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Director, Communications & Engagement

Digital Research Alliance of Canada
Remote, anywhere in Canada
Salary Range
Interested candidates are asked to supply a statement that details salary expectations for the role.


The Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance) serves Canadian researchers, with the objective of advancing Canada’s position as a leader in the knowledge economy on the international stage. By integrating, championing and funding the infrastructure and activities required for advanced research computing (ARC), research data management (RDM) and research software (RS), we provide the platform for the research community to access tools and services faster than ever before.
We have an ambitious mandate – to transform how research across all academic disciplines is organized, managed, stored and used. We work with other ecosystem partners and stakeholders across the country to help provide Canadian researchers with the support they need for leading-edge research excellence, research, innovation and advancement across all disciplines.



Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and serving on the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), the Director of Communications & Engagement (C&E) is the most senior communications and engagement leader and practitioner within the organization, working closely with Alliance members internally and external stakeholders.  

Overseeing an internal team and a roster of external resources, the incumbent will provide senior communications and engagement counsel and oversee the development and implementation of plans and strategies to build the Alliance reputation, communicate the organization’s initiatives and services, build Member relations, and support the organization’s consultation activities. These efforts will be guided by the organization’s strategic vision and objectives and will position the Alliance as a dynamic, innovative research support organization.

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, motivated professional looking to innovate new and effective means of communicating and engaging with Members and stakeholders and who can link activities and tactics to organizational objectives. The Director will thrive in a collaborative and cooperative environment with colleagues while driving projects independently. Exemplifying exceptional attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects concurrently will be essential, as well as the ability to work in both English and French.



  • Leads the development of the enterprise-wide Communications & Engagement strategy and oversees its implementation, serving as the chief communications thought leader on other complex projects that align with and support the organization’s strategic plan and corporate priorities;
  • Leads the development and implementation of the organization’s Member relations strategy and plan, including the annual Member renewal process;
  • Leads the development, implementation and evaluation of corporate communications and engagement initiatives and projects as the overall owner of brand and reputation stewardship. This includes internal and external communications, digital and social media, corporate events and consultations for the purpose of supporting specific corporate priorities;
  • Leads issues/incident/crisis communications management, and provides communications counsel to the CEO and SLT on emerging issues that have a significant impact on establishing and/or maintaining a positive reputation for the organization;
  • Directs and coordinates publications and editorial services, including the organization’s annual report, corporate plan, website and translation services;
  • Directs the maintenance of the Alliance’s website and social media channels and coordinates content with the goal of keeping it current and relevant to the Alliance’s target audiences;
    • Establishes and maintains dynamic relationships and solid networks with communications counterparts in the Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) network, government, and other key stakeholder groups for the purpose of coordination, creation of synergies, and maximizing communication efforts;
    • Owns overall measurement of the C&E team’s work, including the development, tracking and reporting on metrics as they relate to the impact of the Alliance’s communications efforts;
    • Prepares briefing notes and/or presentations for SLT and the Board of Directors, for the purposes of providing input, advice and reporting on strategies, initiatives and approaches related to the assigned communications activities and initiatives; 
    • Plans the effective use of the material, financial and human resources available to accomplish the assigned communication initiatives in accordance with the Alliance’s policies and guidelines;
    • Owns overall budget management, including planning, reporting and evaluation initiatives and processes of assigned projects and initiatives; 
    • Possesses strong change management and project management capabilities;
    • Commits to continuous learning on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility;
    • Undertakes other duties, as assigned by the Chief Executive Officer. 



  • University graduate degree or equivalent in communications, journalism, political science or other relevant field of study;
  • Demonstrated deep experience in communications, public affairs and engagement, specifically in complex, multi-stakeholder environments;
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in developing and implementing complex communications strategies, plans and products;
  • Minimum of five years of experience leading a team of communications practitioners;
  • Well-versed in all forms of organizational communications, including brand management, marketing and public affairs;
  • Significant familiarity and facility with digital media including video, social media, and web communications;
  • Experience in managing small- and large-scale projects (delivery of results on strategy, on time and on budget) including work planning and coordination;
  • Functional ability in English and French;
  • Experience in digital research infrastructure, technology, public sector and/or post-secondary education is a significant asset.



  • Possess strong oral and written communication skills in both English and French (including strong presentation skills);
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build effective working relationships across a broad spectrum of stakeholders;
  • Possess the ability to earn trust, manage risk and optimize internal and external resources;
  • Possess strong computer skills, including knowledge/experience with Microsoft Office, including Teams;
  • Ability to work in high-pressure work environments, with competing priorities, and under tight deadlines;
  • Ability to manage multiple projects concurrently with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to thrive and build a positive work culture in a permanently remote, work-from-home (distributed) environment;
  • Ability to provide critical analysis and recommendations of proposed communications and policy opportunities from a variety of perspectives; 
  • A strong, high-functioning and inclusive team leader, who can motivate and engage a distributed team in a fast-paced, high-volume environment.



In addition to a competitive salary and a rewarding career where you can truly make a difference in the Canadian research community, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that meets the various needs of our diverse team and that spans across Canada, including:

  • Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including:
    • Health 
    • Dental
    • Long-Term Disability
    • Life Insurance
    • Flexible Spending Account
    • Wellness Spending Account
    • Mental Health Supports
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • Paid Vacation 
  • Remote Work – Flex Hours

Please apply here: Director, Communications & Engagement

The Alliance recognizes that challenges remain in achieving the full participation of equity-seeking groups (including women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+) in research careers and is committed to identifying and eliminating barriers that may exist within its own hiring process, programs, and practices.