Senior Advisor, Government Relations & Public Affairs, Energy Futures Lab

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About the Energy Futures Lab:

The Energy Futures Lab (EFL) is an Alberta-based coalition of innovators and leading organizations working together to advance solutions aligned with our 2050 vision for Canada's energy future. Operating as an independent initiative of The Natural Step Canada, the EFL was created in 2015 as a response to harmful polarization on energy issues, which landed Alberta’s energy system at the centre of a complex, fragmented and divisive debate. As a social innovation lab, we address these issues by collaborating across traditional, organizational and sectoral boundaries.

About the Natural Step Canada:

The Natural Step Canada is a national charity with over 25 years of experience advancing science, innovation and strategic leadership to foster 'a strong and inclusive economy that thrives within nature’s limits'.  We engage thought leaders from industry, government, academia and civil society through solution-focused labs, pacts, leadership coalitions and expert networks including the Energy Futures Lab (EFL), the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP), and Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC). We carry out this work in close partnership with the Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI), an Ottawa-based think tank and research group with whom we co-convene the Smart Prosperity Leaders' Initiative (SPLI) and other initiatives. To learn more go to www.naturalstep.ca.

About the position:

As Senior Advisor, Government Relations & Public Affairs you will be at the epicentre of tackling the energy and climate challenge, playing a crucial role supporting and advancing important energy transition solutions for a prosperous net zero economy. The Energy Futures Lab (EFL) is seeking an exceptional candidate with strong abilities, established relationships, and experience with government relations, public affairs, network building and strategic communications. The successful candidate will leverage the EFL collaborative platform to forge partnerships, support strategic communications and grow and nurture relationships with policymakers and public stakeholders. This full-time, remote position supports the Managing Director and broader EFL team towards the achievement of strategic priorities. 

Responsibilities

  • Advise and provide leadership to the Energy Futures Lab’s public affairs and government relations activities for the purpose of accelerating an inclusive and equitable transition towards the energy system the future requires of us.
  • Develop and implement a government relations strategy and plan to manage effective provincial, federal and municipal government relations based on the policy priorities of the Energy Futures Lab, its workstreams and initiatives.
  • Nurture and proactively grow strong collaborative relationships with provincial (Alberta primarily) and federal government representatives, and key municipal leaders, including ensuring relevant government contacts are engaged in EFL activities and opportunities (e.g., workshops, webinars, etc.)
  • Identify and monitor relevant policy windows and developments, develop and implement strategies to increase Energy Futures Lab visibility and relationships with key government members (elected officials, public servants, etc) in support of advancing Lab priorities.
  • Provide strategic advice, guidance and direction to external communications efforts across the EFL platform, paying special attention to narrative work, language and political implications.
  • Produce EFL messaging, briefing materials, policy memos, government submissions, updates for key government stakeholders, and appropriate social media posts, while ensuring that all messaging is strategic, succinct, on-brand and thoughtfully executed.
  • Collaborate with EFL team members, and as part of a national policy team with relevant members of the  Natural Step Canada and Smart Prosperity Institute teams, on different policy touch points. Coordinate related government relations, public affairs and policy activation efforts on matters related to the EFL and those of the broader network, where appropriate. 
  • Identify and implement strategies to effectively engage and activate partners, Fellows, Steering Committee and broader EFL community in public policy input, campaigns and government relations, as required.
  • Manage and track government relationships, including strengthening EFL records.
  • Represent the EFL at relevant events and dialogues, as requested/identified, and connect the EFL to emerging initiatives of strategic importance.
  • In collaboration with the Managing Director & Director, Partnerships, secure revenue sources to grow EFL’s policy capacity.
  • In collaboration with the Communications Lead, develop relationships with relevant media contacts and outlets, support tracking and managing of media requests, and proactively identify opportunities for EFL to weigh in on relevant and topical issues.
  • Develop relationships with government adjacent stakeholders, and work to build support that may be used to assist in activating government and political contacts.
  • Monitor political landscape across jurisdictions and provide regular updates on state of play, including but not limited to: election timing, upcoming political flashpoints, etc.
  • Proactively seek out opportunities for the EFL to be present in public consciousness, whether through op-eds, social media, etc.

The ideal candidate:

This role requires a proactive, self-motivated professional whose willingness to learn and dive in lets them thrive in a dynamic and fast-changing environment. The Energy Futures Lab also fosters a unique workplace culture and we are looking for someone who values being part of a team focused on creating lasting and meaningful change. While the EFL team works remotely, occasional travel may be required (Covid-19 measures will apply to in-person workshops). Candidate is preferably located in Alberta or Ottawa. 

What you’ll bring:

  • An ability to engage in strategic and systems-level thinking and planning
  • Confidence communicating complex information in accessible and unique ways
  • Some strong pre-existing relationships with key government agencies and political leaders in Alberta / federally, and an ability to meet effectively with senior government leaders.
  • Strong understanding of political and policymaking landscapes across jurisdictions.
  • Independent decision-making ability and a desire to continue learning
  • An awareness and openness towards the multitude of perspectives and identities that comprise the social fabric in Canada
  • A commitment to ongoing learning and unlearning in support of Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada, in a way that respectfully strengthens the Lab’s capacity for dynamically working in, across and between Western and Indigenous worldviews
  • Excellent social skills and the ability to collaborate with different stakeholders and members of the EFL community
  • Knowledge and experience relating to Canada’s evolving energy sector

Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field, obtained from an accredited Canadian university
  • A minimum of 7 years working in public affairs, government relations and/or strategic communications
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • A strong understanding of how various factors (social, technological, political, etc.) are currently shaping Alberta and Canada’s energy system
  • Comfort primarily working within a virtual environment within a remote team (using Zoom, Google Workspace, etc.)

To apply for this position:

We encourage interested applicants to familiarize themselves with the Energy Futures Lab Vision and Mission, Fellowship and Innovation Challenges. To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter to info@energyfutureslab.com by Monday, January 17, 2022.