Senior Advisor to Vice-Principal Dean (MR7451)

Position Summary:

The Senior Advisor provides advising, planning, policy and project support on a range of dossiers and initiatives led by the Office of the Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) & Dean (VP-Dean) of the Faculty of Medicine. This includes providing substantial executive support to the VP-Dean in the preparation of planning documents, project reports, briefing notes, data analysis and presentations.

The Senior Advisor plays an essential role in the advancement of the Office and its strategic priorities by acting on behalf of the VP-Dean to ensure a standard of excellence across the Faculty and collaboration in achieving objectives. He/she interacts frequently with other executive offices of the University, including the Principal’s Office, the Secretariat, the Provost’s Office and other Vice-Principal offices, as well as with the Board of Governors (BOG).

The Senior Advisor must be able to function with a high level of responsiveness and effectiveness in a complex, fast-paced office environment. This position often demands quick turnaround times, flexibility in work hours, initiative and independence.

Primary Responsibilities:

The Senior Advisor is the principal advisor to the VP-Dean on major initiatives, providing strategic and tactical counsel and support.

  • Acts as principal advisor to the VP-Dean, Faculty of Medicine, with respect to internal and external portfolios (e.g., Principal’s executive, Senate, BOG, Dean’s meetings, retreats).
  • Leads the staff directly supporting the VP-Dean to ensure smooth functioning of the office.
  • Represents the VP-Dean, attending meetings at all levels and acting as spokesperson. Communicates decisions made by the VP-Dean. Acts as a high-level advocate of Faculty issues and works to advance the interests of the Faculty at every opportunity, to both internal and external communities.
  • In support of the VP-Dean, partners with the Faculty’s Executive Director, Administration and Operations, to execute the business action items stemming from the various portfolios in that domain.
  • Ensures that the VP-Dean is appropriately informed of any developments on campus and elsewhere that have the potential to affect the Faculty/University.
  • Conducts in-depth research. Anticipates needs or issues; ensures that the VP-Dean has seamless access to sufficient and up-to-date information; briefs the VP-Dean on a variety of complex issues.
  • Provides the VP-Dean with recommendations and possible solutions for key issues related to the portfolio. Proposes issues to be raised, together with possible solutions. Analyzes the broad impacts of initiatives and provides advice on strategic academic priorities.
  • Provides confidential, strategic advice, counsel and support to the VP-Dean and the executive team.
  • Provides project management on several large initiatives on behalf of the VP-Dean.
  • Provides oversight of Faculty governance, including management of the Faculty Council and its Steering Committee, and acts as Chair of the Nominating Committee; responsible for planning, organizing and supporting all Faculty of Medicine advisory and decision-making committees including: Dean’s Operations Committee (DOC), Deanery Executive Committee, Faculty Leadership Commons (FLC), Clinical Chairs Committee and the Basic Science Chairs Committee.
  • Oversees Faculty-wide policies, ensuring periodic updates as appropriate in collaboration with policy stakeholders; collaborates with the Faculty’s Communications Office to ensure effective communication of policies and updates.
  • Works directly with the VP-Dean to manage and resolve a large variety and volume of sensitive and time-critical issues and works on other special projects as required by the VP-Dean.
  • Works closely with the Director of Communications to facilitate the development of internal communications and to ensure transparency of information in support of the VP-Dean; partners with the Communications Office to develop themes for Faculty Council and Town Hall meetings, as well as presentations and other materials for strategic events; supports the organization of important public relations events.
  • Works closely with the VP-Dean, Director of Communications and other senior administrators in the Faculty and across the University to develop and coordinate, official responses to major issues that arise on campus and in the community.

Minimum Education & Experience: 

Undergraduate degree

Eight (8) years' related experience

Other Qualifying Skills And/Or Abilities: 

A graduate degree in Business Administration, Public Policy, or other related discipline or equivalent experience. 10 years of work experience at a senior management level either in a large academic or public institution. Experience in a university and academic health network setting; proven understanding of the complexities of a research environment is preferred. The ability to communicate clearly, appropriately and efficiently, with discretion and diplomacy.Negotiation skills, including the ability to diagnose key issues, identity common ground, and achieve consensus. Proven ability to conduct in-depth research, analyze and synthesize critical information. Proven ability to initiate, support and/or lead key strategic initiatives and drive results.Excellent collaborative relationship and consensus-building skills. Advanced Microsoft Office Suite skills including the ability to produce professional reports and presentations. Fully bilingual French and English.Familiarity with the social, political and cultural environments of Montreal and Quebec is a definite asset. Proven ability to creatively solve problems and demonstrate “out-of-the-box” thinking. Ability to work with abstract, broad, intangible concepts and flush out concrete action plans.

Reference Number: 19-0625/MR7451

Reporting To: Dean of Medicine

Salary Range: (Grade 09) $85,200 - $113,600 (midpoint) $159,100

Faculty/Unit: Faculty of Medicine, Medicine

Position Type: Full-Time

Hours Per Week: 33.75

How To Apply: 

Please submit your application online at

Click on “APPLY NOW” and clearly indicate the reference number.

The deadline to apply for this position is July 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

*Current employees: please indicate your McGill ID number in your application.*

We thank all applicants for their interest in McGill University. However, the Faculty of Medicine will only contact applicants selected for an interview.

McGill applicants, covered by the McGill Non-Unionized, Non-Academic Personnel Policies and Procedures, must apply to a regular M and Excluded position within ten (10) working days of the date of publication to maintain internal priority.

McGill University hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We welcome applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all qualified candidates with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. McGill implements an employment equity program and encourages members of designated groups to self-identify. Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application process may contact, in confidence, or 514-398-3711.