Head of Program (HoP), Canada Program (CP)

International Programs · Ottawa, Ontario
Department International Programs
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Executive
Compensation CA$90,000 - CA$110,000 per annum

Location: Canada

Reports to: Director, Program Strategy and Innovation (DPSI)

Position type: Full-time (2 years confirmed funding)

Classification: Management

Salary: CA$90,000 - CA$110,000 per annum

Language requirements: English; working knowledge of an Indigenous language(s) is an asset


Cuso International is an international cooperation and development organization that works to create economic and social opportunities for marginalized groups. Together with our partners, we are focused on efforts to advance gender equality and social inclusion, improve economic resilience, and deliver progress on climate action. We believe that by sharing skills, we can build better futures. Founded in 1961, Cuso International works in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Canada.

Cuso is looking for a Head of Program (HoP) to take over the leadership of Cuso’s existing Canada Program and set its future direction through dialogue and consultation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and organizations in Canada.  The Canada Program will elevate Cuso’s unique way of creating long-term relationships with communities and organizations that support long-term programs with specific focus on building relationships with First Nations across Canada. Cuso seeks to contribute humbly and meaningfully to Canada’s long journey of Reconciliation.  Cuso is looking for the right candidate to lead Cuso’s work in this area. 

Cuso privileges candidates of the Indigenous community to apply.

*** Cuso recognizes the role of historic colonial legacies in creating and perpetuating inequalities and injustices we see today.  In Canada and elsewhere, Cuso recognizes our privilege in working and living on lands Indigenous Peoples have nurtured since time immemorial and commit to acting in solidarity with their struggles for self-determination and decolonization.  Cuso’s offices in the city of Ottawa are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Algonquin Anishinabe peoples. ***


Program Development

  • In coordination with DPSI, lead design of five-year Canada Program strategy, including strategy for securing funding for the Canada Program.
  • Co-create plans for the implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action (TRC 94) and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 231 Calls for Justice (MMIWG 231).
  • Participate in national, regional and international Indigenous networks, alliances, forums or events and promote Canada Program with donors and other relevant actors in Canada.
  • Secure funding from national, regional and international donors to scale-up the Canada Program and lead development of concept notes/proposals for Indigenous programs aligned to Indigenous community priorities.
  • In coordination with DPSI team, support development of thought leadership and advocacy activities within Cuso.

Program Strategy and Management

  • In collaboration with Indigenous communities, organizations and other actors in Canada, implement the Canada Program strategy aligned with strong understanding of social, economic and environmental issues being addressed by Indigenous communities in Canada.
  • Develop a participatory, inclusive and long-term approach to building meaningful relationships for the Canada Program that is aligned with Indigenous community development principles and based on principles of respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility.
  • Map, negotiate, build and maintain equitable and transparent relationships with Indigenous communities, organizations and other actors in Canada and advance movement on decolonization in the sector.
  • Identify potential risks and develop informed Indigenous-led solutions for mitigation.
  • Lead start-up of the Canada Program in coordination with DPSI, including managing relationships with donors and partners.
  • Lead annual work planning and budgeting process.
  • Ensure all programmatic, financial and reporting deadlines are complied with and the team follows Cuso and donor policies, procedures and processes.
  • Coordinate with Director, Program Quality and Impact (DPQI) to ensure team complies with Cuso and donor’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) systems.
  • Recruit, coach and support staff as well as carry out annual performance appraisals.
  • Coordinate with DPQI to ensure the team complies with Cuso and donor’s duty of care and safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • Recruit, coach and support staff as well as carry out annual performance appraisals.


  • Foster a transparent, respectful, fair and participatory work environment free from harassment, motivating their team and colleagues to actively participate towards achieving Cuso’s goals.
  • Fulfill other responsibilities, as required by Cuso Canada office from time to time.
  • Regular travel within Canada and internationally when required.



  • University Degree in a relevant field, preferably at master’s degree level (or equivalent experience)


  • List of equivalent experience demonstrating 5 years of experience in designing, managing and monitoring Indigenous programs/projects in Canada, including strong knowledge of MEAL systems.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in a leadership role with experience managing multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Strong network of Indigenous communities, organizations and actors in Canada, including civil society, government agencies, private sector and donors, is a strong asset.
  • Well-developed experience with annual work planning, budget management and financial reporting, including for donors.
  • A proven track record of securing funding for Indigenous programming in Canada (CAD $1M+).
  • Strong experience working in Indigenous development context in Canada.
  • Deep practical, analytical and theoretical knowledge of historical and current context of Indigenous communities and realities in Canada.

Capacities, Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancement of Indigenous people’s rights and empowerment.
  • Strong understanding and competency in TRC 94, MMWIG 231 and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 
  • Strong ability to coach, mentor and motivate teams.
  • Ability to make decisions and take initiative, as part of managing a complex and varied workload.
  • Excellent strategic thinking and analytical abilities.
  • Excellent cross-cultural interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency with Word, Excel, Outlook and web-based research.
  • Ability to work irregular hours and overtime when needed to meet critical deadlines.
  • Ability to represent Cuso in a variety of media audiences.
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to build relationships, alliances and networks across Canada.


Cuso International is committed to creating and fostering an inclusive culture. We strive to actively celebrate diversity, advance our equitable practices, and drive greater inclusion. We offer a comprehensive employee benefits package and insurance, generous days of paid time off, including vacation and sick days, and more.


Please click the "Apply for This Job" button to submit your application by February 3, 2023, at 11:59PM (EST). Expressions of interest should be sent in English. Your résumé and one-page cover letter should demonstrate how you meet all the essential and any desirable qualifications. Please note that a confirmation email will be generated once you submit your application, but it may be directed to your spam or junk folders of your email inbox.  

Cuso International is an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from all qualified applicants. Accommodations will be provided at any stages of the hiring process upon request. Thank you for your interest in Cuso International.

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  • Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Department
    International Programs
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    CA$90,000 - CA$110,000 per annum