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Job Opportunity: Director, International Policy & Programs

Join UNICEF, the world’s foremost humanitarian organization for children, and lead as the Director for International Policy & Programs. We work across 190 countries and territories, tirelessly striving to support children’s rights, health, education, and protection. This is an exceptional opportunity to make a profound impact on children’s lives.

Role Overview

As the Director, International Policy & Programs, your primary responsibility is to develop strategies, plans, and budgets supporting international policy and programs. This role involves leading the team in implementing these plans, positioning UNICEF Canada as a credible partner for policy influence and funding with the Government of Canada (GoC).

Responsibilities Include:

Government Advocacy & Relations (30%)

  • Provide strategic advice and materials for key interactions with government leaders.
  • Engage with political and official stakeholders to advance policy influence.
  • Cultivate relationships with elected officials and political staff, maintaining non-partisan views.
  • Represent UNICEF Canada as a unified voice for children vis-à-vis the Government of Canada.

Program Management & Partnership (25%)

  • Develop partnerships to advance the international policy agenda.
  • Foster relationships with UNICEF Country Offices and support fundraising and policy objectives.
  • Provide guidance on program implementation and emergencies.

Strategic Development (20%)

  • Strategize for a pipeline of government funding and contribute to the organizational strategic plan.
  • Collaborate with the Domestic Policy & Programs team on advocacy efforts.
  • Manage the International Policy and Program portfolio’s plans and budget.

People Management & Development (15%)

  • Guide staff in the International Policy and Programs portfolio to achieve common goals.
  • Conduct goal-setting, planning, and performance reviews for individuals and departments.

Organizational Reputation & Visibility (10%)

  • Ensure UNICEF’s work is well represented to donors through various mechanisms.
  • Represent UNICEF Canada’s work to various communities and stakeholders.

Requirements for Ideal Candidates:

  • Advanced degree or equivalent work experience in International Development, Public Administration, or related field.
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work experience, including team management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international programming, policy advocacy, and Canadian political systems.
  • Strong communication skills in English and proficiency in French.
  • Knowledge of child rights and UNICEF’s work is highly desirable.

This position offers a salary range of $107,000 to $131,000 per year, and the preferred location is Ottawa, with occasional travel to Toronto.


  • Extended Health and Dental Benefits
  • Life and Disability Insurance
  • Pension Plan Contributions
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program
  • Paid Personal and Sick Days
  • Maternity and Parental Leave Top-up
  • Annual Leave

How to Apply:

For consideration, please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@unicef.ca. Please include your cover letter (with salary expectations) and resume in a single document, referencing “Director, International Policy & Programs” in the subject line.

Deadline: December 4th, 2023

Find out more information: https://www.unicef.ca/en/director-international-policy-programs

UNICEF Canada appreciates all applicants’ interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The selected candidate must undergo a police background check as part of our Child Safeguarding Policy.

We value diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Accommodation requests are welcomed throughout the recruitment process. Join us in championing children’s rights worldwide!