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Vacancy: Program Director – Sustainability in the Digital Age, and Montreal Hub Lead – Future Earth

Position Overview

We are looking for a Program Director for the Sustainability in the Digital Age (SDA) initiative, and the lead for the Future Earth Montreal Hub, a key partner of SDA. This position will report jointly to the Boards of Directors of SDA and Future Earth’s Montreal Hub. Below is an overview of each role.

Program Director: The Sustainability in the Digital Age (SDA) initiative is looking for an experienced Program Director who will think big, stimulate new collaborations and funding, immerse deeply into the subject matter, and lead a passionate team. This is an opportunity to expand a fast-growing initiative, with roots in both the sustainability and digital communities of Montreal and internationally. You will be expected to lead the strategic direction of this initiative, in collaboration with its scientific co-directors who bring scientific and technical expertise in the sustainability sciences and artificial intelligence (AI) among other topics. Sustainability in the Digital Age works in partnership with Future Earth, a global network for research and innovation. SDA operations are currently based out of the Future Earth Montreal Global Hub. As Program Director, you will be expected to work with partners around the world, including those within and beyond the Future Earth network, to build and refine joint activities. 

Montreal Hub Lead, Future Earth: The same candidate will also serve as Lead of the Montreal Hub of Future Earth. This role will involve engaging science and innovation leaders and funders throughout Canada to grow support for sustainability science in Canada linked to the AI and digital sector, and to lead Canada’s engagement in Future Earth’s international program in collaboration with four other global hubs in Japan, Sweden, France and the US.  In the short term, (a period of 6-9 months) the candidate will be the Canadian point person for consultation and support during Future Earth’s international secretariat transition to a new international governance and management structure, and will lead the process of developing and defining the key Future Earth Canada international contributions in the new structure. It is expected that Future Earth’s partnership with SDA will be among those key contributions. 

About Sustainability in the Digital Age

The Sustainability in the Digital Age (SDA) initiative aims to build an international network of collaborators and to leverage the transformative power of the digital age to steer society towards a more climate-safe,  sustainable, and equitable world. We operate under four main pillars of work: 

  1. Research & Innovation
  2. Training & Networks
  3. Policy, Standards, & Best Practices
  4. Collective Foresight & Intelligence

About Future Earth 

Future Earth is an international platform for research, innovation, and collaboration working to accelerate transformations to global sustainability. The Montreal Global Hub forms part of the distributed secretariat with global hubs in Sweden, France, Japan, and the US as well as regional offices in other locations. One key focus of the Montreal Hub is to work through its partnership with SDA to leverage the digital age to advance sustainability science to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and build an equitable society to support Future Earth’s global priorities. Other priority areas may develop through consultation with core constituencies throughout Canada.

Roles and responsibilities 

  • Develop and realize a strategic long-term vision for SDA
  • Network with potential collaborators around the world, identifying strategic avenues for increasing the impact and visibility of both SDA and Future Earth 
  • Advance partnerships for SDA and Future Earth across sectors and around the world
  • Identify, pursue and maintain funder relationships and funding opportunities for SDA and Future Earth 
  • Oversee all staff and finances (i.e. SDA and Montreal Hub Future Earth activities) 
  • Liaise with and manage relationships between SDA and Future Earth and with strategic partners of both organizations
  • Work with the Future Earth executive team, governing council, and advisory group to help execute a new structure for the organization’s governance and management (expected completion mid 2021)
  • Engage with Canadian stakeholders (science, technology, innovation policy) to raise the profile of sustainability science in Canada as it relates to the AI and digital and other sectors, and ensure the work of the Montreal Hub contributes to Future Earth global priorities
  • Oversee the collection and distribution of national contributions given to Future Earth through the Montreal office for the global secretariat priorities. 

Candidate qualifications and key competencies

  • 5-10 years experience in providing strategic guidance on issues related to science, technology, policy, and society
  • Strong knowledge of current issues in sustainability science and digital transformations
  • Deep understanding of the international science-policy interface and the public, private and non-profit sustainability science landscape 
  • Significant experience with fundraising for and promotion of action-oriented scientific research
  • An established network of individuals and institutions actively working on sustainability science and digital transformations 
  • Experience in managing and leading a team
  • Excellent spoken and written English and French 
  • Experience in building out smaller initiatives or start-ups an asset

This full-time, permanent position is based in Montreal. 

Application procedure

As the position is based in Montreal, the applicant must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Applicants are requested to submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing their vision for Sustainability in the Digital Age as well as how their skills and experience meet the requirements of the overall role. Please also include the name and contact details for two references. Documentation should be combined in one PDF file. Applications should be sent via email with ‘SDA Director and Montreal Hub Lead’ in the subject line to montrealhub@futureearth.org. The closing date for applications is October 21st 2020, 23.59 EDT. Interviews will be held online as necessary.