President & Chief Executive Officer

Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

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September 17, 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Created through the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Act, 2005, HEQCO is an agency of the Government of Ontario that brings evidence-based research to the continued improvement of the postsecondary education system in Ontario. As part of its mandate, HEQCO evaluates the postsecondary sector and provides policy recommendations to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (its principal funder) to enhance the access, quality and accountability of Ontario’s colleges and universities.

HEQCO’s evidence-based research is focused on finding solutions to the pressing challenges facing higher education. Through sustained engagement with leaders in the sector, HEQCO explores the pathways to critically important student and system outcomes. As the only organization of its kind in Canada, HEQCO is building on the vision that led to its creation in 2005.

Ontario’s public postsecondary system consists of 24 colleges and 20 universities and accounts for a significant proportion of all postsecondary education in Canada. HEQCO’s annual activities are developed in close coordination with the Ministry, and the advice HEQCO has provided to government has been instrumental in the government’s adoption of a policy of institutional differentiation, and the adoption of outcomes-based performance metrics as a basis for funding.

By increasing its partnerships and affiliations with world-leading higher education and research organizations, HEQCO helps to harness the best thinking available on issues relevant to postsecondary education and training in Ontario. These global relationships also benefit the many communities of practice in the province that have emerged through the agency’s first decade.

Knowledge and Skills


The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following knowledge, experience, skills and attributes:

  • An exceptional record of organizational leadership and a demonstrated interest in contributing to the quality of postsecondary education in the province;
  • A proven ability to identify research needs, lead and oversee research and translate findings into compelling policy options demonstrated by a record of publications;
  • Objective, diplomatic, and solutions-focused communicator, presenter and influencer who can respectfully challenge orthodox thinking and build trusted and collaborative relationships with government and postsecondary institutions across the province;
  • Political acuity with the ability to manage in a public sector environment;
  • A visionary leader who provides inspiration and guidance to staff and mentors and supports the team;
  • Can provide effective oversight to operations and reporting requirements; can negotiate and leverage resources as required;
  • Knowledge of good governance practices;
  • Ability to communicate in French an asset and to work constructively with all sector stakeholders and institutions.

Duties and Responsibilities


Accountable to the Board through the Chair, the President and CEO provides vision and leadership to the higher education sector and for HEQCO in achieving its mission and mandate. The CEO leads the thinking on strategic initiatives through evidence-based research, and implements relevant research programs - and subsequent advice/guidance/recommendations to government - that both inform key government objectives and are future-focused to ensure that Ontario considers and benefits from the best higher education practices. The CEO builds supportive and productive partnerships with Ministry officials, colleges, universities, researchers, and other training organizations, and initiates forums and participates in system-wide consultations on emerging strategies for the sector. The CEO is also responsible for the efficient and effective administration of the organization.

In assuming this leadership position, the new President and CEO will want to focus on the following key priority areas:

  • Cultivate a thorough understanding of all aspects of the sector and stay well-informed of emerging developments and best thinking domestically and internationally;
  • Build trusted, supportive and responsive advisory relationships with the Ministry at both the ministerial and senior official levels;
  • Foster productive partnerships with the community of postsecondary education and training organizations and institutions across Ontario;
  • Develop and implement a relevant research program that aligns with the government’s objectives as noted in the annual mandate letter of priorities;
  • Maintain high quality, independent, evidence-based work;
  • Support the Board of Directors as required under the legislation and MOU; and,
  • Ensure effective administration of the organization, including recruiting, development and support of staff to achieve results.

HEQCO is a unique organization whose input is increasingly sought on issues in postsecondary education across North America. For the right leader, this is a rare opportunity to shape a vision on the challenges and purposes of higher education and to work with passionate and talented staff in an intellectually stimulating and curious environment that inspires new ideas and creative thinking in research and policy to influence positive change in the sector.

How to Apply


Should you have any questions regarding this important and meaningful opportunity, or wish to forward a cover letter and current resume for consideration, please contact:

Lindsay Millard, Senior Consultant at 416 928 4573 or email:

Chris Sawyer, Partner at 416 640 4312 or email:

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