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Director, School of Public Policy

Job ID: 25677

Updated: May 3, 2022

Location: Downtown Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Description

Director, School of Public Policy
University of Calgary 
2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Dr. Edward McCauley, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary has struck an advisory committee Chaired by Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Teri Balser, inviting applications from outstanding scholars and leaders for the position of Director, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. 

Located in Canada’s most enterprising city, the traditional territory of the peoples of Treaty 7 and Region 3 of the Métis Nation of Alberta, the University of Calgary (UCalgary) is a global and innovative intellectual hub for teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and community engagement. The University of Calgary ranks fifth among Canada’s top research universities in Re$earch Infosource Inc.’s latest Top 50 Research Universities list released on Jan. 25, 2022.  UCalgary is the youngest university to have reached the top five. 

UCalgary has more than 6,500 graduate students and 28,500 undergraduate students, more than 1,800 academic staff (continuing, contingent term or limited term appointment), more than 1,300 sessionals, and more than 3,200 non-academic staff, in 14 Faculties, across five campuses. The vibrant and research-intensive environment at UCalgary is home to 146 research chairs (75 Canada Research Chairs), and more than 50 research institutes and centres. UCalgary has the fastest growth rate in attracting research funding among the 10 largest universities in Canada.

A new Framework for Growth establishes principles and focus areas for the University of Calgary over the coming decade. It will ignite our entrepreneurial spirit to turn challenges into opportunities to improve the world around us. It will help to meet our academic and research ambitions and strengthen our community engagement in one of Canada’s most diverse cities, whose exciting future is unfolding rapidly. Built around three big ideas (transdisciplinary scholarship, integration with our community and future-focused program delivery), the Framework will distinguish the university and drive growth.

To learn more about this vision please see: 

The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary is Canada's leading policy school.  It is home to highly motivated applied policy researchers and educators, as well as experienced government, non-profit, and private sector practitioners.  With 13 research faculty, 7 managers and directors, 63 staff including support staff, project coordinators, research associates, research assistants and postdoctoral staff and 75 fellows, the School provides focused and pragmatic perspectives on public policy issues and practices across the following areas: International Policy and Trade; Social Policy and Health; Energy and Environmental Policy; and Fiscal and Economic Policy.  The School is also home to two major Applied Policy Outreach Centres: the Centre for Regulatory and Governance Policy; and the Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food Innovation.  The portfolio of applied policy research and community outreach undertaken through the research divisions and Centres is global in focus, and has achieved significant impact in policy debates provincially, nationally, and internationally.

Amongst other metrics, the School's research, outreach, and educational activities culminated, in recent years, in $4.4 million average per year  in research funding, 120 research projects, more than 60 hosted events every year, and 95% of graduating Masters of Public Policy students placed in policy-related roles or undertaking further education.  Publishing, in house, more than 72 reports a year, the School is the most cited source of trusted policy options in Canada.  

The new Director, School of Public Policy will be an accomplished applied policy researcher and a pragmatic leader who is motivated to lead change at Canada’s top Public Policy School.  As a forward-thinking strategic visionary, the Director will be responsible for the overall administration and operations of the School, providing leadership for academic activities, scholarship, community engagement, and fund development activities. The Director will enhance the School's position in campus, city, provincial, national, and international settings by working collaboratively with an engaged internal executive team and across campus with other leaders to develop and implement the School's next strategic vision. That vision will define standards of excellence and identify considerations and directions for new growth as the School moves towards its second decade. As a trustworthy and visible leader, the Director will guide and promote a vision to the broader community to attract resources and secure funding for sustainability and growth.

The Director will engage and lead a unified team with a culture that promotes collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and extraordinary academic and research activities that are relevant and produce visible impact. As an engaged and purposeful leader, the Director will inspire and cultivate relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, experienced policy practitioners in business, government, the non-profit sector, and cultural communities, to sustain and enhance the reputation of the School of Public Policy.  As an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, the Director will focus on building new, and deepening existing relationships with policy stakeholders (Indigenous peoples and other internal and external communities).  

The ideal candidate is a recognized scholar in public policy with demonstrated organizational leadership and administrative management skills, and experience in a senior role as an academic leader including Dean, Associate Dean, Chair of a department, or Director of an Institute, Centre, or equivalent academic framework or institution. This leader has a proven capacity to advocate, build trust, influence, and collaborate. They will demonstrate proven success in policy engagement or development, academic productivity, and building community partnerships. A track record in external funding successes and the ability to build strong relationships with the local, national and international communities, all levels of government, and alumni is essential. 

The successful candidate will hold a PhD or professional graduate degree, or comparable terminal degree in a discipline relevant to public policy, and qualifications commensurate with an appointment with tenure at the rank of full professor. The successful candidate also provides leadership in creating space for people who hold diverse perspectives, such as knowing, understanding, and engaging with members of equity groups, including but not limited to, Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people of differing abilities, members of the LGBTQ2S+ communities, and groups who may express non-dominant ideas, practices, and expectations. 

The appointment as Director, School of Public Policy is for a five-year period with the possibility of renewal.  The successful candidate will be offered an academic position “With Tenure” at the rank of Professor.

With an authentic commitment to, and an impactful understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion principles and Indigenous engagement, this leader exhibits the ability to lead change and inspire and engage faculty, students, staff, administrators, alumni, and community partners. The candidate will actively lead local implementation of the major university strategies: Indigenous (ii' taapoh'to'p), Sustainability, Global Engagement, Mental Health, as well as an emerging EDI strategy, along with actively addressing barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion through measurable actions.

Recently ranked the 5th most liveable city in the world (2019) by The Economist, and possessing one of the youngest populations of major cities in Canada, Calgary is home to world-class attractions, sporting amenities and public infrastructure that supports a healthy lifestyle, making it a great place to raise a family ( Situated where the Canadian plains reach the sunny foothills of Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a major urban centre surrounded by an area of profound beauty with awe-inspiring mountains, lakes, rivers and gorgeous prairie. 

Consistently rated by the United Nations as the world’s best country to live in, Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area and is one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations. Canada ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education.

The University of Calgary’s comprehensive benefits and pension program is designed to promote a productive level of health and well-being to staff members. The salary range for this position is $175,000 to $250,000 and will be negotiated based on the candidate’s skills and experience.  Additionally, the successful candidate will be offered an administrative honorarium between $25,000 to $50,000.

To learn about our comprehensive benefits package for this Calgary-based, English-speaking position, please visit

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

To explore this opportunity further, please send your CV and Letter of Interest in confidence to [email protected]



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