Chief Commissioner - Notice of Vacancy

CHIEF COMMISSIONER (full-time position)
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Salary Range:  $222,700 to $262,000

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is an independent body established by Parliament in 1977. It carries out its mandate at arms-length from the Government of Canada.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission administers the Canadian Human Rights Act and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Employment Equity Act. Both laws ensure that the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination are followed in all areas of federal jurisdiction.

The Commission works with employers, service providers, individuals, unions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and provincial and territorial human rights bodies to foster understanding and commitment to achieving a society where human rights are respected in everyday practices.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is mandated by the Canadian Human Rights Act to investigate and try to settle complaints of discrimination in employment and in the provision of services within federal jurisdiction. The Commission is also mandated to develop and conduct information and discrimination prevention programs.

The Chief Commissioner is responsible for the efficient and effective functioning of the Commission. Specifically, the Chief Commissioner is responsible for the delivery of the Commission's statutory mandate in addressing human rights complaints and issues of systemic discrimination, fostering public understanding of human rights through its prevention, research and policy initiatives, and conducting employment equity compliance audits. The Chief Commissioner is the Commission's principal spokesperson on issues of human rights and represents the Commission before parliamentary committees, as well as at various Canadian and international fora.

The successful candidate must have a university degree in a relevant field of study, or a combination of equivalent education, job-related training and experience. The ideal candidate will have senior management experience in a private and/or public sector organization and decision-making experience with respect to sensitive issues.  The selected candidate will also have experience in the interpretation and application of legislation, regulations and policies. Experience in alternative dispute resolution is considered an asset.

The ideal candidate will possess knowledge of sound management principles, the operations of government, and legal principles, especially in the area of human rights law.  Knowledge of Canada's national and international human rights obligations and the mechanisms that exist to implement them is required. The qualified candidate will have knowledge of the operation of an administrative decision-making body, including the rules that govern its operation. Knowledge of human rights issues and social issues that have potential human rights implications, as well as knowledge of the issues and challenges arising from the diversity of Canadian society, and particularly the need for appropriate institutional responses, is also required.

The preferred candidate will possess the ability to communicate effectively, in writing and orally, and will be able to develop and maintain cooperative relations with a broad range of stakeholders, the media, the public at large and policy makers at all levels in the field of human rights. The preferred candidate will have the ability to make sound decisions and provide leadership, including building and maintaining a high level of motivation and morale in employees. The ability to understand and respond strategically and reasonably to complex situations, as well as to anticipate the short- and long-term consequences of his/her strategies is essential. The successful candidate will also have the ability to demonstrate sensitivity to the differing needs and agendas of multiple stakeholders.

In order to achieve the Commission’s objectives and carry out its mandate, the Chief Commissioner must be innovative, action-oriented and possess sound judgment, integrity and superior interpersonal skills. 

Proficiency in both official languages is preferred.

The successful candidate must reside in or be willing to relocate to the National Capital Region or to a location within reasonable commuting distance.

The Government is committed to ensuring that its appointments are representative of Canada’s regions and official languages, as well as of women, Aboriginal peoples, disabled persons and visible minorities.

The preferred candidate must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website, under “Reference Material” at

The selected candidate will be subject to the Conflict of Interest Act.  Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner’s website at

This notice has been placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates for this position. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.

Further details about the Canadian Human Rights Commission and its activities can be found on its Web site at

Interested candidates should forward their curriculum vitae by August 27, 2012, to the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Senior Personnel), Privy Council Office, 59 Sparks Street, 1st Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3, 613 957-5006 (facsimile), (email).

English and French notices of vacancies will be produced in alternative format (audio cassette, diskette, braille, large print, etc.) upon request. For further information, please contact Publishing and Depository Services, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0S5, 613- 941-5995 or 1-800-635-7943.

View the complete Selection Criteria.