Call for Applications: The Natural Step Canada Seeks an Exceptional Executive Director

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Call for Applications: The Natural Step Canada Seeks an Exceptional Executive Director

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Call for Applications: @TheNaturalStep Canada Seeks an Exceptional Executive Director #sustainability #job
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 12:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Ottawa, ON - July 27, 2011 - The Natural Step Canada is seeking an exceptional leader to become its new Executive Director. We are looking for a visionary strategic thinker, an engaging and collaborative team leader, a proven networker, an excellent communicator, and someone who has a track record in organizational and fiscal management, as well as public speaking and fundraising.

This recruitment is part of a planned leadership succession strategy. For more information on why we are seeking a new leader, please click here.

(Download this Call for Applications as a PDF.)


The Executive Director is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors. (S)he is responsible for overseeing the overall vision, mission, strategy, leadership, and governance of the organization including brand profile, mission impact, and financial health. Responsibilities include strategic planning and financial oversight, establishing and monitoring progress toward major goals and objectives for the organization, implementing Board policies, acting as an ambassador for the organization, fundraising and business development, establishing partnerships, evaluating impact and outcomes, hiring and managing staff, and fostering an innovative and collaborative working environment.

The Executive Director is supported by an established senior management team, including a Director of Operations and Development and a Director of Programs and Strategy.


The Executive Director is responsible for the following:

Leadership and Strategy - Providing leadership and support to the Board in developing, reviewing, and adapting the organization’s vision, mission, long-term strategic plan, and annual work plan to guide the organization, as well as fostering an effective Board/staff relationship.

Operational Planning and Management - Overseeing the development, implementation, and evaluation of an organizational annual plan, including the organization’s operations, policies, and internal sustainability plan.

Program Planning and Management - Guiding the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the organization's programs and services.

Human Resources Management - Determining staffing requirements, hiring, managing, and mentoring senior staff, overseeing the implementation of human resources policies and practices, including performance and learning, as well as nurturing a collaborative and innovative working culture, and promoting the organization’s core values.

Financial Planning and Management - Ensuring the financial viability and resilience of the organization, guiding and strengthening the organization’s entrepreneurial business model—which combines self-generated revenue with fundraising and sponsorships—guiding the development and management of the annual budget, and overseeing financial management and reporting practices.

Strategic Partnerships and Outreach - Acting as the main spokesperson and ambassador for the organization, delivering speeches and presentations and representing The Natural Step Canada at meetings, conferences, and events, establishing a strong brand profile in Canada, and nurturing strategic partnerships and collaborative arrangements with other NGOs and partners in the sustainability field to help achieve the goals of the organization.

Risk Management - Ensuring that risk management policies and procedures are in place and observed to control risks to the organization's people, property, finances, goodwill, and image.

The Natural Step International - Maintaining a strong relationship with The Natural Step International and ensuring that Canada is well represented within The Natural Step’s international community.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • A graduate degree in a relevant field, including sustainable development, non-profit management, or business administration

  • At least five years experience in a leadership position in a public, private, or non-profit environment 

  • Non-profit management or senior consulting experience

  • A proven ability to network and well-established contacts in the public and/or private sector

  • Strong knowledge of sustainability opportunities and challenges in Canada

  • A comprehensive understanding of The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, as well as our value proposition and strategic opportunities

  • Experience and comfort with public speaking

  • Experience with strategic planning and evaluation

  • Experience with fundraising, non-profit financial planning, revenue generation, and/or social enterprise

  • Knowledge of human resources management and experience in managing people

  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills

  • Charismatic personality with excellent written and oral communications skills

  • Collaborative personality with good problem-solving skills

  • Demonstrated competence in working in a dynamic, changing environment

  • Fluency in both official languages


The head office of The Natural Step Canada is located in Ottawa. Strong preference will be given to hiring someone who is able to work in Ottawa.


The new leader will be stepping into a well-established and carefully nurtured culture and set of operational values that define the way we work together. At The Natural Step Canada, we pride ourselves on our collaborative culture and mission‐focused work. All staff members are expected to exemplify and support our core values in their workplace behaviour. Our core values include: rigorous pursuit of results, critical thinking, constant learning, collaboration, respect and humility, integrity, personal responsibility, collective impact, positive outlook, walking the talk, and having fun.

We will give preference to a new leader who can reinforce our culture and values. In addition, as the leader and ambassador for the organization, we anticipate that our new Executive Director will be a role model of sustainable lifestyle choices.


The Natural Step Canada is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse workforce. We actively seek to recruit people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives reflecting the full diversity of Canadian society.


The starting date for this position is flexible but our intention is that the new Executive Director will be in place in early 2012, with the possibility that transitional preparation may begin as early as November, 2011. 


Please send a cover letter and CV including three references to Please include Executive Director Application in the subject line of your e-mail. If you wish, you may also include an additional 3-5 pages of relevant material that demonstrates your unique qualifications and allows the interview committee to get to know you better.

The deadline for applications is September 6, 2011.

The first interviews are scheduled to be conducted at the end of September, and we anticipate being in a position to announce the new candidate by the end of October. We hope that the new candidate will be available to begin orientation in November and start full-time at the beginning of 2012.

We thank all candidates for their interest. We will respond to all applications in a timely manner by e-mail. However, due to the volume of applications and inquiries we receive, only those selected for an interview will be contacted in person. Thank you for your understanding.


The Natural Step Canada is an entrepreneurial non-profit organization and federally registered charity with over a decade of experience helping organizations and individuals understand and make meaningful progress toward sustainability. With a head office in Ottawa, and a staff of 15+, we are part of a growing global sustainability network with offices and projects in 18 countries.

We envision a sustainable world in which individuals, communities, and businesses thrive within nature’s limits. We strive to inspire, educate, and connect Canadian leaders to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable world.

The Natural Step Canada builds the capacity of municipal and business leaders to transform their organizations and lead their communities toward sustainability. Through award-winning learning programs and advisory, coaching, and process facilitation services, we translate the fundamentals of sustainability into practical steps businesses and communities can take to achieve lasting change.

The foundation for many innovative sustainability programs around the world is anchored in The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. Our science-based process has been tested and proven effective by hundreds of forward-thinking organizations over the past decade in Canada, as well as hundreds more around the world. In Canada, our list of municipal partners includes Whistler, Canmore, District of North Vancouver, Williams Lake, Edmonton, Airdrie, Olds, Ottawa, Markham, Rivière-du-Loup, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Halifax, and Wolfville, as well as businesses such as The Co-operators, Landmark Group of Builders, ISL Engineering and Land Services, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Interface, and Nike.

With a proven track record in Canada, The Natural Step has become a leading source of expertise and advice in the field of transformational change toward sustainability. As an entrepreneurial social enterprise, we engage in a variety of ways to fund our programs, including fee-for-service contracting, membership fees, registrations, foundation grants, and donations.

To read more about our programs and projects, please visit our web site and/or read this PDF brochure.

(Download this Call for Applications as a PDF.)



Human Resources
The Natural Step Canada
Keywords: Diversity & Inclusion | Canada | Executive Director | Sustainability | The Natural Step | call for applications | job opportunity | kelly hawke baxter

CONTENT: Press Release