A Career Opportunity 

UNICEF is the world’s farthest-reaching humanitarian organization for children. Across 190 countries and territories, and in the world’s toughest places, we work day in and day out to help children survive. To defend their rights. To keep them protected, healthy and educated. To give them a fair chance to fulfil their potential. Our work for every child relies entirely on voluntary support, including donations from generous Canadians. 

Policy Specialist (Government Relations)

(Permanent; Full time; Flexible-Hybrid; based in Toronto or Remote based in Ottawa)

This Policy Specialist has an exciting role in UNICEF Canada – influencing public policy and providing technical support to governments to advance the rights and well-being of Canada’s children and youth. Reporting to the Deputy Director, Policy and Research, the Policy Specialist (Government Relations) will identify, design, and deliver opportunities to influence legislation, policies, investments, and knowledge in different levels of government in Canada. You will engage government decision-makers to identify advocacy and youth participation opportunities, advance policy priorities and collaborate to develop advocacy campaigns that engage supporters. 

As a candidate for this position, you will be familiar with the political landscape in Canada and government decision-making processes and have established relationships with parliamentarians and departmental officials. You are very comfortable engaging influential government decision-makers on domestic policy issues and employ great communications skills. Like your team-mates, you will embrace a fast pace and are comfortable trying out new ways to achieve goals. 

The responsibilities of the position will include:

Government relations (70%)

  • Gather, analyze, and communicate sound political intelligence to inform government engagement, ensuring UNICEF’s knowledge and policy-setting agendas drive directly towards impact. 
  • Develop and implement advocacy strategies and plans for government relations to advance each policy priority.
  • Identify and maintain effective relationships and represent UNICEF Canada at meetings and events with key policy staff at departmental and parliamentary levels.
  • Organize meetings and events (virtual and on Parliament Hill), participate in government processes such as committee hearings, and deliver technical policy workshops.
  • Exercise skilled and appropriate communications with proper protocol, including official and informal correspondence and presentations.
  • Advise on and manage engagement with government relations partners.
  • Monitor the political landscape and political activities and maintain and grow current knowledge and relationships.
  • Develop and maintain internal procedures and best practices in the monitoring and reporting of the organization’s government relations efforts.

Advocacy campaigns and communication (20%)

  • Identify opportunities and contribute content for ongoing policy communications including social media, news releases, reports, web site and other content and channels.
  • Identify opportunities and contribute strategic advice and content for organizational and partner advocacy-based public campaigns, including election campaigns.
  • Support the UNICEF Youth Advocacy Program through organizing and preparing government relations opportunities for program participants. 

Organizational development (10%)

  • Collaborate with the Deputy Director to coordinate policy analysis and stakeholder engagement; with the International Programs team to coordinate government relations; with the Youth Participation Lead to coordinate youth participation opportunities; and with the Communications Specialist to coordinate public advocacy campaigns
  • Maintain contact records and lobbying reports.
  • Contribute to organizational planning and impact reporting. 
  • Participate in Agile planning, team meetings and other initiatives.
  • Ensure integrity with the organizational mission and values in all activities.
  • Maintain accurate financial and activity records. 
  • Manage translation and production services needs for government relations.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Post-secondary degree or college diploma in Public Policy, Political Science, or a related field, or equivalent years’ work experience. 
  • A minimum of five (5) years relevant work experience in parliamentary affairs, government relations, policy development and advocacy
  • Good understanding of issues affecting children and youth in Canada
  • Competency in working toward reconciliation, diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • Knowledge of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the international human rights system an asset  
  • Exceptional organizational skills, with superb attention to detail and quality while meeting deadlines and multitasking in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Great communications skills and relationship management abilities 
  • Critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and the ability to take initiative.
  • Comfortable with standard office software and with social media platforms
  • English language proficiency
  • Fluency in French (highly desirable)
  • Available for local, regional, and national travel
  • Occasional evening and weekend work

Salary Range: $62,000 - $71,500 per year

What we Offer: 

UNICEF Canada strongly supports workplace wellness and offers the following benefits:

  • Extended Health and Dental Benefits with Health Care Spending Account
  • Life insurance and AD&D
  • Short Term Disability (STD) 
  • Long Term Disability (LTD) 
  • Employer contributions (5%) to Group Pension plan
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
  • 2 paid personal days.
  • 10 paid sick days
  • Maternity and Parental leave top-up
  • 3 weeks of annual leave (vacation time increases with time served)
  • One additional day of vacation on the anniversary of each year of service, up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • Staff Appreciation Days.
  • Currently offering Flexible-Hybrid work option. 
  • Learning and Development Opportunities.
  • Discounted rate for a GoodLife membership.  

For consideration, please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@unicef.ca by July 12th, 2024. Please attach your cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume as one document and reference “Policy Specialist (Government Relations)” clearly in the subject heading. 

UNICEF Canada sincerely thanks all applicants for their expressed interest in this opportunity, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. 

Consistent with our Child Safeguarding Policy, the successful candidate must receive clearance by a police background check, including a vulnerable sector screen. 

UNICEF Canada is an inclusive workplace and is committed to championing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process providing the applicant has met the requirements for the position.