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Amnesty International Canada, English Section

Executive Director

About Amnesty International Canada, English Section (AICES)

Founded in 1973, AICES is the English-speaking branch of the Canadian section of Amnesty International, a global movement of over 10 million people in over 150 countries working to protect and promote human rights. AICES leads campaigns on a range of domestic and international human rights issues, with a particular focus on our new 2022-2030 strategic vision to include anti-racism and policing immigration detention and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

AICES is a member-led organization with approximately 300,000 supporters across English-speaking Canada. The organization employs 52 staff, within a unionized environment, across three offices in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver and has an annual operating budget of approximately CAD 17 M. 

About the Role

The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of the administrative and operational functions of AICES. According to the strategic vision of the SG and Board, the Executive Director will implement an organizational change strategy and team restructure; track and ensure systems effectiveness, and oversee the implementation of an equity and anti-racism road map. 

The Executive Director is an experienced non-profit leader, adept at managing diverse teams and skilled in change management. These will be particularly important traits as AICES is currently undergoing a profound transformation related to systemic racism and workplace culture. Read more about AICES equity journey. 

The Executive Director’s understanding and sensitivity to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism (IDEA) will be key in navigating the organization through a period of revitalization and transformation. 

Purpose of the Role

The Executive Director reports to the Secretary-General to ensure that relevant factors in the processes, policies and activities across the organization are being addressed effectively, so as to ensure maximum impact for positive human rights change. Together, they carry the overall responsibility of the organization; however, the SG reports directly to the Board of Directors.

The Secretary-General primarily manages external relationships, provides strategic vision and guidance for the section’s human rights delivery and content and engages on Amnesty’s human rights priorities with a wide variety of audiences. While the SG represents AICES externally with media, donors, and international partners, the SG is equally accountable for the internal organization.

The Executive Director is primarily internal-facing and carries accountability for AICES’ operations and supporting the delivery of the substantive content of the human rights work. The SG and the ED will closely collaborate in the areas of human resources, planning, fundraising, finance, and communications with the membership. 

Direct reports of the Executive Director 

  • Equity, People and Culture Director
  • Fundraising Director
  • Finance and Administration Director 
  • Communications and Engagement Director
  • ITS Manager 
  • Executive Assistant
  • Director of Programs*
  • Executive Office Manager*

*These staff will report to the ED on the delivery of the operational plan, particularly as it relates to membership, communications, and activism.  They will report to the SG on human rights advocacy and research.

Duties and Responsibilities

Change management:

  • Implement organizational change strategy and align internal structure and systems with strategic vision. 
  • Oversee the full and effective implementation of the organization’s equity and anti-racism roadmap.
  • Assess and update operational systems to optimize organizational effectiveness. 

Operational execution and implementation of the strategy:

  • Create an enabling environment, identify operational gaps, and lead other members of the Senior Management team to optimize and streamline operations across the organization.
  • Coordinate activities across teams and ensure they are aligned with the strategic direction. 
  • Work with the SG and Senior Management team to monitor and execute the annual operational plan.

Monitoring of performance:

  • Track organizational performance against long-term strategy, key indicators and annual objectives.
  • Take measures as necessary to improve performance and hold the team collectively accountable for deliverables.
  • Produce reports to the Board of Directors on performance, in collaboration with the SG and Senior Management team.

Organizational culture, structure, and development:

  • Build organizational agility to respond to needs and opportunities.
  • Assess and build the organizational capacity to implement new initiatives and measure ambitions against the risk of burnout and overload, striking a balance that allows staff to find pleasure and sustainability in their work.
  • Set up principles and systems, and define strategies to ensure coherent internal management of the organization, including clear decision-making, efficient workflow, and clarity of goals.


  • Work closely with the Director of Finance and Administration to manage and adapt organizationally spending; monitor cash flow and budget compliance; anticipate and mitigate financial risk, and ensure sound financial management.
  • Determine spending priorities and allocations in consultation with Senior Management.


  • Enforce organizational policies, working with Senior Management to ensure the organization abides by rules and regulations, standard operating procedures, Amnesty International core standards, and general ethics; and with Human Resources to apply policies that promote organizational culture and vision.
  • Review contracts signed in the organization’s name.
  • Oversee decisions on staff hiring, dismissal, salaries, and non-budgeted expenditure.

Skills and Experience

  • Ability to develop and incorporate anti-racism, anti-oppression, gender, accessibility, and cultural diversity into the organization’s policies and operations.
  • Strong experience in change management and organizational design.
  • Proven experience in effectively managing mid-size NGOs in NGO leadership and in working with boards.
  • Proven management experience including planning, evaluation, and team leadership; an ability to coordinate and work with staff to achieve work-related objectives is essential.
  • Strong commitment to the advancement of human rights and the vision of Amnesty International.

Knowledge of and experience working for international human rights is preferred.