Chief Program Officer

About UNICEF Canada
UNICEF is a global agency that works tirelessly to ensure children survive, wherever children’s lives are at risk. As part of the UN, we are active in190 countries and territories, and are the world’s farthest-reaching humanitarian organization for children. We are passionate about the well-being of children around the world. Our goal is defend every child’s right to a childhood, to keep them protected, healthy and educated.

UNICEF stands for every child, everywhere. We are guided by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, advocating for the protection of children’s rights, helping to meet their basic needs, and giving them a fair chance to reach their full potential.

UNICEF’S CANADA’S MISSION: to mobilize and empower Canadians to invest in the positive transformation of every child’s future.

The Role
UNICEF Canada is seeking a passionate and collaborative Chief Program Officer (CPO) to join the executive team and provide leadership to the important role UNICEF plays as an advocate influencing policies to protect and promote the rights of children in Canada and around the world. The CPO will lead and oversee the strategic positioning of UNICEF programs within Canada. Based on global priorities set by UNICEF, the CPO is also responsible for setting the programs funding priorities of UNICEF Canada, in alignment with UNICEF and with strategic plans.

The CPO guides the programs team and provides strategic leadership and support to key areas of the strategic plan.

Specifically, the CPO leads UNICEF Canada’s international and domestic programs and policy advocacy teams towards the goals of being a leading advocate for the rights of children and supporting the organization to achieve growing and sustainable revenue. Teams include stakeholder and government relations and youth participation. The CPO is part of the organization’s Executive Team and works across the organization to support business objectives and advance anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.

The CPO represents the UNICEF Canadian National Committee within UNICEF globally on key initiatives and teams related to advocacy and international programs. The CPO works closely with the Strategic Engagement team to ensure that UNICEF’s brand, leadership, influence and impact for children is well positioned to attract and retain a diverse group of Canadian donors, supporters, advocates, youth and funders, including as a media spokesperson on international and domestic children’s issues. Working closely with the President and CEO, the Director of International Programs and Director of Policy and Research (domestic), the CPO leads the government relations strategy and engages at high levels to leverage and build key relationships across all levels of government. The CPO develops and maintains strategic partnerships with other key agencies and partners in the international sector and domestic child and youth sector to build opportunities and influence to further the rights of children in Canada and around the world.

The preferred candidate will have experience in government and media relations, advocacy, children’s rights and international programs.


Strategic Leadership & Operational Planning (20%)

  • Oversee the development, leadership and, through the team, the execution of the multi-year joint strategic plan (JSP) and manage the annual planning process (AOP) for the team, ensure integration across the organization and work with global UNICEF leaders (PPD) to align UNICEF Canada’s role within the global organization.
  • Work on the senior executive team to provide organizational leadership and decision making, provide advice to the CEO and board members on international and domestic programs and public affairs.
  • Build and maintain the reputation of the organization through media, key partners and the Government of Canada.
  • Help build UNICEF Canada’s profile and reputation within the UNICEF family by playing an active role in key initiatives, with UNICEF global colleagues and working groups as required.

Revenue Development (10%)

  • Support government revenue development for UNICEF in collaboration with the Director of International Programs (IP).
  • Build relationships and opportunities with foundations and funders in support of the organization’s initiatives in collaboration with the Chief Strategic Engagement Officer.

International Programs, Policy and Research, and Advocacy (30%)

  • Create and oversee opportunities to build influence and understanding of children’s rights policy and programming in order to deepen engagement with Canadians, including youth and UNICEF supporters.
  • In collaboration with the Director, International Programs and the Director, Policy and Research, build an anti-colonial approach to UNICEF programming and policy.
  • Collaborate with development staff to develop proposal concepts and cultivate, solicit and steward donor relationships in the $1 million+ range.

Government Relations and Public Affairs (15%)

  • Develop strategy and work in partnership with UNICEF HQ to advance UNICEF’s mandate and partnership with the Government of Canada to further position the organization as the global leader in child rights work.
  • Represent UNICEF’s work to Canadians, to the NGO and GO communities through various mechanisms, including as a media spokesperson and through government engagement, in Canada and abroad, with the intent to influence policy and program direction and increase support for UNICEF.
  • Lead education of the board on UNICEF programming activities and impacts.
  • Develop strategic relationships with senior government staff and politicians to advance UNICEF’s mandate.
  • Develop strategic relationships with UNICEF National Committees, Country Offices and HQ to support fundraising and policy objectives and maintain regular communications.

Team Coaching and Operational Management (15%)

  • Lead motivated individuals to achieve common team goals.
  • Ensure integrity with the mission and values in all activities.
  • Lead talent management initiatives within the team.
  • Make strategic decisions pertaining to staffing, succession planning and organizational development.

Executive Leadership (10%)

  • Participate and contribute as a key member of the Executive Leadership team (“first team”) with a shared accountability for forming organizational strategy, decision making and performance of UNICEF Canada.
  • Create and maintain a culture of inclusion at all levels of the organization.

Qualifications, Competencies and Skills

  • 12+ years of domestic child rights/child well-being, international development and/or media and government relations experience
  • At least 5 years of experience in a senior team management/executive leadership capacity
  • University degree in a related field
  • Excellent communications skills (written & oral) for a variety of audiences
  • Excellent relationship management skills
  • Commitment to inclusive leadership, experience leading diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and diverse teams
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to navigate through contentious issues and adept at identifying and implementing risk management and crisis communications strategies
  • Strong knowledge of Canadian political system
  • Strong knowledge of children’s rights
  • Compassionate about the UNICEF mandate/enthusiastic UNICEF advocate
  • PC proficiency (MS Office)
  • Fluency in French (highly desirable)
  • Available for national and international travel

Comment postuler:

All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter as two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process. The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

The document should be saved in PDF in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV-032023-UNICEF or Pat-JonesCoverLetter-032023-UNICEF


mars 29, 2023

Date d’échéance:

mai 1, 2023


Postes permanents à temps plein



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