Executive Director, Advancing Canadian Water Assets, VP Research

University of Calgary

Calgary, AB, Canada 🇨🇦

Job ID: 29796

Updated: September 7, 2023

Location: Other

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to MĂ©tis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Overview

The Department of VP Research invites applications for an Executive Director, Advancing Canadian Water Assets. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 24 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Please note that this position is located in Pine Creek.

Reporting to the Associate Vice-President (Research), the Executive Director,Advancing Canadian Water Assets (ACWA) is responsible for the planning, direction and implementation of ACW’s organizational, administrative, financial, communication, service delivery and stakeholder partnership (industry, academia, government and other) activities. The Executive Director (ACWA) works closely with and takes direction from the ACWA Board. The position demands vision and leadership at a senior level and a proven track record in transforming the strategic positioning of complex organizations. The incumbent will possess the experience and expertise to solve complex problems of broad impact, including both developing strategy and effective implementation.

The successful candidate is responsible for setting and implementing a vision and strategy that will position the University as a world-leading contributor to the advancement of water and wastewater treatment research, application and technology. The Executive Director (ACWA) establishes objectives, provides meaningful performance measures to evaluate progress, and builds, leads and motivates the ACWA team. This position makes independent decisions, applies excellent communication skills to work collaboratively with key stakeholders, and creatively solves complex problems.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Senior Leadership:

  • Envision water and wastewater management of the future and provide insights into how ACWA can strategically position itself for prominence in this field over the long-term (10-plus years).
  • Conduct strategic planning (including revenue growth and capital planning), based on analysis of global marketplace conditions and trends.
  • Report to ACWA Board on matters related to strategy, governance, fiscal performance and KPIs.
  • Engage with the governance committees that ACWA’s Board establishes.
  • Engage ACWA’s founding partners (City of Calgary and the University) to create an aligned vision for what ACWA’s implementation targets are and how each of the Partners will receive value from ACWA.
  • Secure additional partners to solidify ACWA’s long-term success.
  • Provide strategic direction and leadership to ACWA’s leaders team.
  • Develop and lead implementation of annual Business Action Plans.
  • Lead the growth and development of ACWA, to maintain a nimble and results-orientated entrepreneurial organizational culture.
  • Lead the team in delivering value to University researchers, the City of Calgary, industry and other ACWA clients and stakeholders.
  • Employ existing assets and attract new ones as required, in order to grow and differentiate ACWA into an internationally sought-after facility for developing and de-risking new approaches for managing water, storm water, wastewater and related resources.
  • Work with the UCalgary leadership, Faculties and researchers to facilitate a robust, world-class program of academic and technology development research in water and wastewater, utilizing the resources of the ACWA facility.

Industry Relations and Business Development:

  • Build relationships with industry (both technology developers / distributors and technology end-users), to attract them to ACWA as fee-for-service clients.
  • Continue to develop and hone fee-for-service offerings that industry will hire ACWA to deliver.
  • Lead business development related to these offerings and secure fee-for-service projects, enabling ACWA’s fiscal sustainability.
  • Oversee delivery of client projects, including providing technical planning and guidance as needed to the service delivery team.

Business Operations:

  • Responsible for full scope of managerial duties including making hiring and budgetary decisions as well as performance management, including providing constructive feedback and addressing any performance issues of staff, up to and including termination.
  • Lead financial management, budgeting, tracking, and reporting.
  • Oversee ACWA’s Marketing and Communications activities. Includes engaging with ACWA’s advisory Marketing and Communications Committee (comprised of City and University representatives), and ensuring that ACWA adheres to the established communication guidelines.
  • Oversee recruitment, as needed, to grow ACWA’s team, so it can offer increased value to its partners, clients and stakeholders.
  • Drive operational effectiveness, including as it relates to ACWA’s business needs and the services it requests of other University teams (Legal, Finance, IT, etc.). 

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Graduate degree in business administration, or a relevant technical field (e.g., wastewater treatment) plus business leadership experience.
  • 10 years of experience in business leadership; a proven track record in establishing entrepreneurial ventures or self-directed business units.
  • In-depth knowledge of the wastewater sector (municipal and industrial), its challenges, drivers, technologies and key players.
  • Strong knowledge across a breadth of other disciplines, including environmental management and compliance, risk management, technology de-risking, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Demonstrated success as a strategic collaborator, facilitator, negotiator and mediator.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and diplomatically with all stakeholders.
  • Ability to act decisively and to exercise a high degree of independence, initiative and judgment on a wide range of issues.
  • Proven ability to develop strategy and clearly communicate vision.
  • A combination of education and experience will be considered in meeting the qualifications for this position. 

Application Deadline:  September 29, 2023

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is classified in the Professional Career Band, Level 5 of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. 

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

The University strongly recommends all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit ucalgary.ca.

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (equity@ucalgary.ca) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources (hrhire@ucalgary.ca).

Do you have most but not all the qualifications? Research show that women, racialized and visible minorities , and persons with disabilities are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At UCalgary we are committed to achieving equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible employment practices and workplaces and encourage you to apply if you believe you are right for this role. 

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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