CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.
By building long-term, interdisciplinary, global communities of collaboration, we provide the world’s top researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, creating a culture of risk-taking, accelerating discovery, and yielding breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines.
Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society.
In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy.
Our community of researchers includes more than 400 researchers from 161 institutions in 18 countries. Our fellows, chairs, scholars, and advisors are among the most highly cited researchers in the world. Twenty Nobel Prizes have been awarded to CIFAR-affiliated researchers.
We are supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.
Purpose of the Position:
This position provides senior level support and assistance to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) on all matters related to the smooth and successful functioning of the Shared Services Team. The incumbent also provides support to the entirety of the Shared Services team, consisting of the Finance, HR, Meetings & Events, and IT departments.
This role is responsible for project coordination for all projects within the Shared Services Team, including coordination of employee involvement across the organization, monitoring/facilitating project activity levels to ensure deadlines are achieved, and monitoring actual expenditures against budgets to ensure financial resources are appropriately stewarded. In addition, the incumbent ensures that all office space/facilities related issues and requests to our landlord are responded to and addressed in a timely manner. This role manages the reception function and ensures exceptional customer service is provided to internal and external stakeholders.
The candidate must ensure a high level of discretion and confidentiality, be proactive and strategic in all the aspects of their work, and demonstrate a strong ability to manage multiple priorities with rapidly changing levels of urgency.
Executive assistant to the COO and Shared Services Team:
- Manage the COO’s calendar and coordinate meetings with various stakeholders, both internal and external
- Communicate effectively on behalf of the COO with Board Members, Executive Team members, EA to the CEO, Operations Team, and employees regarding operational activities, issues, and projects
- Draft emails, memos, and reports for various stakeholders
- Liaise with other teams to obtain information and identify potential issues
- Create agendas for all meetings and ensure that materials are received and distributed to meeting participants in a timely manner
- Provide support to the Operations Team by organizing meetings, preparing and/or obtaining information, reports, and materials to be shared amongst team members, and produce minutes of Operations Team meetings
- Make travel arrangements and book meetings for members of the Shared Services Team
- Research topics and draft reports / materials for the information of the COO, CEO and Executive Team
- Prioritize conflicting needs and handle matters proactively and expeditiously to ensure deadlines are met
- Perform various finance functions as required to ensure an appropriate segregation of duties
- Helps manage projects within Shared Services and across the organization, including creating project charters, Gantt charts, status reports and close off meetings
- Maintain master list of all Shared Services projects including the overall timeline and accountability for all projects
- Maintain the current status of activities and financial resources for each project
- Assist with the identification / prioritization of activities within project teams
- Coordinate internal and external support for all projects
- Ensure that all projects meet on a regular and recurring basis
- Coordinate and attend project meetings and document agreed upon decisions and follow up actions and responsibilities
- Maintain and follow up on action items arising from meetings and ensure completion (or status update) in advance of the next meeting
- In collaboration with project leads and the finance team, monitor resource hours and overall expenses against budget for each project, alerting the COO when variances arise
- Assist with reporting updates to the Operations Team and the Executive Team on all projects
Provide support to the CEO, Executive, Board of Directors, the Audit & Finance Committee, and the Investment Committee
- Provide support to the CEO in the absence of the EA to the CEO
- Support the Board of Directors, the Audit & Finance Committee, Governance Committee, and the Investment Committee by coordinating and uploading meeting materials to CIFAR’s portal
- Prepare and distribute meeting binders for volunteers (as required), organize meeting space and equipment, coordinate with security (as necessary), and arrange for catering
- In conjunction with the EA to the CEO, communicate with, respond to queries, and provide support to board and committee members in between meetings
- Coordinate details with guests attending board and committee meetings
- Attend board and committee meetings, transcribe minutes of meetings, and identify, track, and follow-up on action items
- Assist with the maintenance of tenures and timelines related to each board and committee member for succession planning purposes
- Ensure Salesforce is regularly updated with tenures and meeting attendance
- Schedule Executive Team meetings; coordinate agenda items and distribution of documents for Executive Team meetings; attend Executive Team meetings and keep track of decisions and action items; follow up with Executive Team members on action items and future agenda items
- Provide general operational support and assistance to the Shared Services Team
- Provide support for meeting events, including planning and onsite execution
- Oversee the purchasing and maintenance of office and kitchen supplies for CIFAR, negotiating with suppliers to ensure best value for money
- Manages Receptionist and is backup for Receptionist
Contribute to the creation, adoption, implementation and maintenance of corporate best-practices and policies:
- Assist in the creation, adoption, implementation, and review of best practice policies in corporate administration
- Leads the development of procurement documents including requests for proposals or requests for quotes and in the subsequent evaluation and selection of vendors, main contact for RFx processes, researchers’ potential vendors and solutions
- Assist with the development and review of contracts, including tracking all contracts and obligations within contracts
- In collaboration with the Finance Team, monitor contracts to ensure deliverables are achieved and contract terms and reporting requirements are being met in a timely manner
- University degree in a related field required (e.g., Bachelor of Business Administration / Management)
- 5-8 years of administrative/office experience required
- PMP designation or project management certification is preferred
- Experience supporting senior executives
- Experience working in the corporate or shared services department of an organization
Core Professional/Technical Knowledge & Skills required for the position:
- Knowledge of CIFAR’s role, mandate, goals, and objectives
- Advanced computer skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, survey tools, and database software
- Strong analytical skills to extract information in effective and meaningful ways
- Application of strong judgement in handling difficult / competing situations with tact and diplomacy
- Ability to maintain discretion and confidentiality on all matters
- Working knowledge of Google Mail and Calendar would be an asset
Position Reports to: The Chief Operating Officer
Term of Position: 16 months (maternity leave contract)
Start Date: February 2022
Contact: Please send resume and cover letter in confidence to email@example.com quoting “Manager, Operations (Contract)” in the Subject Line. The deadline for submitting your application is December 5th 2021, at 11:59pm EST.
CIFAR is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We recognize that bringing together individuals from multiple backgrounds, perspectives and experiences is integral to advancing excellence and increasing the impact of our organization. Our leadership, staff and volunteers strive to create an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace and, in turn, an environment that will give our diverse global community of researchers the support to successfully address the most important questions facing science and humanity. Ensuring that every person feels valued and welcome, regardless of age, education, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, parental status/responsibility, immigration status, Indigenous status, religion, disability, language, race, place of origin, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status, and other attributes is vital to achieving our mission. We strongly encourage applications from members of our society who face systemic barriers and biases, including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous persons, members of visible minority/racialized communities, 2SLGBTQ+ persons, members of marginalized gender identity communities, and persons with disabilities. Applicants may confidentially self-identify at the time of application.
ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES – CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the term ‘Accessibility’ in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.
CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible. Other languages are also considered an asset. For a French version of the job posting, please visit www.cifar.ca.
CIFAR is supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec as well as international partner organizations, individuals, foundations, and corporations.
We thank you for your interest in working at CIFAR. All applications will be reviewed however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted via email.