Executive Director, Environmental Innovation


Alberta Innovates (AI) is seeking an Executive Director, Environmental Innovation that is responsible for the development and execution of Environmental Innovation programs, projects and operations to support the realization of the broader sector(s) and organizational strategic priorities, identifying and driving innovative opportunities, and building and leveraging strong stakeholder relations to enable the achievement of desired outcomes.


Are you our next Executive Director, Environmental Innovation? You might be a good fit for this position if you: 


  • Have a proven track record of strategic thinking, long-term visioning, and the ability to develop and execute innovative environmental initiatives, drive sustainability efforts, and lead cross-functional teams.
  • Have broad knowledge of environmental science, policy, and regulations, while understanding the complexities of environmental challenges such as climate change, environmental degradation, and resource conservation.
  • Have strong communication skills and the ability to engage with diverse stakeholders.


We are game changers. 


Alberta Innovates is a provincially-funded corporation with a mandate to deliver 21st-century solutions for the most compelling challenges facing Albertans. We do this by building on our province’s research and technology development strengths in the core areas of health, environment, energy, food, fibre, and platforms such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and omics. We work with our partners to diversify Alberta’s economy, improve our environmental performance, and enhance the well-being of Albertans through research and innovation.


Intrigued? Here’s some more information about the position: 


Reporting to the Associate Vice President, Agriculture and Environment, the Executive Director, Environmental Innovation will collaborate with diverse interest holders, including government agencies, NGOs, industry partners, and local communities. Their expertise in environmental science, policy, and regulations will guide our efforts toward a greener and more sustainable future.


The successful incumbent will be accountable for (but not limited to) the following:

  • Overseeing the development and implementation of Environmental Innovation plans and strategies, including developing goals, performance measures, and implementation tactics; monitoring performance against targets; evaluating emerging issues and potential impacts to target achievement; and adjusting strategies to ensure outcome achievement.
    • Providing advocacy support and expert advice to ensure water and land management interests are effectively represented and managed, identifying industry/government agency priorities, developing incentive strategies, and influencing government policy development and implementation tactics.
  • Developing opportunities to drive/enhance innovation, best practices, and new technologies, identifying gaps and necessary investment resources, engaging business partners, securing funding and commitments, ensuring supporting research and analyses are conducted, preparing business cases, and catalyzing new projects and initiatives, influencing outcomes.
    • Providing leadership in the management of projects, programs and initiatives, ensuring project deliverables, resources and timelines are established, participants and interest holders are engaged, programs are validated/tested, economic/technological impacts are measured and evaluated, and deliverables are achieved.
  • Managing operational, capital, and staff budgets, and reporting activities for the department, identifying budget requirements, preparing forecasts, explaining variances, authorizing expenditures within budget and approved limits, and ensuring the timely submission of required internal and external reports and financial documents.
  • Ensuring management and administrative processes, standards and protocols are established to support Environmental Innovation project/program development and implementation, monitoring adherence and effectiveness of practices and procedures, identifying issues and determining opportunities for improving processes, refreshing standards, and modifying policies and procedures.
  • Developing relationships with internal interest holders, peers and colleagues to collaborate on innovation development initiatives, identify opportunities to leverage resources, and remove roadblocks to influence outcomes.
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with external interest holders, industry colleagues, government /institution representatives and business partners, identifying opportunities for engagement, participating in conferences, seminars and working groups and promoting Alberta Innovates/Environmental Innovation mandates.
  • Overseeing the management of staff activities; ensuring goals and objectives are established; monitoring productivity, work quality, results delivery, and adherence to policies and standards; determining organizational structure/skill requirements; and managing recruitment, performance, staff development, training, and succession planning activities.

Educational Requirement:

  • Master’s degree or above in Environmental Science, Biology, or related field.

Experience and Qualifications we are looking for:

  • Minimum 15 years broad based technical, operations and business management experience.
  • 5 to 10 years progressive management experience at a senior leadership level.
  • Experience working within an innovation environment that requires balancing scientific, technical, marketing, and business development components is an asset.
  • Experience leading and directing large, complex, and multi-year initiatives with multiple stakeholders preferred.



Skills Required:

  • Extensive water, land, biodiversity, and climate change related knowledge.
  • Familiar with Alberta’s social, economic, environmental and technological needs and priorities.
  • Extensive network across industry, government, and post-secondary institutes.
  • Experience in working in/with government and industry in land, biodiversity, water and climate change themes including leading research programs and participating in joint industry projects.
  • Experience working with senior and executive-level government, university and private-sector representatives.
  • Proven track record and possess strategic vision in working across sectors in environmental management.
  • Experience in leading and directing large, complex and multi-year initiatives with multiple stakeholders and translating goals of the organization into tangible measures and targets.
  • Ability to manage key or strategic stakeholder relationships and generate respect and trust from a diverse group of external and internal stakeholders.
  • Proven ability to articulate complex environmental management applications in simple terms and in a business context.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership, and facilitation skills.
  • Business management oversight and acumen and business case development skills.
  • People management, coaching, and career development skills.
  • Self-motivated and results orientated with high attention to detail.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced and complex environment.
  • Ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under pressure to meet multiple deadlines.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office.

Why Alberta Innovates?  


We offer our employees opportunities to work on projects that will expand their skill sets while witnessing the visible impacts of their efforts. We value the development of our employees and create opportunities for working in capacities that allow new skills to be learned. We know that the wellness of our team is the most important part of our business, so we offer a strong benefits package and generous vacation and paid time off programs to promote work-life balance.   


The final candidate will be required to undergo a security clearance. All interviewees must be able to meet the requirement specified in the Physical Demand Analysis. This document will be supplied during the interview process to the successful candidate. This competition will remain open until a successful candidate is found.