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Director, President's Office and External Relations, Public Health Ontario

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline March 5, 2014

Job ID 15-0053

Organizational Overview    

Public Health Ontario (PHO/Agency) is a Crown corporation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, PHO links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.

PHO provides expert scientific and technical support relating to infection prevention and control; surveillance and epidemiology; health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental and occupational health; health emergency preparedness; and public health laboratory services to support health providers, the public health system and partner ministries in making informed decisions and taking informed action to improve the health and security of Ontarians.

For more information about PHO, visit

Position Details    

The Director, Presidents Office and External Relations reports to the President and Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the PHO’s stakeholder relations strategy and the promotion and protection of PHO’s relationships and reputation.

The Director supports government and media relations, in close alignment with PHO’s Executive Team, serving as the primary point of coordination with the Office of the President and CEO on accountability, programmatic and strategy matters.

Qualified internal applicant(s) will be considered first.

Key Responsibilities

  • Working with the President and Chief Executive Officer, provides leadership and direction to promote and enhance PHO’s relationships and reputation.
  • Acts as a strategic leader and thinker across the organization to drive a sound, innovative public relations strategy to ensure opportunities are developed and sound relationships are cultivated and maintained between PHO and its stakeholders (e.g. ministries, public health clients such as Medical Officers of Health and Boards of Health, and senior levels of partner institutions including universities, hospitals, professional associations and research institutes) which will influence decision-making and engage key government and stakeholder representatives.
  • Directs the identification, building and fostering of priority partnerships at the corporate level, ensuring stakeholder needs and concerns are tracked and prioritized, and striving to align PHO strategy and activities align with stakeholder and organizational priorities.
  • Directs the research, tracking and analysis of external environmental trends and changes in stakeholder cultures to understand and prioritize stakeholder and partner needs; anticipates emerging issues and provides advice and reporting to senior executives and Board of Directors on their implications to PHO.
  • Directs and oversees the media relations functions, providing oversight, identifying trends and issues for executive attention, and supporting all aspects of PHO’s media presence.
  • Acts as an authority in stakeholder relations and provides expertise to the organization, developing strategies and ensuring that PHO’s relationships are managed in a strategic and coherent manner and supporting the departments in connecting with stakeholder and ensuring optimum stakeholder relations.
  • Manages direct reports, assigning and directing work, ensuring ongoing work quality assessment, conducting performance and compensation reviews, rewarding and counselling employees, ensuring the availability of skill development, coaching, mentoring and training opportunities, addressing concerns and resolving problems.
  • Directs the development, implementation and management of an anticipatory issues management process which monitors, analyses, anticipates and responds to external stakeholder issues and develops mitigation strategies, responses and corporate positioning.
  • Oversees and manages the President and CEO’s communications to stakeholders and staff (e.g. speeches, presentations to stakeholders, PHO positioning), ensuring alignment with internal and external communications strategies and plans.
  • Directs and produces PHO’s Annual Report in close collaboration with the Planning and Performance department, and ensures President & CEO Office input to other accountability products.
  • Maintains strong knowledge base of current PHO programs, policies, resources and services, developing strong relationships with senior leadership to effectively liaise, anticipate issues and opportunities, and identify trends.
  • Directs the planning and coordination of senior level committees, planning tables and meetings (e.g. Joint Liaison Committee and subcommittees); ensures support is provided in agenda development, negotiation of commitments to action and follow up research and decision points.
  • Coordinates and manages follow-up to Executive Committee and Senior Leadership Committee that relate to the President and CEO, in collaboration with the Office Manager, while also ensuring that strategic and operational priorities are managed in a timely and effective manner.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Knowledge of, and skills in, stakeholder relations with considerable breadth of knowledge of the complex political and public sector environment in Ontario and understanding of the Canadian public health and health care systems to act as an authority in the subject area.
  • Proven ability and a track record for successfully leading projects involving multiple partners, including formal partnership development between government, public health, healthcare, not-for-profit and academic sectors.
  • Understanding and awareness of government directions and context, and able to manage sensitivities and relationships in a productive and mutually-beneficial manner.
  • Demonstrated senior level experience in managing, coordinating and planning in a highly specialized and complex environment; able to succeed and navigate with ambiguities and uncertainty.
  • Facilitation capacity and motivation to achieve results in collaboration with other professionals, particularly in an environment where influence is as important as positional authority.
  • Demonstrated management skills and ability to direct, coach and mentor professionals within the team and within cross-functional teams.
  • Strategic capacity to think, work and communicate across a system both vertically and horizontally and build exceptional relationships.
  • Skilled in managing cross-departmental planning and budgeting.

Education and Experience

  • Masters’ degree in a relevant field such as business administration, health sciences, public health, public relations, public affairs, public policy or political science;
  • Minimum of 10 years' experience as an executive in the private or public sectors, academic, health care or science-related environment; with expertise in stakeholder relations, policy and strategy development, implementation and evaluation; media relations and issues management for diverse stakeholders.

Job Status: Full Time Regular
Posting date: 2/19/2015
Closing date: 3/5/2015
Street Address: 480 University Avenue
City: Toronto
Province: Ontario [ON]

If you are interested in applying for this position, please visit and click on the job title.  

Your cover letter and resume must clearly indicate how you meet the qualifications/competencies.

Thank you for your interest in this position, however, only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.