senior Program Specialist, you will be responsible for nurturing new and ongoing relationships with organizations and stakeholder representatives from government, academia, family service providers and the not-for-profit sector. You will represent the Institute in meetings about projects and programs with subject matter experts, specialist consultants, stakeholders and advisors. This means you will manage collaborative partnerships – including program and project coordination, and knowledge transfer and exchange – to ensure value that meets the Institute’s contractual obligations and commitments.

This requires a lot of collaboration in many aspects. You will organize, contribute to and manage program initiatives and projects with internal and external stakeholders. This includes the use of project management tools and techniques to support reporting and to ensure appropriate risk management is considered. You will collaborate with the Communications team to identify issues pertaining to families that are of interest to policymakers, the media and Canadian society. This means you will need to draft speaking notes, briefing notes, correspondence and other communication products related to the Vanier Institute’s programs.

What You Need

You will need a master’s degree in Family Science or a related discipline. You will have a minimum of 5 years of experience, preferably in a not-for-profit or charitable organization, working at a professional level with researchers, government or service organizations with a family-related mandate.

Based on the requirements of the role, you will need to have strong communication skills (written and oral) and be fully bilingual in both official languages.

During your career, you will have demonstrated experience using online project and program management tools and techniques. You will be proficient in MS Teams, MS Office 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams and Outlook).

What You Bring

You will have a track record of establishing strong and trusted relationships, as you will be working collaboratively and effectively with internal staff and with stakeholders at all levels within external organizations. This may include Board, Alumni and others, such as researchers, government representatives, community organization members and members of the public.

You will also have:

  • Demonstrated ability to produce content for a variety of stakeholder audiences
  • Passion for continuous learning – developing both skills and knowledge
  • Constant commitment to values that define a team player, such as honesty, transparency, forthrightness, sensitivity to others and the highest standards of integrity in all areas within the organization

What We Have to Offer

Your annual salary will be determined based on your proven experience and skills/competencies to fulfill the role. We offer a great total compensation package that includes health and dental benefits, participation in the Canada Life Group RSP program, and a generous vacation and holiday policy. We offer a fast-paced, yet fun, collegial and supportive work environment. Our office is centrally located and close to the OC Transpo Baseline Station, with convenient shops nearby.

Remote Work

You will need to be located in Ottawa, to support employee and team engagement. In addition, you will need to be flexible to travel on occasion, as needed, so you must hold a valid and non-expired passport.

To Apply

If this opportunity intrigues you and relates to your experience, then we want to hear from you. Please take the time to tell us about yourself in a cover letter – we want to hear your story – your background, your accomplishments, and why this role is a good fit for you and your career at this time.

We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all qualified individuals, including, but not limited to, women; persons with disabilities; racialized persons; First Nations, Inuit and Métis; and persons of any gender identity and sexual orientation. The Vanier Institute of the Family is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free recruitment process and work environment.

You must be legally allowed to work in Canada in order to be eligible for this position. Please note that all applications will be acknowledged. Those selected for an interview will be contacted directly. The posting will remain active on our website until we successfully fill the position.

We anticipate the first round of interviews to be scheduled later in the month of January 2022, so please send your application in before January 23, 2022.

Please contact us in confidence and provide notice in advance if you require accommodation at any stage of the recruitment process. All requests for accommodation will be considered in a fair and objective manner that will ensure applicants are treated with respect and dignity.

Submit your cover letter, including salary expectations, and résumé through our online portal. For any questions in advance of applying, or to request accommodation, please contact us.

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