Vice-President, External Affairs

  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Surrey, BC, Canada
  • Mar 22, 2021
Full time External Relations, PR, Marketing Vice President/Associate/Assistant VP

Job Description


Vice-President, External Affairs - Competition ID: 788

As Canada’s only polytechnic university, we offer you the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community through a meaningful career working in a collaborative and inclusive culture. Join us and put your thoughts into action.

 About Kwantlen Polytechnic University

At Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) we combine academic excellence with practical, hands-on and experiential learning opportunities that prepare our graduates for successful and rewarding careers, while also providing them with the critical understanding necessary for good citizenship.

 We ensure that our graduates are prepared for a lifetime of learning and re-learning so they can adapt to the fast pace of change in the workplace and in society at large.

 Located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, KPU offers a diverse range of credentials – including certificates, citations, diplomas and bachelor’s degrees – designed to successfully meet the evolving needs of regional and global employment markets. We offer work-integrated and service learning, connections to business and industry, and a supportive learning environment.

Our post-baccalaureate and graduate diplomas further enhance opportunities for working professionals to augment their knowledge and skills.

With programs in Arts, Business, Science and Horticulture, Health, Design, Trades and Technology, English language studies, adult upgrading and qualifying studies, KPU has proudly served the South Fraser Region of the Lower Mainland since 1981. 

KPU has five campuses: three in Surrey, and one each in Richmond and Langley, with nearly 1,500 employees and over 20,000 students.

 The Position

KPU is seeking a Vice-President, External Affairs (VPEA).  The VPEA leads the development and implementation of a wide-ranging portfolio that supports and enhances the University’s reputation in the wider community.  This includes developing and implementing strategies to support government relations, alumni relations, broad community engagement and philanthropic efforts in alignment with the University’s Strategic Vision and Academic Plan along with the communication strategies that support these efforts, both internally and externally.   A key member of the University Executive, the VPEA is an advisor to the President on matters of strategic importance, engaging in executive-level decisions and leadership regarding the direction, development and management of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.  The VPEA provides vision and leadership in issues management, fundraising, alumni relations, community engagement, government relations, including Indigenous communities, business and industry relations, external and internal communications, communications and media relations, marketing, and the coordination of major public events across KPU.

The CEO of the KPU Foundation, in consultation with the Executive Committee and appropriate committee chairs, has authority and is responsible for developing policies, goals, initiatives and strategies for approval by the Board.  The CEO has authority and is responsible for implementing, administering and monitoring the approved policies, goals, initiatives and strategies and is accountable to and for reporting to the Board periodically and not less than annually to the Members on the foregoing.

  Who are we looking for?

  • Demonstrated senior leadership abilities, including establishing vision, developing strategic plans, and evaluating effectiveness.
  • Experience in, and understanding of, government relations at all levels.
  • Experience with non-profit charitable organizations, at either an operational or governance level.
  • Current membership in relevant professional organizations.
  • Demonstrated confidence, personal integrity, exceptional negotiation skills and outstanding interpersonal skills that enhance their ability to build and maintain working relationships with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated decision-making capacity together with an ability to ensure effective decision-making within a collegial environment.
  • Knowledge and connection to corporate and not-for-profit sectors in the Lower Mainland.
  • Ability to work within all levels of government, business and community environments;
  • Understanding of the public post-secondary sector and the regulations under which public post-secondary institutions operate.
  • Understanding of the academic environment, student needs, and the role of alumni.
  • Strong communication skills with demonstrated success in a complex environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to present to and converse with senior stakeholders, including discussions with the Board of Governors and senior government and elected officials.
  • Strong interpersonal and intercultural skills; an appreciation for diversity and adaptability to different groups and cultures.
  • Capable of articulating the vision and plan set by the University and able to inspire the KPU community to achieve the plan.
  • Intercampus travel is required, possession of a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is preferred.
  • Must be willing and able to attend events and functions, often early morning or in the evening, hosted by community partners.
  • Must be willing to travel domestically and internationally.

 The Location:

KPU is a multi-campus institution, frequent travel between campuses will be required.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University welcomes and encourages applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression. If you require an accommodation through our hiring process, please include your request in the application email.

 All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

 We thank all applicants for their interest in employment with KPU. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. 

 Kwantlen Polytechnic University is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of employees, students, and the general public, and upholding the reputation and integrity of the University. For this reason, final applicants will be asked to undergo a background check.  

 For inquiries or recommendations related to this position, please contact:

Jessica Marando

Human Resources Business Partner



 Kim Hunter

Human Resources Business Partner


Preferred and Required Qualifications

 What education & experience should you have?

  • A graduate degree in a related field OR a combination of related education and experience.
  • Minimum 10 years of progressive experience in relevant fields, with a significant administrative portfolio.
  • Strong experience in media relations, public affairs, stakeholder relations and communications,
  • Experience with major donors and developing sponsorship relationships.
  • Complex budget and human resource management experience.
  • Experience in designing, planning and hosting major events with teams of technical and creative personnel.
  • Experience in a complex, unionized public sector organization is preferred.

Application Details

Want to know more?

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When inquiring or applying for this position, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and at other institutions of higher education in the region on or or

Application Deadline

April 16, 2021