The deadline for applications was January 10, 2020. Thank you for your interest.

Leadership Position

The Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF) is seeking an experienced and highly effective Founding Executive Director to establish the organization and lead its development over the next year. The Founding Executive Director will play a critically important role in shaping and leading the implementation of OCAF’s strategic plan for deploying a $20 million endowment in low carbon projects that are impactful, scalable and economically positive for Ottawa’s low carbon future. The Founding Executive Director may be considered for the permanent OCAF Executive Director position.

Organization Background

The Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF) is an initiative of the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) to boost the transition to a low-carbon future through targeted investments and grants, with supporting research and advocacy. OCAF is part of a Canada-wide network, Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), whose 7 centres have collectively received $177 million in endowment and initial operating funds from the federal government, via the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Their mandate is to accelerate the uptake of urban carbon-reduction solutions, helping Canada meet 2030 and 2050 climate change targets. Each Centre will be independently constituted and managed, but with common reporting requirements and knowledge and skill-sharing opportunities facilitated by a National Office managed by FCM.

The Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF) is an initiative of the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) to boost the transition to a low-carbon future through targeted investments and grants, with supporting research and advocacy. OCAF is part of a Canada-wide network, Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), whose 7 centres have collectively received $177 million in endowment and initial operating funds from the federal government, via the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Their mandate is to accelerate the uptake of urban carbon-reduction solutions, helping Canada meet 2030 and 2050 climate change targets. Each Centre will be independently constituted and managed, but with common reporting requirements and knowledge and skill-sharing opportunities facilitated by a National Office managed by FCM.

Functional Relationships

The OCAF will be incubated by the OCF for an initial period of up to two years. The OCF’s governance systems, policy suite, granting and investing experience, and community knowledge and connections provide an existing platform to establish and formalize the OCAF, which will eventually be an independent organization. The governance arrangements between OCAF and OCF during the incubation period will ensure that the OCF fulfills its fiduciary duties while respecting the Centre’s decision-making and operational independence.

Prior to the launch of the Centre, OCF staff will prime on tasks to:

  • Finalize and obtain OCF Board approval on the governance arrangements (OCF/OCAF relationship);
  • Complete the term-sheet for the funding agreement (by participating in the LC3 executive committee’s negotiations with the FCM) and the subsequent OCAF-specific funding agreement with the FCM, and obtain OCF Board approval on both;
  • Finalize a partnering agreement with the City;
  • Establish the endowment as an OCF fund.

Throughout the incubation phase, OCF will support the Centre via financial management, including endowment management and organizational payroll, accounting and auditing; and will share expertise and resources for other functions including granting.

Leadership Role

The OCAF Founding Executive Director will:

  1. Coordinate and manage the functions of the OCAF Advisory Board, and the work of the Opportunities Committee and other OCAF bodies, and act on direction received;
  2. Develop an OCAF Strategic Plan collaboratively with the Advisory Board and in consultation other key stakeholders in the Ottawa region, and coordinate the implementation of the Strategic Plan;
  3. Liaise with the City of Ottawa on its climate change mitigation strategy and plans to optimize synergies, and leverage the City’s research and modelling to target specific high-value, high-impact low carbon investment opportunities;
  4. Determine and propose arrangements for other strategic partnerships with Ottawa influencers, leaders and organizations to catalyze low carbon projects, infrastructure and enterprises in the Ottawa region, including co-investment or investment-leverage entities;
  5. Work closely with the Opportunities Committee and low carbon investment proponents to originate low carbon investment prospects, including “quick start” opportunities; to develop and apply evaluation criteria and processes for their assessment, including required external expertise; and to present recommendations to the Advisory Board and the OCF Impact Investment Committee;
  6. Establish a granting process to allocate proceeds from the endowment to support OCAF’s mission;
  7. Serve as OCAF’s representative on the Low Carbon Cities Canada executive committee (comprised of representatives of all seven centres), and as liaison with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund (GMF) staff and the LC3 subcommittee of the GMF Council;
  8. Meet the reporting requirements specified in the funding agreement, and support OCF staff with their governance and management responsibilities;
  9. Set up and OCAF office, including establishing the first-year budget, and manage any OCAF services/contractor relationships; and
  10. In collaboration with OCF and in sync with the LC3 network communications, lead a communications and branding process to communicate the establishment of OCAF and local low carbon investment opportunities.

Role Qualifications

The following highlights the qualifications for the position:

  • Executive-level experience in a non-profit, private or public organizations and proven success in board stewardship, staff management, program design, delivery and evaluation, and financial accountability. Experience in founding a new organization is a particular asset.
  • Knowledge of urban climate change challenges and low-carbon solutions (and their barriers) including policies, practices, procedures, technologies, investments and systems.
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise related to organizational development and change management in complex contexts, with experience related to establishing an investment orientation being a particular asset.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with confidence in public speaking to a wide range of audiences.
  • Proven ability to work successfully in teams, motivate others, and gain the respect of stakeholders.

The working language of OCAF is English. However fluency in both official languages would be an asset.

Role Competencies

Accountability – Displays a high level of organizational confidentiality and discretion and respects the sensitivity of information, and the demonstrated capacity to take forward OCAF forward as an organizational start-up.

Analytical Thinking / Problem Solving / Strategic Thinking – Evaluates, interprets, and analyses critical, complex information related to low carbon investment opportunities.

Communication – Strategically communicates the OCAF mandate and low carbon investment for maximum results; expresses and transmits information with consistency and clarity, using active listening techniques in order to effectively understand provided feedback.

Leadership – Champions OCAF throughout the Ottawa community, placing emphasis on partnerships, collaborations and leverage that heighten the impact on low carbon investments.

Networking and Relationship Building – Effectively builds constructive, friendly, professional relationships and networks of key contacts with people and colleagues; maintains partnerships that can provide information, assistance, and support.

Planning and Organizing / Resource and Fiscal Management – Accurately estimates duration and level of difficulty of tasks and projects, setting out goals and objectives and work plans to complete; develops priorities and plans that monitor, effectively use, and respond to organizational resources and finances, especially aware of the need to establish organizational parameters and systems for OCAF.