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Director, Government & Community Relations

Director, Government & Community Relations

Date: Nov 17, 2020

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Advancement and External Relations

Job Type: Continuing

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year)

Campus: Waterloo

Reports to: AVP: External Relations

Employee Group: Management

Application Deadline: December 6th, 2020

Requisition ID: 914

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact.  With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.

Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.

Position Summary:

The Director, Government and Community Relations is responsible for building strong, positive and strategic relationships with elected and non elected officials at all levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) and within the communities where Wilfrid Laurier University has strategic interests.  The Director will advise Laurier on legislative matters that may affect the university by monitoring legislation and public policy development and advises Laurier administrators of potential intersection with the interests of the university.  In addition, the incumbent is alert to opportunities to mobilize federal or provincial funds and policies to support Laurier activities and will communicate such opportunities, recommend engagement strategies and plans, and mobilize those plans for the benefit of the university. The Director, Government and Community Relations builds relations with other organizations and entities whose interests are similar or whose functions affect Laurier.  Given the importance of coordinating government and community relations’ across the University, the individual will be responsible for reporting on issues of importance, as appropriate, to the wider University on a regular basis.  The Director will also foster constructive partnerships with First Nations governments as appropriate.

This position has a university-wide mandate and is based at the Waterloo campus.  The incumbent provides leadership in a multi-campus environment, requiring regular interaction, communication and collaboration with staff and stakeholders at the Waterloo and Brantford offices as well as stakeholders and influencers in the Milton community. The Director will ensure the unit’s policies, programs and services are delivered equitably across all campuses and reflect the needs of local stakeholders.


  • Develop an annual strategic government and community relations plan for the university with measurable tactics that builds and manages strong relationships with elected and non elected officials at all levels of government and with key strategic community accounts
  • Maintains current and comprehensive knowledge of local, provincial and federal political, social and economic trends and issues relevant to the University and acts as an advisor to the AVP External Relations, the VP Advancement and External Relations and the President in this regard
  • Identifies and creates networking and partnership opportunities and initiates network meetings or event participation for the President and other senior leaders
  • Undertakes regular networking opportunities and establishes strong, strategic and positive relations with senior officials at both the political and bureaucratic levels of the federal, provincial, and municipal governments whose policies and recommendations may relate to Laurier.
  • Lead on identifying and executing deliverables related to Laurier’s corporate citizenship in host communities
  • Participate and represent Laurier at key community and government tables as designated i.e. United Way, Town and Gown, ad hoc task forces to ensure Laurier maintains a strong presence and connections within the Laurier community
  • Maintains visibility in the community as an institutional leader along with the AVP External Relations, Chief of Staff to the President, SEO Brantford, Vice President Advancement and External Relations and President & Vice Chancellor
  • Ensures that Laurier proposals and interventions on legislative matters that may affect Laurier have credibility and a high capacity to influence positive government funding decisions and policy directions.
  • Liaise effectively with the key collaborating offices and individuals at the Waterloo and Brantford campuses to ensure clear and timely information flow, coordination of advocacy campaigns, planning, and information sharing.
  • Provides informed and insightful government relations recommendations to the President and the Executive Leadership Team on issues related to municipal, provincial and federal governments and on the intersection of public policy with wider university interests and needs.
  • Works collaboratively with members of External Relations to identify and act upon ongoing government relations matters that are of importance to the university’s reputation.
  • Represents Laurier to appropriate organizations or coalitions (including but not limited to the COU and Universities Canada) to establish and maintain contacts that aid and foster positive government relations activities for Laurier and follow best practices in government relations that support the post-secondary education sector collectively.
  • Research, monitor, analyze, and evaluate legislation and regulation issues that may have an impact on Laurier to determine needs for action and recommend action to be taken.
  • Drafts and consults on the development of written advocacy materials, papers and submissions, including briefing notes and key messages that accurately and effectively reflect Laurier’s interests, for government and public audiences in conjunction with External Relations
  • Seeks and identifies opportunities for government grants as appropriate for priority University initiatives and projects.
  • Alerts the university to operational or other changes that might arise or are necessitated by new legislative mandates; where appropriate, recommend alternative policies and procedures to government that will enable Laurier to accomplish its objectives.
  • As required, provide high-level assistance with fund-raising, public affairs, alumni, faculty-level and other initiatives in the GTA and Greater Golden Horseshoe area.
  • Provide direction to one direct report on the delivery and execution of high profile government and community relations events including Ministerial announcements and elected and non elected official visits to campus
  • Participates in the External Relations issues management on-call weekend roster as required.


  • Undergraduate or Graduate Degree (preferred) coupled with 10+ years experience in University or broader public sector government and community relations
  • Proven ability to direct and evaluate effective government and community relations strategies; and assess, influence and implement public policy issues
  • Proven ability to foster relationships with internal and external stakeholders and create effective partnerships with community organizations and local government
  • Experience providing strategic government and community relations advice and recommendations at the most senior levels
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills
  • Excellent organizational ability and the capacity to balance a multitude of projects and tasks, many with critical time constraints
  • Superior research capabilities and problem-solving skills
  • Strong understanding of social media from a government and community relations perspective


Position Grade: MG-3B

Salary: $130,000 – $140,000

Hours of Work: This is a full-time continuing position.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier’s Employee Success Factors.

Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility. We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources. Contact information can be found at

Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a CV and letter of introduction will be required in electronic form.

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