Executive Director, Indigenous Innovation Institute

The Executive Director of the new Indigenous Innovation Institute is responsible for the vision, leadership, organizational development, program development, student and academic policy development, and overall operations and financial management of this rapidly expanding initiative for the advancement of digital equity for Indigenous people in BC and nationally. The Indigenous Innovation Institute is an initiative of the First Nations Technology Council and builds on our four-year proof of concept in delivering Indigenous designed and led digital skills training and supporting hundreds of Indigenous people to launch careers in technology and innovation. The Institute holds as its vision that Indigenous Leadership Shapes Society’s Relationship with Technology and Innovation, which it pursues through hosting space for dialogue, learning, and collaboration. The Indigenous Innovation Institute is envisioned as eventually becoming an independent organization, as such the Executive Director should have a strong understanding of what is required to launch and operate a charitable entity.

Reporting to the CEO of the First Nations Technology Council, this key executive position requires an innovative change leader and systems thinker with a strong background in Indigenous education, leadership, administration, talent management and development, and budget and reporting acumen. The successful candidate will have the experience and passion to inform and translate our launch strategy and strategic plan into concrete outcomes and key results, supporting the development and delivery of a spectrum of technology skills and leadership programs for Indigenous innovators.

The Executive Director provides strategic leadership for the development of new programs aligned with current labour market information, and ensures on-going consultation with Indigenous communities and learners to create timely, relevant, and progressive courses and programs designed to support Indigenous innovators and their pursuit of self-determination for their communities. The Executive Director also ensures strong partnerships across the education, technology and innovation sectors in order to facilitate educational and economic opportunities for our students and alumni, and maintains a leadership presence for the Indigenous Innovation Institute in BC and nationally. Leading a growing Institute for Indigenous innovation and technology thought leadership, the Executive Director must demonstrate passion and curiosity for cutting edge research and Indigenous perspectives on current topics impacting technology, innovation, progressive leadership, ethics and digital equity. The successful candidate must possess the ability to proactively identify new strategic opportunities, and exercise a high degree of initiative, sound judgment, analytical/critical thinking and risk management abilities. Assuming an evaluative stance and ensuring timely feedback mechanisms is also key to the Technology Council’s continuous improvement approach.

The Executive Director oversees a growing team of both remote and North Vancouver-based employees including two direct reports and secondary oversight of seven staff and a growing team of 25+ contract instructors and curriculum developers. Initially, Institute finance, operations, and communications functions will be embedded within the Technology Council, with supervision of these roles supported by the Chief Executive Officer. Above all, the Executive Director of the Indigenous Innovation Institute must have a strong vision for the future of the Institute, the administrative leadership experience to implement the vision, and the ability and dedication to inspire and motivate a growing team of Institute staff toward the vision.

About the First Nations Technology Council

The First Nations Technology Council is an Indigenous-led organization that serves all 203 First Nations communities across British Columbia, working to ensure that Indigenous peoples have full and equitable access to the tools, training and support to maximize the opportunities presented by technology and innovation. The Technology Council sees the strengthening of local Indigenous economies and the empowering of Indigenous innovators as contributing to Indigenous self-determination and nationhood.

The First Nations Technology Council holds the following core values, which all employees are expected to honour, demonstrate and deepen through individual practice and team development: trust, humility, community, spirit, innovation for 7 generations, listening, resilience, indigenous wisdom, and heart.

About the Role

Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Provides overall leadership to the Institute.
  • Develops, informs, and implements the Institute’s Launch Strategy and Strategic Plan.
  • Works with First Nations leadership and Indigenous communities to ensure Institute courses and programs are aligned with community training needs.
  • Works closely with Sector Transformation Division at the First Nations Technology Council to ensure that courses and programs are aligned with changing labour market demands.
  • Makes key informed decisions on the direction of the Institute in consultation with the CEO.
  • Develops operational plans, including Annual Plan, Operating Budget, Recruitment Plan, Staff Development Plan, etc.
  • Ensures organizational sustainability, working closely with the Director of Strategic Initaitives to form the partnerships and funding relationships necessary.
  • Provides leadership, clarity, and inspiration to all Institute staff aligned with the vision and values of the organization.

Operations

  • Ensures the successful operation of the Indigenous Innovation Institute.
  • Ensures all program deliverables are on time and on budget according to approved project plans.
  • Ensures the use of Salesforce or other student information management system.
  • Oversees development of student and academic policies.
  • Oversees the creation of rigorous analysis of opportunities, including SWOT analysis and other assessment tools, risk analysis, contingency and mitigation strategies for consideration.

Staff Supervision and Development

  • Oversees, leads, manages and engages the growing Institute team of staff and contractors.
  • Develops professional capacity of staff to deliver effectively on programs and initiatives.
  • Provides on-going feedback and performance management to direct reports, and ensures all staff receive on-going performance feedback.

Partnership Development

  • Actively seeks opportunities to partner, collaborate, and promote the Indigenous technology skills development and Indigenous innovation with provincial, federal, industry, and Indigenous stakeholders communities and organizations.
  • Develops strong working relationships and partnerships with key industry stakeholders and educational partners.

Budget

  • In conjunction with the Manager of Financial Services, develops the Institutes Annual Operating Budget.
  • Proactively manages the Institute budget.
  • Ensures the best practices in procurement and contract management are applied to all Institute contracts.

Fundraising and Reporting

  • Oversees the creation of concept papers and proposals on education and research related funding opportunities.
  • Works closely with the Director of Strategic Initiatives to develop funding proposals.
  • Ensures timely and accurate reporting.

Evaluation and Continuous Learning

  • Ensures appropriate, regular and required program evaluations aligned with educational, industry, and funder best practices
  • Ensures a continuous learning lens is applied to all aspects of the Institute’s work, through the integration of developmental evaluation practices.

Executive Team and Organizational Leadership

  • Actively participates in First Nations Technology Council Executive Leadership Team meetings, activities, and development.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Outstanding organizational and team leadership abilities, contributing to the overall growth of FNTC.
  • Expertise in Indigenous education, pedagogy, and methodology as applied to technology skills and leadership education.
  • Ability to lead, develop and motivate a diverse team, including remote members.
  • Strong program budget management skills.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information to create concrete project and implementation plans.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and discretion when working on emerging opportunities.
  • Ability to prioritize, including ability to manage mulitiple complex files and competing priorities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong presentation skills.

Requirements:

  • Minimum Master’s Degree in Education, Indigenous Studies, Computer Science, Social Sciences, Business Administration or related field. PhD is an asset.
  • Minimum 5 years experience in an educational leadership role.
  • Minimum 5 years experience in an Indigenous education environment or institution.
  • Demonstrated First Nations and Indigenous community expertise and understanding.
  • Demonstrated BC tech ecosystem expertise and understanding.
  • Ability to create and nurture a large network of Indigenous and technology working partners.
  • The willingness and ability to travel provincially and nationally.

Location:

The Executive Director, Indigenous Innovation Institute, is open to candidates anywhere in Canada, with a preference for candidates able to work from or regularly travel to the First Nations Technology Council headquarters Unit 102 – 70 Orwell Street on Squamish Nation land in North Vancouver, B.C.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, this position will work remotely until further notice, in alignment with public health directives and best practices.

We are an Indigenous organization whose mandate is to promote opportunities for Indigenous people. We encourage applications from qualified First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. We also welcome other candidates who possess a high level of cultural competence and understanding of indigenous experience, communities, and issues. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.