University of Alberta

Senior Officer, Strategy and Initiatives

ALES Admin

Competition No.  -    A108434922
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

The Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences is currently seeking a dynamic, results-driven individual to lead the development of strategies and new initiatives for the Faculty.

The Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) is made up of 500+ faculty and staff, 1600 undergraduates and 500+ graduate students. ALES is focused on teaching, research & community service in its departments and schools: Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science; Renewable Resources; Human Ecology; Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology - ALES also has responsibility for the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. The Faculty has an annual budget of $75+m, with approximately $45m of that composed of external research funding. The Faculty has a large research infrastructure which includes 25,000 acres of farm & ranch land in key ecologies across Alberta. 

Reporting to the Dean, the Senior Officer, Strategy and Initiatives (SOSI) is a member of the Executive Team, and is integral to the development, implementation and sustainability of the Faculty’s strategic direction.  The SOSI provides strategic analysis, formulation of options, and advice to the Dean regarding strategic planning, and resource allocation decisions by maintaining high level oversight of all areas encompassing the Faculty of ALES. In a rapidly changing environment, this includes advising the Dean/Vice Dean on various issues and formulating the appropriate solutions. The successful candidate must have significant capacity to understand the current issues facing ALES as well as strategic foresight to identify, assess, and recommend actions for potential challenges and opportunities for the Faculty.  

As the key overarching administrative leader in the Faculty, the SOSI will support the Dean in ensuring that ALES vision, and strategic priorities are clarified and implemented in all units within the Faculty in order to achieve, execute and sustain the strategic direction direction for the Faculty.  The position acts as a conduit and change agent between the Faculty, Departments and other ALES units, and must drive administrative and organizational decision making to ensure strategic decisions are realized. The SOSI plays an active role in networking with key internal and external partners and stakeholders in an effort to continually enhance the overall service delivery within ALES. 

 Specific responsibilities include:

  • Develops and implements strategies and processes including the Faculty’s short term and long term strategic goals and plan
  • Provides strategic advice and guidance to the Executive Team on strategic opportunities and challenges
  • In collaboration with the senior leadership team, develops strategies and leads solutions to complex financial management challenges; ensuring critical financial, infrastructure, and human resource issues are identified and addressed
  • Provides strategic administrative leadership and development to ensure that supports, systems, and processes are in alignment
  • Provides leadership and coordination to all Faculty portfolios and departments to ensure optimal deployment and use of Faculty resources
  • Coordinates the development and implementation of the Faculty’s key initiatives and projects
  • Provides in-depth analysis, using key metrics to provide insight into the development, assessment, and implementation of proposals for major scholarly, research and/or revenue generation intiatives
  • Accountable for overseeing Faculty Infrastructure Development and Facility Management
  • Develops and oversees an ALES Facility strategic plan that supports the ALES Strategic Plan, measures capital priorities to inform short-term and long-term facility needs.


  • Graduate degree with specialization in Management or Organizational Development (Change or Transition Management is an asset)
  • A credential in any designation in a quality improvement approach, such as Six Sigma, Lean or any formal credential in project/portfolio management
  • Significant diverse senior leadership experience preferably in post secondary environment; including demonstrated leadership ability and experience with senior level management teams in large, complex organizations/initiatives
  • Business, strategic, and operational planning and implementation experience (Business Strategy formulation), preference for experience in scenario planning in a complex academic or research environment in a similar role
  • Familiarity with University governance systems, university policy, regulations, procedures and operating requirement
  • Demonstrated management ability in leading initiatives, managing change and transition, and achieving positive results
  • Ability to act decisively and to exercise a high degree of initiative, resourcefulness and judgment on a wide range of issues
  • Excellent consultation, diplomacy and communication skills to manage issues and to develop and maintain positive working relationships with a wide range of staff, partners, stakeholders and colleagues
  • Superior analytical, problem solving and well-developed organizational skills with an excellent ability to multi-task
  • Ability to manage and perform in fast-paced and challenging environment

In accordance with the Administrative and Professional Officer Agreement, this full time continuing position offers a comprehensive benefits package found at: and annual salary range commensurate with qualifications.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those under consideration for the role will be contacted.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.