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Oxfam Canada

Executive Director

Oxfam Canada believes that ending global poverty begins with women’s rights. As the Executive Director, you will lead a dynamic team working in Canada as part of the global Oxfam Confederation, working in partnership with the Board. You are a strong feminist communicator motivated by a passion for human rights and gender justice, with extensive senior management experience within international development. You also bring fundraising, media relations and change management skills that inspire confidence and trust.

About Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Canada (OCA) is an affiliate of the international Oxfam Confederation networked in over 90 countries as part of a global movement for change.  Its mission is to build lasting solutions to poverty and injustice with a focus on improving the lives and promoting the rights of women and girls. Oxfam Canada works directly with communities, partners and women’s rights organizations to challenge the systems that perpetuate inequality and keep people poor. Oxfam Canada believes that ending global poverty begins with women’s rights and seeks to influence those with power to ensure that women trapped in poverty have a say in the critical decisions that affect them, their families and their communities.

About the Role

The Executive Director provides strategic leadership and direction, driving performance and promoting innovation and learning while ensuring financial health and compliance with Oxfam’s ethics and standards. The Executive Director provides inspiration and leadership to achieve the mission of Oxfam Canada and creates an environment which encourages a positive cohesive team culture, progressive management and continuous improvement.

In collaboration with the Board, Senior Management Team and staff, the Executive Director develops the strategic direction of the organization and ensures its responsive and responsible management. The Executive Director ensures OCA is accountable to people living in poverty, as well as to its members, donors, funders and the public. The Executive Director also represents OCA on the Executive Board of Oxfam International and to government, media and key stakeholders.

The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the Oxfam Canada Board and supervises the Senior Management Team and an Executive Assistant.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  1. Provides strategic leadership for the achievement of OCA’s mission, providing leadership and advice to the Board and Management Team in setting strategic direction and ensuring delivery of OCA’s strategic goals.   
  2. Develops and implements a strategic plan and annual operating plans and budgets within the parameters set by the Board and within the framework of the Oxfam International and Oxfam Canada Strategic Plans. 
  3. Supports and advises the Board in their governance responsibilities, assuring effective systems for defining and reporting on performance and regular and reliable reporting on risk management, compliance and accountability.
  4. Collaborates with Oxfam-Québec’s Executive Director to increase impact, influence, efficiency and effectiveness in support of the Oxfam International Strategic Plan.
  5. Contributes to the leadership and direction of Oxfam International, promoting its shared culture, joint influencing and One Program approach.
  6. Promotes a culture of high performance, learning and continuous improvement, ensuring accountability to stakeholders and to Oxfam International.


  1. Provides effective management to achieve high-quality outcomes that deliver OCA’s strategic plan and assure its financial health.
  2. Builds an effective and cohesive Management Team through mentoring, motivating and collaboration, providing guidance, support and coaching to help them fulfill their strategic objectives.
  3. Ensures execution of OCA’s operational plan within budget, in accordance with agreed financial and non-financial performance indicators. 
  4. Ensures operational alignment and cross-team collaboration and coherence.
  5. Ensures effective planning, resourcing, quality control and financial management. 
  6. Ensures effective processes are in place for monitoring, reporting, knowledge management and identification of strategic priorities.
  7. Ensures effective risk management, including reputational, brand and financial risks, and adherence to policies that safeguard the security, health and safety of staff.
  8. Ensures recruitment and retention of suitably qualified staff.
  9. Ensures OCA is an employer of choice, through effective development and performance management systems, policies and practices that provide opportunities for staff to learn and develop their skills, positive and transparent relations with the union, and development of a supportive and high performing culture.
  10. Ensures OCA complies with all legal, fiscal and other compliance requirements and all relevant codes of conduct.

External Communications and Representation

  1. Ensures OCA takes a strategic approach to relationship management, in support of the organization’s mission and strategic objectives.
  2. Represents OCA effectively to public audiences, through key events, the media, public meetings and written communications.
  3. Ensures effective working relationships with key stakeholders, including high-level donors, strategic allies, government officials, private sector leaders and opinion shapers.
  4. Ensures external communications are credible, accurate and in accordance with OCA’s brand position, strategy and values.
  5. Represents OCA internationally and within the Oxfam confederation.


Skills and Experience

  • Senior management experience leading the development and ensuring effective delivery of an organizational strategy.
  • A track record of success in leading an organization, or a significant function in a larger organization. This includes:
  • successfully leading, managing and motivating teams, with a high degree of self-awareness and understanding of how to support team performance and individual development;
  • experience managing complex change processes and relationships involving a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, across diverse disciplines, cultures and contexts;
  • senior-level financial management experience;
  • experience managing risk in an international context;
  • experience in evaluation and promoting high performance;
  • experience in working with and reporting to a volunteer Board or governance group.
  • Experience working in a unionized environment; including previous experience or knowledge related to the collective bargaining process.
  • Strong experience of advocacy and influencing with senior government officials, private sector leaders and public opinion shapers.
  • Experience in managing a marketing/fundraising operation, preferably in a not-for-profit setting and the ability to maximize institutional fundraising.
  • Experience and demonstrated innovation in programming, mobilizing and influencing.
  • Experience with media, including social media, in promoting social change.
  • Experience with international and/or humanitarian programming, including working with large institutional donors. Knowledge of contracting processes.
  • Sophisticated knowledge of the complex factors driving poverty, inequality, unequal gender relations, marginalization and vulnerability.
  • Demonstrated commitment to gender justice, feminist principles and the interests of marginalized people.
  • Understanding of, and an ability to operate effectively in the dynamic and challenging political environment in which Oxfam operates.
  • Understanding of the ethics and codes of practice relevant to international development and humanitarian action.
  • Experience representing an organization at a senior level – with civil society,  partners, government agencies, private sector and/or donors; an ability to act as a broker to facilitate or build effective relationships among these groups.
  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent commensurate experience
  • Excellent English, French fluency preferred; Spanish is an asset.


The Executive Director is expected to undertake six or more weeks of travel each year to support Oxfam staff and offices, to monitor operational activity and outcomes, participate in key meetings that contribute to Oxfam International’s work and attend meetings of the Oxfam Executive Board. This includes travel to areas that may be subject to civil conflict, natural disasters or social unrest.