Director, Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships

Director, Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships

Diary Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada’s farmers living on more than 12,000 farms.  DFC strives to create stable conditions for the Canadian dairy sector, today and in the future.  It works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy farming and promote dairy products and their health benefits.

We are currently seeking a Director, Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships to join our team based in Ottawa.  The Director of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships is responsible for providing advice, recommendations and leading the government affairs activities for the organization.  This position acts as a liaison with our member partners for all government affairs activities.

Why Dairy Farmers of Canada?

  • Dairy Farmers of Canada offers a variety of group benefits that ensures the health and wellness of its employees;
  • Dairy Farmers has a competitive vacation policy, with vacations starting at four weeks per annum.  In addition, our offices are closed with full pay from December 25 to January 2 inclusively;
  • Do you love dairy products?  If so, you will be pleased to hear that we offer complementary cheese. yoghurt and a variety of milk products on a daily basis!

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Lead the government affairs activities by establishing positive relationships with elected and non-elected officials to advance DFC’s objective;
  • Develop and implement strategies to profile DFC in pursuit of policy development and legislation to support the dairy industry;
  • Ensure that the organizational philosophy, mission and vision regarding government affairs best practices are pertinent;
  • Develop and maintain key strategic alliances to advance DFC’s agenda;
  • Monitor news media and government sources for potential changes in regulatory and legislative areas to ensure DFC reacts effectively;
  • Support members in their own lobbying efforts through advice and by opening doors with elected officials;
  • Attend federal government committee meetings that relate to DFC’s efforts;
  • Manage the staffing of Government Relations professionals.  Develop and maintain a climate that attracts, retains and motivates top quality personnel;
  • Lead the teams development to be line with the organizational mandate and strategic plan for the department by articulating DFC’s mandate, mission and vision;
  • Develop, manage and update short and long-term plans and budgets regarding government activities.  Monitor progress, assure adherence and evaluate performance drawing from internal and external analysis;
  • Stay informed of developments in the fields of government relations. stakeholder relationships and lobbying, in order to help the organization operate with initiative and innovation;
  • Preparing briefs, backgrounders, presentations targeted at elected and non-elected officials.

Professional Skills:

  • Strong leadership skills with an ability to influence people and build consensus among all levels of the organization.  Experience developing and managing budgets and experience in building, mentoring and coaching a team of professionals;
  • Proven experience and abilities in the execution of government relations and strategic partnerships activities at a senior level;
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing comprehensive strategic government relations to advance the organization’s mission and goals.  A strategic thinker with a proven track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with all levels of the internal organization as well as with key external stakeholders;
  • Excellent project management skills with an ability to synthesize data into clear actionable statements.  Detail-oriented, organized and diligent in preparation;
  • Strong facilitation skills with the ability to work with key stakeholders with differing needs and develop an agreed upon solution;
  • Adaptability to change, able to navigate uncertainty and work independently balanced with taking direction and guidance;
  • Must be highly professional, have good judgement, proactively take initiative, able to multitask and demonstrate ability to work well under pressure;
  • Ability to prioritize and make necessary decisions aligned with leadership direction;
  • Self-motivated, energetic, collaborative and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact strategic and tactical goals and objectives by empowering team in a learning environment.

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy or other related field; master’s degree is an asset;
  • A minimum of ten plus (10+) years’ of experience in a government relations management role preferably in a national association and a not-for-profit and/or working in a federated model;
  • Lobbyist experience is a must;
  • Strong knowledge of good governance practices, operational management and strategic planning and human resources practices;
  • Excellent track record for building positive and long-term relationships with key influences, as well as networks;
  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral preferably in both official languages combined with strong presentation skills;
  • Experience in formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures;
  • Proficient computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet;
  • Bilingual (English and French) is a must.

Working conditions are normal for an office environment.  Must be able to work non-traditional hours at times in order to meet operational needs.  Travel is required to attend meetings primarily within Canada and United States.  Travel should not exceed 15% of total working time.

Candidates are invited to send their cover letter and resume to by May 8, 2019.  For additional information on our organization, please visit our website at We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.