Chief Operations Officer, McConnell Foundation

Position: Full Time

The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that contributes to diverse and innovative
approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation and climate change. It does so through
funding and investment partnerships, strengthening capabilities, convening, and collaborating with the
public, private and non-profit sectors.
The McConnell Foundation envisions a future in which our economy and social systems promote the
thriving of all people, and in which the natural environment is stewarded for generations to come. The
Foundation sees all sectors working together to address climate change, to help foster reconciliation,
and unleash individual creativity and organizational resources to solve social challenges and
strengthen communities.
Its mission is to strive for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable society that can successfully address its
complex challenges.

Position Summary

Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) provides the
leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the McConnell Foundation has the proper
operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place, to reflect
the mission, vision, values, and position of the Foundation. The COO will be an integral part of the
Senior Leadership Team and oversees Finance, People and Culture, Grant Management System and
Information Technology (IT). In essence, the incumbent will be responsible for:
● Inspiring, developing and motivating the Operations Department (Finance, People and Culture,
Grant Management System and IT) in order to foster a strong sense of collaboration that will
help further consolidate the McConnell Foundation’s role in the ecosystem;
● Providing leadership and guidance to the Operations Department so as to strengthen and
promote a professional culture and work organization aimed at shaping the Foundation to have
a greater impact on the country’s most complex social challenges;
● Assessing, developing and implementing policies and procedures for all operations systems;
● Setting the standards and objectives related to the activities of the respective teams under
his/her leadership;
● Creating and maintaining strategic partnerships with key internal and external stakeholders,
particularly with the Chief Investment Officer, the Chief Program Officer and the Director,
Communications and Governmental Relations, to support their activities;
● Fostering a collaborative environment that will enable the Mcconnell Foundation to strive to be
best in class in grants management and partner responsiveness;
● Supporting and counselling the President and Chief Executive Officer on various matters
relating to operations in order to ensure a responsible and sustainable position in a constantly
evolving ecosystem;
● Actively participating as a member of the Senior Leadership Team in strategic planning and
communicating appropriate information to relevant operations teams and committees.

Core Responsibilities

Strategic Responsibilities
● Lead, develop and implement all strategies and policies pertaining to the operations activities
and ensure their coordination, standardization and alignment across all departments;
● Develop strategies aimed at being responsible and making sure there is alignment in the
Foundation ways of working across departments, processes and systems;
● Assist and participate in the preparation of staff committees, Board of Directors meetings,
Audit, Finance and IT (AFIT) Committee and any other relevant committee meetings;
● Promote a culture of professionalism, ethics and rigor in the execution of research, analysis
and development of relevant operational tools;
● Create close and harmonious relationships with various stakeholders including suppliers,
sector leaders, private foundations and representatives of relevant authorities;
● Act as an ambassador and internal champion on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility
● Act as an ambassador to the Foundation in local, regional, national, and global philanthropic
arenas and any other circles of influence and the community at large.

Organizational Responsibilities

● Lead, support and develop the members of the team, and ensure that the optimal conditions
are in place to implement the best business partnership approach with internal and external
● Clarify roles and responsibilities of the members of the team; define work standards and
objectives to be achieved in order to support the vision of the Foundation;
● Instill a human resources management philosophy that promotes accountability, collaboration
and adaptability; embrace a culture of excellence that encourages people to develop
themselves, by supporting their learning and skills development, and by increasing their
● Act as a steward for the Foundation’s talent pipeline; maintain positive and ethical work
climate that is conducive to attracting, retaining and motivating a diverse group of top-quality
people at all levels;
● Carry out regular individual assessments of the team members under his/her leadership;
● Effectively manage and monitor budgets and work in partnership with the Investment Team to
ensure proper communication of information that will help achieve the Foundation’s financial
● On an annual basis, plan, develop and present to the President and Chief Executive Officer, an
implementation plan that integrates and takes into account the Foundation’s priorities;
● Develop, implement and assess the policies, procedures, and operating rules of the
Foundation; ensure that the Foundation has the relevant key performance indicators in order
to assess and monitor its governance, operations and financial performance;
● Ensure that the Operations Department has the necessary tools, systems and relevant
information to further elevate the support it can provide to internal clients and partners;
● Supervise the planning and evaluation of the various operating levers and ensure their
efficiency and alignment with the Foundation’s objectives;
● Oversee and support the implementation of major projects.
● Integrate into the Foundation’s environment and culture, and rapidly take stock of all current
● Earn the trust and confidence of the McConnell family and Board of Directors, the Senior
Leadership Team, the Operations teams and the stakeholders;
● Perform a thorough assessment of the Operations Department and develop and implement an
effective structure (systems, policies, processes, KPI’s), allowing to standardize ways of doing
things while implementing rigor into the team;
● Review, update and modernize the Foundation’s employee handbook according to best
practices in the philanthropic sector;
● Oversee all projects related to the implementation and integration of new systems;
● Be actively involved as a member of the Senior Leadership Team in the strategic planning of
the Foundation and ensure that the Operations Department action plan is aligned with its
● Lead and enhance the development of a culture focused on ethics, teamwork, engagement,
accountability, and innovation.


  • Postgraduate university education in a relevant field;


  • At least 10 years of management experience as a senior executive, ideally in a pan-canadian
    service organization overlooking finance, IT, HR, project management and data analysis;
  • Solid understanding of the non-profit sector; a direct professional experience is an asset;
  • Relevant experience and demonstrated achievements in leading and mobilizing teams and
    creating an enabling environment; ability to communicate creative visions and strategies in
    order to inspire and motivate a team while leading them to focus their efforts on achieving
    business goals.


  • A result-oriented partner-centric builder who balances strategic vision with an operational
    execution orientation and has the executive presence and the communication skills to
    effectively communicate the importance of both;
  • Thought leadership in the use of innovative and progressive management best practices and
  • A change agent who exemplifies an entrepreneurial attitude and an ability to explore new
    ideas and methods of achieving objectives;
  • Global strategic vision of current issues;
  • Good judgment and political savviness; ability to cope with ambiguity and evolve in a complex
  • Comfortable working autonomously; analytical and intellectually curious;
  • Ability to work in a team environment;
  • Interpersonal skills, efficiency, sense of responsibility, communication skills and good
    interpersonal relations;
  • Demonstrated integrity and professionally ethical;
  • Bilingual.