Director, Sustainable Communities (can be located in Toronto or Vancouver)

  • 102 – 179 John Street Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Full-time

Company Description

Rare senior leadership opportunity to join one of Canada’s leading environmental organization and become an agent of change!

About the David Suzuki Foundation

Always grounded in sound evidence, the David Suzuki Foundation empowers people to take action in their communities on the environmental challenges we collectively face.

Through evidence-based research, policy analysis, education and citizen empowerment, we conserve and protect the natural environment to create a sustainable Canada.

Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. Our vision is that we all act every day on the understanding that we are One With Nature. #OneNature

You can learn more about us at

The David Suzuki Foundation hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equality and diversity within its community and to a welcoming and inclusive workplace.

We especially welcome applications from Indigenous persons, visible minority group members, women, persons with different abilities, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. 


Job Description

Position Title: Director, Sustainable Communities

Terms: Permanent, full-time (4-day week). Some travel, weekend and evening work will be required.

Location: Based at our Toronto or Vancouver Office

Reporting to: ED and Deputy ED

Salary: Based on experience

  • Are you a talented senior leader with a passion for building vibrant, equitable and environmentally sustainable communities?
  • Are you a natural relationship builder who can easily establish connections with diverse groups and build support for a vision and mandate across all levels of business, government and stakeholders?
  • Do you want to lead a team of exceptionally talented experts working at making a real difference in the world? 
  • Are you passionate about saving the planet? Would you like to contribute to a growing environmental NGO and charity working to protect nature’s diversity and climate solutions for now and the future?

Your Responsibilities

  • You are a driving force and a recognized strategic leader and people manager for the long-term success of your team of experts. You know how to build trusting, productive and collaborative teams.
  • You are a relationship builder extraordinaire and know that working effectively and strategically with Indigenous communities, external key players and diverse coalitions and communities is paramount to the success and impact of this role.
  • You understand Community Spirit and are well-connected to networks of community constituents, influencers and donors across Canada to get the job done.
  • You are responsible for the acceleration of science and research into DSF’s cities programs and policy agendas.
  • You are adept at highlighting municipal sustainable communities work within the federal and provincial climate actions DSF takes.
  • You recognize and seize opportunities that arise from emerging issues, current affairs and global trends to maximize the impact and reach of the sustainable communities’ portfolio.
  • You know how to easily and effectively support the development of your team members’ careers as experts, project leaders, and as public spokespeople. You are used to developing a diverse staff team.
  • You are a skilled fundraiser and skillfully guide fundraising efforts, build relationship with funders, and develop other revenues necessary to continue our work in Sustainable Cities projects.
  • You are an experienced spokesperson and media commentator and represent DSF at large public events, conferences and in the local and national media to enhance and support our work and brand.
  • You excel at Government Relations and effectively advocate, inform and influence public policy and high-level government vision of the environment.
  • You personify good values, judgment, and commitment to social and environmental justice, solid ethics, discretion and being impact-driven in all your dealings.
  • You are skilled at financial and budget management working with your staff and the Board to ensure sound financial management and controls, budget preparation and forecasting.


Skills, Experience and Knowledge Required

  • 8 to 10 years of progressive leadership experience.
  • Extensive knowledge in climate change, just-energy transition, and sustainable communities including public policy solutions in transportation, municipal climate plans and environmental footprint.
  • Planning and municipal government background.
  • Strong understanding of diversity and equity. Direct experience working with Indigenous communities, and partners from racialized and marginalized communities to advance our sustainable communities work.
  • Strong and compassionate leadership is key to tying outcomes to our cities policy agenda and networks. 
  • Skilled mentor who lifts up the team and individuals to do their best work. You bring them together to work effectively within a cross-sectional framework and lead/ mentor the following skill sets within the team to deliver strategy:
    • Policy analysts,
    • Communications and digital specialists,
    • Community organizers, mobilization and public engagement specialists,
    • And other experts to deliver strategy.
  • Collaboration and relationship-building are key to this role’s success.
  • Network builder. Skilled media and events spokesperson. Government relations savvy.

 What you bring to the role:

  • Proven and effective communicator and negotiator. You know how to build consensus and cohesion.
  • Strong understanding of equity issues and a proven ability to integrate these issues into the sustainable communities’ work.
  • Exceptional strategic planning abilities including strong project management training and skills.
  • You are an inspiring leader with a focus on relationship building.
  • Demonstrated strength in leading a large team that is aligned, engaged and highly professional and successful.
  • Ability to manage time efficiently to focus on organizational priorities, special projects and external activities. Change management skills a must.
  • You bring with you a significant professional network and municipal and national networking experience.
  • Values alignment with our mission. You demonstrate DSF values in your leadership and actions.
  • Creativity and willingness to let your team experiment with social media and communications strategies.
  • Experience in non-profit fund raising is required.
  • Superb written and spoken English language skills. French and other language skills are an asset.

What You Get

  • Make a difference to protect our planet
  • Being a part of a team of superstars
  • Generous benefit package
  • 4-day work week
  • Amazing work culture with smart colleagues that care

Additional Information

Additional information

Please submit your cover letter and your resume online and submit your application by going to

The position will stay open until it is filled.  Only qualified applicants will be contacted for interviews.

We recognize the importance of a diversified workforce, and we encourage women, Indigenous People(s), First Nations, Inuk/ Inuit and Métis candidates, members of visible minorities and persons with different abilities to apply.