We’re Hiring: Interim Executive Director

PLEASE NOTE: This competition has closed.


Civic Engagement NGO looking for an Interim Executive Director for a 12 month full-time parental leave contract based in Ottawa. Exciting career opportunity for a motivated, entrepreneurial NGO professional interested in civic participation, inclusive communities, and making Ottawa an even better place to live.

Position: Interim Executive Director

Location: Ottawa

Duration: 12 month full-time employment position ending November 18, 2019.  

Remuneration:  The salary is in line with the range paid to Executive Directors of small nonprofits in the Ottawa region.

Organization Overview:

Synapcity brings people and institutions together to learn, connect and act for a better city. We bring people together to share ideas, understand new perspectives and collaborate on initiatives to improve our city, without political agenda or bias.

Synapcity builds up from the grassroots, down from institutions, and across diverse communities to connect people who wish to make Ottawa happier, healthier, smarter, and safer.

We deliver municipal education, teach mindset training, and host dialogues that promote divergent and opposing points of view as necessary for good.

There is no other organization in Canada that works with both institutions and all people as equal beneficiaries. By bringing both together, we support a renewed social trust in our institutions that is essential for a healthy democracy.

Position Overview:

This position as Synapcity’s Interim Executive Director offers an unusual opportunity for an entrepreneurial, highly skilled and personable professional with a passion for civic engagement and democratic participation for the City of Ottawa. We’re looking for a focused, results-oriented individual for this position.

Applicants must demonstrate systems thinking, strategic and tactical insight, and enthusiasm while inspiring others to achieve outstanding results. We are looking for a strong, senior-level professional who excels at securing support and commitment for decisions and actions, both internally and externally. The successful applicant will have extensive experience interacting with and listening to people of diverse backgrounds, government officials, policy makers, funders, and donors. This person promotes shared leadership and teamwork.

Reporting Structure

The Interim Executive Director works with and reports to the Board of Directors and ensures that the corporation is kept in good standing.  The Interim ED is a member of the Executive Committee, meets regularly with the Board Chair and will be evaluated  by the Board on a semi-annual basis. He/she ensures that the Board is kept informed of the organization’s performance on strategic objectives and financial status on a regular basis and support investments in Board Development. The rest of the employees report to the Interim Executive Director.  The team is as follows:

The Team

Synapcity has a strong purpose driven culture with an emphasis on learning and caring. The success of the organization is a product of each team member’s commitment to the work and to one another. All members of the team have a specific function, but are called together often to support and share the strategic direction and implementation of the organization’s work. In addition to the Interim Executive Director, the team is as follows:

Program Manager: Our Program Manager is responsible for the design and delivery of all Synapcity programs. This includes the strategic direction for all Synapcity offerings, monitoring and evaluation, and the hiring and management of program staff. The Program Manager can lead client development and service delivery as required.

Communications Manager: The Communications Manager is responsible for all marketing and communications from Synapcity channels, including the outreach and recruitment for all programs and services. She is responsible for the production, promotion and dissemination of various media: video, written reports, and social media.

Community Manager: The Community Manager is responsible for strategy and maintenance of Synapcity’s internal community functions, such as finance, HR support, administration, board governance, and our database, as well as our external community relationships comprising of all alumni, past guests and clients of Synapcity. The Community Manager can be pulled in to support programs and services.

General Responsibilities

Leadership & Management

The Interim Executive Director provides leadership and direction to all aspects of Synapcity’s work, as outlined in Synapcity’s annual Strategic Objectives. The Interim ED  will be expected to ensure that each project is within the scope of the mandate, provides the appropriate return on investment, and drives our strategic objectives.

  • Understand and manage the risks associated with the unique challenge of a not-for-profit environment that is subject to rapid change and financial uncertainty;
  • Contribute to and carry out the organization’s Strategic Objectives Retreat with Staff and Board as planned every November;
  • Prepare an annual budget and monitor performance relative to budget;
  • Lead, coach and inspire the Synapcity team culture with the support of the Community Manager, providing direction and feedback to help support career growth;
  • Support the design and evaluation of programs and services that align with the organization’s strategic directions; and
  • Ensure staff have up-to-date job descriptions and work plans and conduct annual staff performance reviews.

Business and Fund Development

  • Identify and pursue pathways for future revenue generation and fund development activities to achieve growth and financial sustainability for Synapcity including fee-for-service and grant opportunities, with support from the Program Manager;
  • Give direction to a cross-sectoral project exploring a coordinating role for Synapcity within the system of civic participation and inclusion, with support from an outside consultant;
  • Promote Synapcity’s unique skills in participatory design and cross-sector collaboration with support from the Communications Manager;
  • Maintain grantee relationship with the Ontario Trillium Foundation and explore future funding opportunities, with support from the Program Manager;
  • Develop and maintain strong trusted relationships across regions, sectors, and cultures to create and capitalize on new opportunities with the support of the full team; and
  • Promote and champion Synapcity externally through speaking events, salons, and the media, with support from the Communications Manager.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

Leadership Qualities

  • Strong leadership: proactive at management and communication
  • Deep commitment to participatory design and civic participation
  • Proven business development and client relations
  • Comfortable in grant-writing and funder relations
  • Systems- level thinking
  • Management experience in an NGO setting

Professional Skills

  • Excellent time management skills; ability to set priorities
  • Thrives in a fast paced, quickly changing work environment
  • Exceptional verbal and written communications skills with an ability to deliver a persuasive message
  • Familiar with local issues affecting the City of Ottawa
  • Experience in participatory design and group facilitation
  • Tech savvy, familiar with online collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Skype, Zoho, etc…
  • Exceptional independent problem-solving skills
  • Bilingual in English and French is an asset

To apply:

Please send resume, cover letter, and three references by email to laine@synapcity.ca addressed to Laine Johnson, Executive Director.  Please put ‘Interim ED’ in the email subject header. Deadline for application is midnight EST on October 9th, 2018. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Synapcity values the diversity of people and communities and is committed to equity and inclusion.  As an equal opportunity employer, we encourage applications from qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of our communities.