Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

About CIFAR:

CIFAR is a Canadian-based, global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government, and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 20 Nobel laureates and 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

CIFAR has had a significant impact on the way the world understands such critical issues as early child and brain development, artificial intelligence, building stronger societies, and many others. Our impact comes both from our long-term commitment to leading-edge research and our efforts to connect stakeholders with the knowledge our programs produce.

CIFAR is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We recognize that bringing together individuals from multiple backgrounds, perspectives and experiences is integral to advancing excellence and increasing the impact of our organization. Ensuring that every person feels valued and welcome is vital to achieving our mission, and embodies our values of diversity, excellence, respect and collaboration.

Purpose of the Position:

CIFAR is strongly committed to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive (EDI) work environment. We are seeking an individual in the Inaugural role of Director, EDI to manage and execute CIFAR’s Board approved EDI action plan, lead activities, and provide guidance and support across the organization on EDI issues. This role will work in a highly collaborative environment with others leading EDI efforts across CIFAR to align efforts, share programs, and ensure measurement systems are in place to assess progress.


  • Create and implement an institution-wide EDI action plan and key initiatives

  • Conduct a systematic review of existing policies and procedures with the goal of updating to ensure alignment with CIFAR’s commitment to EDI

  • Support the COO with the Board’s Governance Committee to update and enhance the Board recruitment strategy and enhance the skills matrix

  • Coordinate a standing EDI Committee for the organization to benefit from advice from volunteers, staff and the CIFAR community

  • Create ongoing opportunities for training and education in EDI topics across the organization, including for staff, senior leadership, the Board, CIFAR’s Research Council and community of fellows

  • Work closely with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist to create and implement an EDI data management plan. This will include: developing goals and systems to measure and track progress on EDI metrics; and, identifying and stewarding the collection of institutional data to identify opportunities for improvement

  • Determine barriers to recruitment and work with Human Resources to ensure that recruitment processes and institutional culture supports a diverse workforce and attracts a broad candidate pool including those under-represented

  • Continue and support CIFAR’s talent and culture efforts to ensure we are safe, accessible, inclusive and welcoming to everyone

  • Work closely with the Research and Knowledge Mobilization teams to create explicit practices to ensure a more diverse pool of researchers apply and are considered during Global Calls, as Global Scholars, as CCAI Chairs, and for KM engagements

  • Organize and host meetings and events that attract, engage and meet the needs of a diverse pool of scholars, experts outside of academia and researchers to CIFAR

  • Help strengthen relationships with other organizations within the research community to leverage shared understandings and expertise on EDI


  • Bachelor's degree, with Master’s degree preferred

  • Proven experience building an EDI strategy and programs in a substantial organization (academic or research preferred), with evidence of success in working across an institution with multiple complex stakeholders

  • French-English bilingualism and international experience considered an asset

  • Strong and current understanding of best practices in EDI programming and key success factors from other organizations who are leaders in this domain

  • Demonstrated experience in development, implementation and management of education programs related to EDI

  • Experience in organizational change management

  • Statistical knowledge, project management skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills including judgment, tact, and diplomacy and the ability to interact with people at all levels

  • Self-motivated, proactive, and excellence with organizing and prioritizing in a fast-paced environment

  • Excellent attention to detail, problem solving, with the ability to work well independently and in a collaborative team

  • Demonstrated strong communication skills (oral, written) necessary for one on one, small group and larger group presentations

  • Ability to analyze variety of data types, think critically and identify process improvements

  • Active listening skills supporting effective engagement at all levels of the organization

  • Expert knowledge of G-suite applications. Familiarity with Salesforce is an asset.

Position reports to
: Chief Operating Officer
Term of position:  Permanent          
Start date: As soon as possible

Contact: To explore this key leadership position at CIFAR further, please contact Jane Griffith at

One of CIFAR's core cultural values is Diversity - we value diversity and aspire to be inclusive in all aspects of our work.  CIFAR is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to removing systemic barriers and biases, and by promoting the practice of inclusivity, so that all individuals have equal access to and benefit from the work we do.  We encourage applications from

all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application. 

ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES - CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email and include the term 'Accessibility' in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.

CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible.  Other languages are also considered an asset. For a French version of the job posting, please visit

We thank you for your interest in working at CIFAR. All applications will be reviewed however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.