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The Opportunity

Dartmouth, NS
Management and Operations
Experienced
Full-time - Permanent

Reporting to the President, the Director of Policy and Operations ensures the Chamber's advocacy and government relations activities continue its outstanding reputation for credibility and influence in the business community and is consistent with Strategic Goals and priorities.

The Director, Policy and Operations is part of the Chamber's management team and works closely with both the management team and the Board of Directors. The Director will provide oversight for the policy and communications team and the finance function.

The Director will have excellent research and public-speaking skills, effective written and verbal communication skills; budgetary management skills; problem-solving, leadership, organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills.

They will keep abreast of government affairs and the passage of relevant legislation, for the Municipal, Provincial and National Governments, identifying opportunities and points of leverage where the Chamber can influence, intervene or contribute.

In addition, the Chamber is a member of the Canadian Global Cities Council, the eight largest Chambers across Canada, and the Director of Policy and Operations is a key contact and liaison for these eight chambers across Canada.

The position supports and contributes to the annual budget, customer satisfaction, sales and retention goals of the organization.

The Director and their team will also develop and implement an advocacy strategy that advances the Chambers' and its members' influence with government and other key stakeholders.

The position is responsible for all aspects of policy development, advocacy and government relations activities for the Chamber while ensuring that Chamber efforts align with the needs of the members.

The policy and communications team will ensure the ready availability of information and robust evidence to support the Chamber's communications and media strategy, commissioning research where appropriate.

The policy and communications team will produce policy and information briefs, draft tools, guidance and training to help company members to advocate and lobby effectively and support them to utilise their commercial leverage to engage in constructive dialogue with governments.

The Director will identify opportunities for the Chamber to be represented at relevant forums, events and conferences - to increase its capacity for effective policy advocacy.

The position will work closely with colleagues in the Marketing, Membership Services and Events team, to build the membership. This is achieved by influencing leaders and decision-makers to shape corporate policy and enabling companies to operate in an effective regulatory environment.

What you'll do

Responsibilities

  • The development and approval of all Chamber policy development and advocacy work for the Chamber. This includes provincial pre budget submission, municipal pre budget submission and issues notes for the provincial and municipal governments.
  • Annually reviewing Chamber task forces, committee chairs and work plans for relevancy to organizational direction, make recommendations to the President for appropriate realignment and map out the direction needed for follow-up. 
  • Advises the President and Chamber task force Chairs on issue management, the policy development process, managing the output and direction to ensure it is consistent with the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Staff advisor with two task forces; works with Committee Chairs to ensure committee work is aligned with the Chamber's strategic plan.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key contacts within government to facilitate policy development, advocacy outcomes and Chamber's presence within the community.
  • Responsible for the identification and recruitment of required volunteer resources needed for Chamber committees and task force initiatives.
  • Responsible for the implementation of the Chamber's Government Relations Strategy, its philosophy and objectives; ensures the GR Strategy is a living document responding to changes in the business and political environment.
  • Provide strategic and practical advice on emerging and ongoing advocacy issues to the President that is aligned with the philosophical and strategic direction of the organization as well as the current environmental and political climate.
  • Provide the President with concise information, including recommended approach, to make informed decisions, particularly with critical timelines.
  • Provides oversight on management of Board of Directors macro agenda, meetings and related activities.
  • Provide support for the President/Board Chair to ensure they are properly prepared for media interviews, influencer meetings, and public appearances. In addition, provide constructive feedback on public appearances.
  • President's need for information is anticipated and provided in a proactive manner. This would apply to public policy initiatives and operational management areas.
  • Relevant understanding of the key components of financial statements. Know the key drivers and concepts behind core financial decisions and be able to communicate well with financial professionals. Comprehend how events in the broader economy affect the financial decisions facing the Chamber and the Canadian economy.

What you'll need

Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree with a master's degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working in policy-based or advocacy related roles, or a senior position within government.
  • Knowledge of Canada's federal and provincial political systems.
  • Proven ability to effectively lead and/or develop strategic communications, public relations, marketing and government relations.
  • Experience in leading and managing staff at an executive level.
  • Excellent oral, written and presentation skills.
  • Creative and innovative thinker with strong interpersonal skills.

A little bit about us

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce

What does the Halifax Chamber do?

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy organization committed to creating value and prosperity for its members. The Chamber provides the services its members need while advocating for the conditions to enhance private sector growth.

Together, the 1,700+ member businesses and their over 65,000 employees act as a single, powerful voice through the Chamber to promote local business interests. The volunteer Board of Directors and Chamber staff undertake initiatives by request of, and on behalf of our diverse membership.

We also help our members grow through programs, new strategies and help expand their influence with policymakers.

Did you know?

We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit, membership-based organization.

We are not a government agency. However, we do work closely with all levels of government to advocate for our members.

We do not receive funding from government. We are funded through revenue generated by membership, events, sponsorship, advertising, and other ancillary services.

We were founded by business, for business, to help make Halifax the best place to live, work, and play.

Most importantly, we are driven by the dedication and support of the business community around us. We know Halifax's future is bright and want to see it succeed.

Our membership is 83% small business (25 employees or less) and we are proud to offer member benefits to over 65,000 employees in Halifax and beyond.

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce; we're in your corner.

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