Responsible for the planning and implementation of an ongoing public affairs programs with the Ontario government with particular emphasis on the Ministry of the Attorney General. Responsible for the planning and implementation of an ongoing stakeholder relations program with particular emphasis on outreach to the Law Society of Ontario and the Law Commission of Ontario as well as local law associations and diversity (cultural, gender, linguistic) associations.
Develop and lead efforts to assist the Board in recognizing, developing, recruiting, and nurturing future leaders for sections, divisions, conferences, and fora (collectively hereinafter “sections”) and committees to ensure capable, diverse section leadership that is representative of the profession and practice areas and enhances the reputation and value of the OBA. In this regard, the Director of Policy, Public Affairs & Leadership will, among other things, help lead the work of the Recognition and Leadership Development committee to ensure its mandate is fulfilled.
Responsibility of all strategic initiatives related to policy, public affairs, and leadership of the organization. This position has managerial oversight of departmental staff and the shared responsibility of the Lawyers team.
This position reports to the Executive Director & General Counsel.
- Maintain contact in the provincial government and related institutions at the corresponding level and help sensitize them to the OBA’s strategies.
- Assist OBA’s board and leaders in identifying emerging issues or responding to topical issues to best protect and represent the interests of OBA members.
- Establish a network of government officials and politicians from all parties.
- Staff liaison for the following committees: Policy and Public Affairs, Access to Justice, Equality, Pro Bono, Law Day, Official Languages and Student Division. Overseeing their day-to-day work along with the departmental Co-ordinator.
- Maintain effective liaison with public affairs staff in other legal organizations and stakeholder associations.
- Liaise with and research information for Directors of Legislation and Law Reform at CBA and other branches.
- Responsible for the production and distribution of Submissions.
- Proactively seek out relevant consultations, government regulatory changes and proposed legislative reform initiatives in which OBA Sections have an interest and facilitate OBA submission.
- Coordinate the approval process for all OBA submissions through Sections, Public Affairs Committee and OBA Board of Directors.
- Facilitate OBA appearances at Standing Committee hearings and accompany OBA representatives to the appearances.
Sections and Committees
- Ensure that the Lawyer team members attend Section Executive and Committee meetings, as appropriate, to determine policy/public affairs activities are merged with other OBA activities, and encourage written submissions. Review minutes from all Section Executive meetings to ensure initiatives arising from meetings are being addressed.
- Assist Sections, Committees and established Working Groups in preparing written briefs.
- Liaise with Section and Committee Chairs, providing advice and assisting with the communication of approved briefs, submissions, and other "messages", to achieve maximum government and political exposure where appropriate, including writing news releases.
- Write and distribute the monthly Policy & Public Affairs report on behalf of the constituent volunteer chair(s) for the Board and Council’s review.
- Assist in the setting up of meetings between OBA sections and committee volunteers and government officials.
- Establish an annual plan of MPP liaison activities to effectively advocate OBA member interests on government agenda(s).
Leadership and Outreach Initiatives
- Develop and lead efforts to assist the Board in recognizing, developing, recruiting and nurturing future leaders for sections, divisions, conferences and committees to ensure capable, diverse section leadership that is representative of the profession and practice areas and enhances the reputation and value of the OBA. In this regard, the director will, among other things, help lead the work of the Recognition and Leadership Development committee to ensure its mandate is fulfilled.
- Rationalize the expenditures and human resources dedicated to governance of sections while ensuring opportunities for meaningful input from section executives regarding gaps in knowledge, advocacy priorities, emerging PD and advocacy issues etc.
- Ensure section executives and council members:
- feel as though their contribution is appreciated and that their time is valued and well-used
- have a fulfilling experience that is valued by them and their firms/colleagues
- are effective champions of the organization within their constituencies
- understand their role as liaisons to bring information from their constituencies to improve the organization; and
- understand their responsibilities to the organization
- This will be done through, among other things, working with departments across the organization to develop and lead the execution of:
- Council and section-executive training.
- Activities and engagement techniques.
- Information products that allow sections and council to disseminate, to their constituencies, information about OBA initiatives and value.
- Systematic ways to allow leaders to provide feedback from their constituencies.
- Communication back to the section executives and council about how their feedback has been incorporated.
- To “trouble shoot” issues that arise on the section executives and ensure the executive director and line departments are aware of the issues and remedies, as appropriate.
- Oversee the section executive elections and other processes to ensure accuracy, robust, efficient elections, and complete slates prior to reporting.
- University graduate, preferably in political science
- Five to ten years’ experience in government, trade association, consulting
- Five to ten years’ experience in a managerial capacity
- Experience in advocacy and government relations campaigns
- Established network of contacts at Queen's Park
- Experience in public relations and media functions
- Ability to organize and administer numerous projects simultaneously
- Ability to cost out programs and prepare accurate budgets
- A self-starter with a solid foundation in government relations is essential.
- A willingness to roll up your sleeves is critical.
- Bilingualism in French is an asset