ORION is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering Ontario researchers, educators and innovators. We foster a community of 1.7 million users at more than a hundred universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions, school boards and regional innovation centres across the province.

We enable ground-breaking discoveries and cutting-edge education by connecting institutions and regions through our network, facilitating collaboration, and providing our community with the digital tools and expert support they need to make the world a better place.

As pioneers of cybersecurity thought leadership in Canada’s research and education sector, ORION is committed to keeping our digital community safe by helping improve their cybersecurity posture.

As a workplace, ORION has a culture of inclusion, mutual respect, and teamwork. Equity and diversity are an integral part of our commitment to innovation, connectivity, and community. We encourage applicants from women, persons with disabilities*, Indigenous peoples, racialized people and others who may contribute to the further evolution of our network.

Working with the communication and executive team, this individual will be responsible for supporting ORION’s mission through relationships and communications that raise awareness about ORION’s enablement of Ontario’s policy makers’ goals.

The successful applicant will require a strong understanding of government policy. They will demonstrate the ability to build effective relationships and manage these together with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders, including varying levels of government leadership.

The Advisor will lead and/or contribute to files in the areas of government relations, regulatory/policy review, support to executive outreach, and issues management. They will also identify and analyze issues affecting the research education and innovation sector, understand how they connect to ORION’s activities either immediately or in the future and recommend a course of action to manage or address them.

You will have an opportunity to work with a dynamic team of professionals at a non-profit organization in Toronto, and to interact with leaders in Ontario’s research, education and innovation sectors, including government.

Currently reporting to the VP Business Planning and Partnerships, you will help ORION strengthen its impact on provincial economic growth through digital infrastructure.

Key Activities:

The successful candidate ensures ORION has the information and analysis to support its goal of strengthening Ontario’s digital infrastructure ecosystem.

  • Advise on ORION’s government and stakeholder relationship strategy
  • Support the development and maintenance of strong and effective relationships with government officials (elected and non-elected), NREN (National Research Education Network partners and key public affairs influencers to enhance awareness, understanding and engagement in achieving ORION’s strategic goals
  • Accountable for funding submissions and ongoing reporting of all government and NREN funding activities, working with various government agencies and internal ORION teams
  • Monitor and report internally on federal, provincial, and municipal government proceedings relevant to advancing ORION’s strategic objectives
  • Assist with preparation and writing of community/stakeholder communication pieces such as information packages, reports letters, and regular electronic newsletters
  • Gather background material, statistics, and other data to support the team with correspondence, the creation of briefing notes for key meetings and ad hoc presentation materials
  • Track key government committees, ministries and other advisory bodies to ensure, where appropriate, that ORION provides input and information to these groups with the objective of advancing the organization’s contribution and furthering its objectives. Maintain and expand a Salesforce dashboard to visualize stakeholder engagement and communications data
  • Foster ORION’s support of a strong innovation ecosystem, by coordinating outreach activities with stakeholders (government ministries, support agencies, vendors, university and college research partners, school board and library educational technology champions) through consultations and meetings
  • Gather, synthesize, and analyze information on the broad range of sectors and organizations that impact ORION’s role in the digital infrastructure ecosystem
  • Help coordinate and communicate ORION’s position in the public policy arena, drafting research, position and briefing papers, as well as proposals, applications, speeches and other strategic collateral and messaging to deploy across traditional and digital channels, perhaps in collaboration with vendors and acting as their point of contact within the organization
  • Support ORION’s marketing and brand awareness campaigns across relevant channels
  • Maintain a knowledge base of issues, reports and analyses that are available to ORION management and staff
  • Based on these analyses, recommend activities that leverage ORION’s strengths and serve to strengthen the digital infrastructure ecosystem, including recommendations regarding the evolution of ORION’s programs, services, relationships, funding and communications

Reporting Relationship:

  • This position currently reports directly to the VP Business Planning and Partnerships

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Passionate about and experienced in traditional and digital advocacy best practices, actively engaged online
  • Understanding of how government policy is developed and how decisions are made
  • Experience planning and executing meetings, events and other public affairs activities
  • Experience in stakeholder or government relations, or in a government/political office
  • A solid understanding of the research, education and innovation sector and/or digital infrastructure sector, as well as how it relates to policy
  • Well-developed relationship building and management skills
  • Education: Minimum undergraduate degree in public relations, policy, or related field
  • Demonstrated ability to research, interpret, and analyze proposed changes to regulations or government policy and prepare reports on how these changes may impact the organization
  • Experience responding to inquiries from government representatives about the organization and its activities
  • Co-ordination of reports and presentations to stakeholders
  • Excellent writing and editing skills as well as some image editing ability
  • In-depth understanding of various social media platforms, including but not limited to: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
  • Must be comfortable with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)
  • Experience with WordPress, Google Analytics, MailChimp and Salesforce or similar
  • Well-developed analytical skills, leading to sound decisions based on organizational strategy
  • Self starter and strong team player with ability to understand and present varying viewpoints for multiple stakeholders
  • Attention to detail with the ability to multi-task
  • Fearless attitude towards technology and willing to learn: Self-motivated, innovative


Please apply to with subject line: Advisor, Policy and Stakeholder Relations