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Government Relations Specialist (Municipal Affairs), Government and Community Engagement, University Relations

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Job ID: 14317

Updated: December 1, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Government and Community Engagement team within University Relations is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Government Relations Specialist (Municipal Affairs) .

Reporting to the Director of Government Relations, the Government Relations Associate (Municipal Affairs) is a key member of the Government and Community Engagement team (GCE). GCE's mandate is to position the university as a key partner with governments by developing and furthering the university's relationships with the three levels of government, and to promote to governments the university's perspectives, positions and priorities. Of equal importance, the unit also works closely with other units to facilitate mutually beneficial engagement with the broad range of the institutional stakeholder communities, including facilitating public policy dialogue and the engagement of students and faculty in public policy development, strengthening linkages between the university and the community, encouraging increased community access to and usage of the university's facilities, and supporting special events on campus.

GCE is led by the Associate Vice-President (Government and Community Engagement) and has strong working relationships with other university units, including units within the University Relations division (Strategic Communications and Marketing) and the Executive and Senior Leadership Teams. The incumbent will join a dynamic team of government and community engagement professionals. The incumbent will often handle time sensitive and highly confidential information, and as such, must be comfortable exercising discretion, sound judgement and diplomacy. The pace can be intense and the workload demanding at times, but this is a rewarding position for the right candidate. The position may at times require irregular work hours.

Position Description

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

  • Develop and implement proactive and file specific strategies and action plans for engagement and advocacy with municipal government officials, in alignment with the university's broader government relations strategy and Eyes High strategic direction
  • Conduct research in support of advocacy activities and the development of relevant public policy at the municipal level. Undertake analysis of relevant policy issues from the perspective of strength of evidence, economic and other impacts to the university and post-secondary sector
  • Build and maintain relationships with officials, elected representatives and staff in the municipal government
  • Develop working relationships and policy understandings of stakeholder groups that affect the university's interaction with municipal government
  • Propose policy options and strategic advice to the Associate Vice-President and Director of Government Relations as applicable
  • Support the university senior leaders in meetings with municipal government officials on a regular basis to discuss issues/policies that relate to or will impact the university and/or its stakeholders
  • Participate as a key contributor to the development of the university's broad advocacy and engagement strategy, and to positioning the university as a key partner with the municipal government
  • Work in partnership with other university units to identify and secure non-traditional sources of government funding for university activities and infrastructure
  • Build and leverage community/municipal relationships to advance the university's community based research and teaching and learning (i.e. Urban Alliance, Make Calgary)
  • Work in partnership with other units to contribute to special events involving government and other external stakeholders within the community
  • Ensure appropriate stewardship of confidential and sensitive information
  • Participate as a key contributor to the development of the university's regular environmental scans, as well as the broad advocacy and engagement strategy, positioning the university as a key resource with government
  • Responsible for a variety of writing including preparation of presentations, correspondence and meeting materials that include messaging developed for government
  • Monitor relevant policy, legislation and program developments within the municipal government and provide advice to the AVP or Director on the university's response to new developments
  • Identify opportunities for the university to participate in and influence the development of public policy at the municipal level in areas central to its mandate
  • Monitor issues of priority concern to the university, with a particular focus on developments that stand to impact university land use, municipal partnership and research opportunities, and communicate relevant findings of the developments to university units including senior university officials
  • Provide analysis for and contribute to communications and public affairs material produced by the university and post-secondary associations and partners when relevant
  • Respond to requests for information from stakeholders within the university and the municipal government
  • Develop, update and maintain website content and contribute to newsletters and Utoday stories
  • Assist the Director in identifying key policy issues in the municipal government, and at times the provincial and federal governments that may affect the university, and provide strategic advice on those issues
  • Develop, for internal university community (senior university officials), project-specific government relations plans with clear objectives, strategies and methods of evaluation
  • Work closely with Government Relations colleagues and senior leaders in the university to discuss, brainstorm, refine and challenge the ideas/data proposed on various policy files or projects

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • 4-6 years of experience working in a government, advocacy, community, stakeholder or municipal engagement role
  • Significant working knowledge of municipal government processes, decision making, programming and political processes
  • Demonstrable experience researching and monitoring municipal policy, emerging issues and council developments
  • Experience preparing communications materials, including briefing notes, background and other documents for executive and senior leaders and/or government audiences
  • Knowledge of municipal land use and planning processes in Calgary or in Alberta would be an asset
  • Significant experience working in a complex environment, serving a number of internal and external clients and interacting with multiple stakeholders
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational, analytical and problem solving skills in order to deal effectively with complex tasks and issues
  • Excellent analytical skills, high attention to detail, and accuracy are essential
  • Ability to work independently and with colleagues must have capacity to successfully manage multiple competing priorities with minimal supervision and direction
  • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information, provide advice, exercise sound judgement and diplomacy and communicate effectively with executive and senior leaders
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing, developing and maintaining long-term, supportive relationships
  • Eligibility to act as a registered lobbyist is required
  • Familiarity with university structures, funding and grant allocation processes, as well as an understanding of post-secondary institutional governance would be beneficial

Application Deadline: November 30, 2017

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 III 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.


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

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 professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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