Chief of Staff

Founded in 1959 on the Traditional Territory of the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat, York University is Canada's third-largest university, and is a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching institution. York is a community of change-makers passionate about advancing social justice and equity and championing diversity and inclusivity by embracing differing perspectives, peoples, and ways of knowing, and fostering global fluencies and cross-cultural knowledge. Located in Toronto and adjacent to one of North America's fastest-growing regions, York reflects the multicultural diversity of its wider community on its Keele, Glendon, and Markham campuses, facilities in downtown Toronto, and in two international campuses in India and Costa Rica. York is a vibrant community of over 60,000 faculty, staff and students building their own unique paths to success in their chosen fields. York's community also includes over 325,000 alumni worldwide.

York is seeking an experienced administrative leader to become the next Chief of Staff (COS) for the Office of the President & Vice-Chancellor. Under the Direction of the President, the COS is responsive to a wide range of high-profile issues of critical importance in the President’s Office.  This includes supporting the President on strategic pan-university initiatives, ensuring key priorities are advanced, maintaining effective relationships with the offices of the Vice-Presidents and members of the Senior Administration. The COS also serves on the President-Vice-President (PVP) Committee, the University Executive Committee (UEC) and the Government Relations, Advancement, Communications and Events Committee (GRACE), among other committees and working groups, including acting as the President’s designate in working groups focused on strategic planning and execution. The Chief of Staff is also responsible for leading major strategic initiatives.

Operationally, the COS is responsible for direction and oversight of the management of the administrative, financial, human resources, facilities and planning functions for the Office of the President.  This includes supervising 4 direct reports and 10 indirect reports, as well as oversight of the Office’s $2.65m budget. As Senior Executive Officer for the President’s Division, they are also responsible for oversight of the Division ($14.7m budget), which includes: Communications & Public Affairs, Government and Community Relations, the University Secretariat, the General Counsel’s Office and the Art Gallery of York University.  

An experienced leader able to thrive in a complex academic environment, the COS will have the ability to work in a highly matrixed and relationship-driven culture where they are responsible for driving excellence on multiple high profile and complex projects simultaneously. Substantive senior managerial and project management experience of 10-15 years in a university, or post-secondary environment would be ideal but we would welcome a proven administrator from other sectors. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in change management and organization re-design to support the transformational change efforts underway as part of York’s Service Excellence Program. The successful candidate would ideally possess a Master’s degree with specialization relevant to the position. Proven commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is a requirement, as is knowledge of Health and Safety legislation and employment standards. 

A broad understanding of the goals and objectives of a university is essential, including sound knowledge of academic and administrative decision-making processes. In addition, applicants should have an understanding and awareness of post-secondary education sector priorities and pressures, the economic landscape in which the University operates, and relevant political trends (e.g. government, enrolment and budgets) in order to make effective decisions and/or recommendations regarding resource allocation. Experience leading a large team to achieve results and progress in an environment of change and complexity, and managing staff in a unionized environment, are also required.


York University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including, but not limited to women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities (racialized), Indigenous Peoples and persons of any gender identity and sexual orientation. York University is committed to a positive, supportive and inclusive environment.

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), accommodation will be provided by both Perrett Laver and York University throughout the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities.

York University is partnering with the search firm Perrett Laver on this appointment. For further information and details on how to apply, please visit the Perrett Laver website at and quote reference 5928. Applications should consist of a cover letter and curriculum vitae. The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon Eastern Time on July 29, 2022.

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