Posted On: 2017-06-26
Closing On: 2017-07-26
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Management
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Job Description

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative


The Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Basin is one of the largest sources of surface freshwater in the world. The Basin contains over 20% of the world’s surface freshwater and is the primary drinking water source for over 40 million people. The five Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario – and the St. Lawrence River are bordered by eight US states and two Canadian provinces. The St. Lawrence River runs from Kingston, Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, passing through the provinces of Ontario and Québec and along the northern border of New York.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (Cities Initiative) is a binational coalition of 130 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials representing over 17 million people working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. As a voice for local government on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence related issues, it fosters best practices sharing among our mayors and staff, and perhaps most importantly, is a catalyst for on-the-ground protection and restoration action.

As a small NGO, members of the Cities Initiative work together and with other orders of government and stakeholders to improve infrastructure, programs and services and increase investments that protect and restore this globally significant freshwater resource.  The Cities Initiative works with mayors and municipal staff to protect and preserve the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region at the local, regional, and basin-wide levels.

The Cities Initiative is conducting a search to hire for the following position:

Deputy Executive Officer

Reporting to the President & CEO of Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI), the Deputy Executive Officer (DEO) is the face of the Cities Initiative in Canada and is responsible for leading and implementing the operations.  He/she will leverage the relationships of the Cities Initiative Board and membership, to lead, influence and advocate government for the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. 

The DEO is a strong relationship builder and hands-on leader, who brings experience working at the municipal levels of government.  He or she will cultivate relationships with political figures to help further the mission of the Cities Initiative in Canada and support the mission in the US.  As a hands-on leader, who gets things done, the DEO achieves results in a small organization, while implementing a vision to grow the profile.  He or she will be backed by a knowledgeable President & CEO, a committed Board, and the expertise of the Chicago based office. 

Skills and Experience:

  • Strong networking and relationship building skills coupled with solid executive presence – highly personable
  • Exceptionally strong communication skills:  ability to communicate complex issues into everyday language coupled with excellent written communication skills and effective public speaking skills
  • Brings strong political acumen and a good understanding of how government works:  local, provincial, indigenous, and federal
  • Conversational French
  • A strong project manager
  • Effective advocate
  • Experience in the fresh water sector and/or environmental cause
  • Values the varied “cultures” across Ontario (rural to urban) and Quebec
  • Will require someone with experience in formulating policy
  • Experience or exposure to membership development
  • Comf0rtable working independently with a home office
  • Able to travel to visit areas of Ontario and Quebec with occasional travel to Chicago


  • Strategic planning experience
  • Leadership role in a non-government organization (NGO)
  • Indigenous peoples cultural awareness


This search is being conducted on behalf of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative by crawfordconnect, a search firm specializing in recruiting leaders for Canada’s non-profit sector. If someone you know may be interested in this position please feel free to forward this document – we’d be pleased to connect with them.   

To submit your application, please visit: Select the ‘Apply for this Position’ tab to upload your cover letter and resume by July 17, 2017.

For additional information please reach out to Michelle Lalonde at 647.342.0201 or 1.866.647.5149.

We request all cover letters and resumes be submitted online only.  We thank all applicants for applying, however, only qualified candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.