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Greenpeace Canada

Executive Director

Greenpeace Canada stands at the forefront of global environmental challenges, working to protect our climate, forests and oceans and transform energy systems by mobilizing against fossil fuels. As Executive Director, you will continue Greenpeace Canada’s transformation into a people-powered organization, building new models of engagement. You will ensure our organization’s continuing resilience and victory in the face of a landmark environmental SLAPP suit. This is an exciting opportunity for a courageous and dedicated individual to lead an organization celebrated for creative activism and non-violent civil disobedience.

About Greenpeace Canada

Greenpeace Canada exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action. Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver in 1971 when a small boat of volunteers and journalists sailed into Amchitka, an area north of Alaska where the US Government was conducting underground nuclear tests. This tradition of “bearing witness” in a non-violent manner continues as an important part of all campaign work. Today Greenpeace is a global network with 27 independent national and regional organizations that are present in 55 countries, as well as a co-ordinating body, Greenpeace International based in Amsterdam. 

With nearly 55,000 individual financial supporters, Greenpeace Canada accepts no corporate or government donations. The organization is headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Montreal and Vancouver and campaigners in Edmonton and Ottawa. Greenpeace Canada is at the centre of battles to end fossil fuels with endless scope for renewables. Canada is the home to one of the world’s largest carbon bombs (the tar sands) and 10 percent of the world’s forests. Forty percent of Canada’s landmass is in the Arctic. Canada is finally facing its past injustices and on a path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, many of whom are on the frontlines of key environmental battles. The upcoming years will see a relevant and resilient Greenpeace Canada take on new engagement opportunities, face considerable challenges, and celebrate our 50th anniversary in Vancouver in 2021.

Our mission: Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning network that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and force solutions for a green and peaceful future.

Our values: environmental protection, peace, non-violence, effectiveness, global vision, political and financial independence, and promotion of solutions.

About the Role

The Executive Director will provide leadership and management of Greenpeace Canada under the direction of the Board of Directors. Our new leader will ensure the organization’s continuing resilience and victory in the face of a landmark environmental SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). 

Purpose of the Role

  • Lead the transformation of Greenpeace Canada into a relevant, agile, supporter-centric, people-powered organization.
  • Ensure the long-term ability to make positive environmental change and win campaigns through financial sustainability, strong team-building and empowerment of staff.
  • Promote a high-performing culture based on Greenpeace Canada values (see above).
  • Continue the execution of Greenpeace Canada’s 2018-2020 strategic plan in close collaboration with senior management.
  • Effectively navigate the complex (and potentially increasingly challenging) political and legal landscape in Canada to secure key campaign wins. 
  • Strengthen the public profile of Greenpeace Canada.
  • Work in partnership with the global Greenpeace network on global environmental issues.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership in developing and managing the organization’s overall strategic direction, policy, resources, operations and communication.
  • Oversees the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of all aspects of Greenpeace Canada programs and internal support services, including campaigns, communications, organizational development and fundraising, marketing, financial and administration (human resources, labour relations, operation of all offices across Canada).
  • Works with the Directors of Program, Fundraising and Supporter Engagement, and Finance/Operations to develop dynamic results-driven campaigns, fundraising and marketing strategies and ensure regular budget review. Ensures appropriate risk management controls are in place.
  • Presents budgets for approval by the Board and oversees control of the Board approved budget. Directs, oversees and ensures implementation of Board directives and the reporting of work of all departments to the Board, including regular liaison with the Co-Chairs of the Board. Attends Board meetings and advises the Board regarding political context, recent developments and the work of Greenpeace Canada and the work being conducted across the global Greenpeace network.
  • Contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of the global Greenpeace network, including representing Greenpeace Canada at the Executive Directors’ meetings organized by Greenpeace International  and participating in  high-level strategic  task forces, committees and initiatives across the global Greenpeace network as appropriate.
  • Demonstrates leadership in promoting and maintaining the profile of Greenpeace Canada by representing the organization with media, government and other organizations, and working with the Program Director and Head of Media to develop effective media and communications strategies.
  • Line manages the Directors, Legal Counsel and Executive Assistant. Participates in the recruitment process for all senior staff and approves their appointment; undertakes regular staff evaluations and identifies training needs and opportunities.
  • Oversees the coordination of all Greenpeace Canada activities through regular consultation and communication with senior management. Ensures they take proper accountability and management for the staff they line manage and that they delegate appropriately and expect high standards of result-oriented work.
  • Chairs regular senior management meetings, provides team leadership, support and feedback to the Directors. Responsible for effective and proper communication between Directors and ensures that decisions taken by Directors and information from their departments are communicated to staff. Fosters a culture of respect within senior management and within the broader organization.
  • Provides leadership in the establishment of a management policy framework for Greenpeace Canada. Ensures the development and implementation of equitable and progressive human resources policies and procedures including staffing, compensation and labour relations. Builds and fosters an employee relations culture which emphasizes teamwork.
  • Provides leadership for the shaping of management positions in labour negotiations, and approves labour agreements. Provides direction for the handling of complex employee relations issues and approves staff disciplinary actions.
  • Ensures effective internal communication across Greenpeace Canada. Manages internal communication processes including periodic written and/or verbal updates to all Greenpeace Canada staff about campaigns, changes to policies and structures, and Board decisions.
  • Ensures that the organization meets all its legal obligations. Oversees all legal matters and advises the Board on these. Instructs legal counsel. Makes strategic legal decisions in consultation with legal counsel on behalf of Greenpeace Canada. Liaises with the corporate legal counsel related to various legal matters.
  • Advances the work of Greenpeace Canada in terms of outreach and liaison with other organizations (e.g. government, and other NGOs) as required. Works with like-minded organizations in building a domestic and international progressive movement based in peace, sustainability and social justice.

