Vice-President, External Relations

Lakehead University is conducting a search for a Vice-President, External Relations and is inviting expressions of interest and applications. External Relations plays a critical role in advancing the University’s strategic priorities and building and promoting key relationships with diverse internal and external audiences.

Lakehead is a comprehensive University with a vision to provide a transformative experience grounded in exceptional scholarship and student potential. In 2020, Lakehead University celebrates 55 years of exceptional education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. Lakehead is home to the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

With campuses located in Thunder Bay and Orillia, the University has over 10,000 full-time equivalent students and 2,100 faculty and staff. Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings have, once again, included Lakehead among the country’s Top 10 universities in its category.

Lakehead University’s Strategic Plan acknowledges the importance of Lakehead’s unique role as a regional university. In that role, Lakehead is committed to making a difference in the communities it serves, developing a broader understanding of societal issues, and inspiring action for thoughtful, positive change. Lakehead University is committed to the success of Indigenous learners and to our relationships with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples based on the principles of mutual trust, respect, reciprocity, and collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation.

Reporting to the President & Vice-Chancellor and a member of the Executive Team, the Vice-President, External Relations will be responsible for providing a comprehensive, integrated approach to the key pillars of External Relations:

  1. Communications, Marketing and Web Development
  2. Philanthropy
  3. Alumni Engagement and Annual Fund
  4. University and Donor Events

The ideal candidate is a senior leader who is an outstanding communicator, strategist and community builder. With a history that includes working in the post-secondary sector or within a complex, multi-level environment, the Vice-President will have executive-level experience in external relations including communications, marketing, alumni and/or community relations, philanthropic giving and government relations. A dynamic leader of people and projects, the Vice-President will motivate the External Relations team to create transformative opportunities for our students and communities by building the Lakehead brand locally, nationally and internationally while inspiring our Alumni, Staff, Faculty and friends to engage with, and support the University. Dedicated to diversity and equity, the Vice-President will ensure this inclusive lens is reflected in all External Relations plans and activities.

This is an exciting time to join Lakehead University and guide the execution of a revitalized external relations strategy that strategically builds the Lakehead brand across all key market segments, while providing excellent leadership to a high performing and committed External Relations team.

The new Vice-President will have the option to be based in Thunder Bay, Orillia or anywhere in Ontario with acknowledgment that frequent travel to the Thunder Bay and Orillia campus locations and the GTA will be required.

To express interest in this opportunity, contact Tara George, Partner / Lead, KCI Search + Talent or Samantha David, Senior Search Consultant at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by November 26, 2020.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

Lakehead University is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals including women, racialized persons, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and other equity-seeking groups. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements.