Director of Communications and Advocacy

The Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU), is a national, professional association promoting a deeper understanding of complex financial and tax initiatives and advocating for sound public policy. CALU represents over 600 members who are focused on enhancing the financial well-being of Canadians. CALU is seeking a Director of Communications and Advocacy to shape sound public policy and improve member communications and outreach. The Director of Communications and Advocacy is a key member of a small professional team and reports to the President & CEO. CALU is based in Ottawa.

Position Overview

The Director of Communications and Advocacy will develop and support a communications and government relations program that advances the CALU’s objectives and reputation. They will provide strategic advice, analysis and operational execution, including planning and coordinating grassroots advocacy activities mostly at the federal level.

The director will work collaboratively with staff, consultants, members, committees, board of directors, partner organizations, government officials and other stakeholders, in order to research, monitor, develop, implement, and communicate policy positions, as well as programs in support of the CALU’s objectives.

The director will be responsible for fostering mutually beneficial working relationships with members and stakeholders, and will support CALU in its interactions with government, media and other partners to ensure those interactions are strategic, coordinated and consistent.

Experience working with elected representatives and government officials at the federal level and/or experience working in a member-based organization are preferred.



  • Develop a strategic communications plan, to be updated annually as well as for selected events and initiatives, in order to strengthen and amplify the organization’s voice and to ensure clear and consistent key messages.
  • Assist in the development and delivery the organization’s events, conferences, programs and activities, especially to ensure alignment between event programming and the organization’s policy priorities and to create opportunities for strengthening relationships with partners and government.
  • Support the Manager of Operations (and other team members) with preparing key messages for members and the general public, to be published on/in the website, social media, email, publications and other channels.
  • Prepare presentations and speaking notes for the President & CEO, the chair of the board and the organization’s other key representatives as needed.
  • Give presentations and promote the organization to government, partner organizations, prospective members and other stakeholders.
  • Manage media relations, including preparing and distributing media releases, responding to inquiries, and coordinating interviews for staff, consultants and board/committee members as needed.
  • Support the President & CEO and the chair of the board of directors in their role as the organization’s spokespersons.

Public policy and advocacy:

  • Work collaboratively with the President & CEO, the tax advisor, and the external government relations consultants to ensure an integrated approach in identifying, understanding and communicating public policy issues, in alignment with the organization’s strategic priorities.
  • Monitor and conduct research on relevant public policy, legislative, regulatory and political issues.
  • Communicate and meet with government officials and support the President & CEO and the organization’s other key representatives with the same.
  • Manage the organization’s policy submissions to government.
  • Support the President & CEO with ensuring that the organization remains compliant with all advocacy- and election-related legislation at the federal and provincial levels.
  • Develop, implement and manage an ongoing grassroots mobilization strategy, leveraging members’ involvement to increase the visibility of the sector with stakeholders.
  • Develop and nurture relationships with policy makers, influencers and stakeholders both inside and outside of government.

To apply

Qualified individuals are invited to apply in confidence to:

The Portage Group
Attn: Jack Shand, FCMC, Executive Partner

Please include a résumé and cover letter with a statement of salary expectations.

Applications are encouraged by November 1, 2021.

Questions about the role may be directed to the email address. Details about CALU, including its strategic plan, are at

Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and continue until a hiring decision is made. Only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted.