Position Profile: Executive Director

Position: Executive Director

Reporting to: Board of Directors

Organization Status: Full-time

Salary: $55,000 + benefits (health, vision, dental, RRSP matching)

Posted: March 7th, 2018

Closing: March 28th, 2018

Applications must include: Cover letter, resume (submit as one document only)

Submit application to:


About the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA)

Post-secondary education is one of the most important social building blocks of our country. The social and economic welfare of Canada depends on an educated population. CASA believes that any academically qualified student with the desire to pursue post-secondary education should not face a barrier, financial or otherwise.

We are an alliance of 22 student associations from coast-to-coast. CASA represents over 255,000 post-secondary students at the national level. Our members believe that Canada’s post-secondary education system should be affordable, accessible, and of the highest quality. We believe that the federal government has an important role to play in higher learning and research. CASA is committed to working with decision makers at the federal and inter-provincial levels to promote the innovative policy solutions developed by our members.


Position Profile

Do you have a passion for post-secondary education and student issues? Do you have the managerial skills, political acumen and drive to lead a national organization? If so, then consider applying for the position of Executive Director, and join our small and dynamic team!

Based in downtown Ottawa and reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for overseeing research, government relations, stakeholder relations, organizational development, communications, and day-to-day office management of the organization.

The Executive Director is a spokesperson for the organization, overseeing and facilitating the advocacy efforts of the membership and full-time staff, through lobbying, public relations, and policy development, in accordance with member direction. The Executive Director is also responsible for administering CASA’s day-to-day affairs, acting as Chief Executive Officer, and assisting in promoting the organization on member campuses while ensuring effective communication between the home office and student governments across the country.  Furthermore, the Executive Director acts as CASA’s voice with other provincial and national education stakeholders, federal decision makers and elected officials. The Executive Director oversees all full-time and part-time employees, administers a budget more than $500,000 and is responsible for managing the planning of the organization’s four annual national conferences, held in Ottawa and at member schools.

The Executive Director must also be comfortable in playing an advisory role to the Board of Directors and provide guidance to decision makers and student leadership. The Executive Director must be a skilled relationship builder – able to oversee the management of external contracted service agreements, build networks with campus groups across the country, develop solid relationships with internal stakeholders, and forge prosperous partnerships.



The ideal candidate will possess:

  • An advanced degree from a college, university, technical institute, or equivalent combination of education and/or work experience
  • A strong background or relevant experience in political science, public administration, public relations, communications, and/or the post-secondary education realm
  • A firm understanding of post-secondary education issues and/or social policy, as well as the way in which student governments operate
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, the federal government and the Canadian Parliament
  • Strong presentation and interview skills and the ability to speak comfortably to large groups and the media
  • An understanding of not-for-profit management and governance
  • Experience with budgeting for small to mid-sized organizations


Abilities and Competencies

  • The ability to work in English (mandatory) and in French (a strong asset)
  • Strong leadership and management skills in a not-for-profit setting
  • Ability to work as part of a small team in a fluid, collaborative, and organic environment. CASA is an organization that employs young professionals who work in a close-knit setting
  • Ability to provide guidance to staff and CASA’s members when necessary, all while being able to learn from those around you
  • Ability to operate in stressful environments with tact and composure
  • A creative drive to develop new tactics and strategies for promoting students’ interest in Ottawa


Position Requirements

  • Being comfortable with regular travel within Canada and possess a valid driver’s license
  • Being able to commit to two years in the role, at minimum
  • Not have held a position that qualifies the individual as a Designated Public Office Holder within the federal government in the past 5 years subject to The Lobbying Act.


Formal Responsibilities

The Executive Director is a spokesperson for the organization, overseeing and facilitating the advocacy efforts of the membership and full-time staff, through lobbying, public relations, and policy development, in accordance with member direction. 

External Responsibilities:

  • Act as the official spokesperson and lobbyist of CASA.
  • Promote the policies of CASA with governments, media and the public, as well as students, faculty, staff and administrators of Canada's universities, colleges, and technical institutes.
  • Provide critical analysis of the post-secondary public policy environment.
  • Develop a continuous lobbying effort to influence government policies on post-secondary educational issues.
  • Oversee CASA's recruitment strategy for new members. This includes actively promoting CASA through campus visits, promotional materials, events and campaigns.


Internal Responsibilities

  • Act as the Chief Executive Officer of CASA
  • Maintain relationships with member organizations and provide support to CASA's volunteer leadership
  • Provide the Board of Directors with an active assessment of opportunities and challenges facing CASA.
  • Assist in the preparation of presentations, government briefings packages, public relations materials, and other CASA publications.
  • Oversee annual financial audits of the organization in conjunction with CASA's Administrative Assistant.
  • Oversee and develop scheduled reports to CASA's membership in conjunction with CASA's head office staff.


Managerial Activities

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Ottawa head office, and the effective and timely communication of all business activities.
  • Supervise full and part-time staff, develop a budget ($500,000+ annually), and manage long-term organizational and financial plans.
  • Oversee the hiring and evaluation of all full-time and part-time staff of CASA's head office.


Application Process

  • March: Applications will be screened to ensure that applicants meet the required qualifications based on education, experience, leadership competencies, and other conditions of employment. Applicants who are screened in will be invited to complete a written assignment.
  • End of March: Selected candidates will be contacted for a first telephone interview
  • April: Successful candidates will be contacted for a second, in-person interview, after which and the chosen applicant will be notified

The incoming Executive Director will ideally begin appointment and transition by late April, early May.

The hiring salary for the Executive Director position is $55,000. In addition to a competitive salary, we offer a generous benefits package including vision and dental, an employer matching RRSP program, tuition assistance, and flexible working hours.

Interested candidates are asked to submit their resume and cover letter in one document only, to All responses will be handled in the strictest confidence, however only those being considered for interviews will be acknowledged.