Required Qualifications and Skills

  • Visionary and strategic thinking skills: to provide leadership for the strategic management of Greenpeace Canada programs and campaigns, establish the direction and objectives for Greenpeace Canada policies and programs, and to contribute to achieving the strategic objectives of the global Greenpeace network;
  • Leadership skills: to provide direction for the development of Greenpeace Canada strategic policy; to lead the planning for large campaign and fundraising initiatives; to provide advice to the Board of Directors; to develop and implement an effective and respectful employee relations culture; to motivate managers and staff;
  • Management skills (a minimum of five years of proven senior management experience preferred): to provide leadership to Greenpeace Canada’s senior managers in guiding the organization’s activities; to resolve broad and complex issues and problems often of a highly sensitive nature; to ensure the effective management and control of Greenpeace Canada’s financial resources;
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills: to identify and anticipate broad and strategic environmental and media issues which impact the mandate of Greenpeace Canada; to provide leadership to Greenpeace Canada staff in the development of strategies and responses related to these issues;
  • Communication and presentation skills: excellent written and oral communication skills, to present complex issues with clarity to a wide variety of audiences; to provide advisory and reporting services to the Board Co-Chairs and the Board of Directors; to promote Greenpeace Canada and to respond to issues with the media; to prepare staff communication documents (fluency in French is a definite asset);
  • Negotiation and listening skills: to provide leadership in the resolution of issues within Greenpeace Canada through discussion with senior management; to resolve labour relations issues; improve integration between departments; advocate on behalf of positions taken by the Board and senior management and reduce barriers between regional offices in Canada;
  • Commitment to change: demonstrate commitment to issues of environmental, organizational and social change at both the national and international levels.

Knowledge Requirements

  • Knowledge of the overall mandate, goals and intent of the  global Greenpeace network to provide leadership and direction for all activities of Greenpeace Canada.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues and the politics influencing public and private institutions to identify the tactics and counter-response campaigns used by various groups to undermine the credibility of Greenpeace Canada, and to provide leadership for the development of strategies for response.
  • Knowledge of effective fundraising strategies to appreciate the challenges of fundraising for an organization that relies on public donations.
  • Knowledge of financial management, budget preparation and control to oversee and manage the planning and development of the Greenpeace Canada, and to direct the long-term financial and strategic planning for the organization.
  • Knowledge of human resources management to establish and sustain a positive and progressive employee relations and to promote and foster teamwork across the organization.
  • Knowledge of communication and media relations strategies to effectively represent and promote Greenpeace Canada in public forum and to provide leadership in the development of successful media relation strategies.