Executive Director, Agriculture & Food Innovation

Closed @Alberta Innovates
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada View on Map
  • Post Date : March 1, 2023
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Job Detail

  • Job ID 6077

Job Description


Alberta Innovates (AI) is the province’s largest research and innovation agency, touching every corner of the province for the benefit of all Albertans. From funding to commercialization, Alberta Innovates is Alberta’s innovation engine that is working to solve today’s challenges, create new opportunities and forge a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous future for Albertans today and for generations to come.

Innovation has never played a more significant role in the future for Alberta. Alberta Innovate’s ability to develop existing industries while introducing new opportunities for growth is critical for Alberta’s future prosperity.

Alberta Innovates mandate is to deliver 21st-century solutions for the most compelling challenges facing Albertans, to support and accelerate research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Alberta Innovates works closely with partners and collaborators in government, industry, academia, and others to design, deliver and evaluate programs and services to help achieve its mandate.

AI is uniquely positioned to identify and nurture the research and innovation taking place in the province to:

  • Keep Alberta relevant and competitive in the global marketplace.
  • Contribute to a sustainable and diversified economy.
  • Prepare Alberta for a low carbon future.
  • Keep Albertans healthy through the advancement of medical knowledge, treatment, and best clinical practice.


Alberta Innovates has 5 key areas of focus within their 2020-2025 business planning cycle with this being:

  • Digital Health
  • Clean Resource Technologies
  • Smart Agriculture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


To be indisputably recognized as a leader – provincially, nationally, and internationally – in catalyzing research and innovation in Alberta.

Core Principles:
Like the air we breathe, AI’s core principles of accountability, integrity, and respect, give life and meaning to their work and to the impact made in their organization, provincially and globally.

Core Values:
Alberta Innovates values aren’t just words. They guide decision-making; they inspire us to do better and to build a great workplace culture.  Our “Five C’s” are commitment, collaboration, can-do spirit, curiosity, and creativity, and they mean something different to every employee. That’s why we don’t define them.

For further information, please visit Alberta Innovates website at www.albertainnovates.ca.


The Executive Director, Agriculture and Food Innovation role sets the strategy and leads the associated strategic and business planning activities. The ED is responsible to develop and execute division programs, projects, and operations to support the realization of the broader sector and organizational strategic priorities, identifying and driving innovative opportunities, and building and leveraging strong stakeholder relations to enable the achievement of desired outcomes.



  • Oversees the development and implementation of Agriculture and Food Innovation short- and long-term plans and strategies, developing goals, performance measures, and implementation tactics, monitoring performance against targets, evaluating emerging issues and potential impacts to target achievement, and adjusting strategies to ensure outcomes are achieved.
  • Develops opportunities to drive/advance innovation and key technologies, identifying gaps and necessary investment resources, engaging business partners, securing funding, sponsorship, and commitments, ensuring supporting research and analyses are conducted, preparing business cases, initiating projects and initiatives, and influencing outcomes.
  • Leads environmental scanning activities to inform and align department activities with strategic and business priorities.
  • Provides leadership in the management of Agriculture and Food Innovation projects, programs, and initiatives, ensuring project deliverables, resources and timelines are established, participants and stakeholders are engaged, programs are validated, economic/technological impacts are measured and evaluated, and deliverables are achieved.
  • Ensures management and administrative processes, standards and protocols are established to support Sustainable Production/Food Innovation project/program (including digital ag-tech, sustainability, Ag-Cleantech, tech foods, bioproducts, and chronical wasting disease or CWD) development and implementation, monitoring adherence and effectiveness of practices and procedures, identifying issues and determining opportunities for improving processes, refreshing standards, and modifying policies and procedures.
  • Develops relationships with internal stakeholders, peers, and colleagues to collaborate on innovation development initiatives and identify opportunities to leverage resources, remove roadblocks and influence outcomes.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with external stakeholders, industry colleagues, government/institution representatives and business partners, identifying opportunities for engagement, participating in conferences, seminars and working groups and promoting Alberta Innovates/ sector mandates and technologies.
  • Manages operational, capital and staff budgets and reporting activities for the department, identifying budget requirements, preparing forecasts, explaining variances, authorizing expenditures within budget and approved limits, and ensuring the timely submission of required internal and external reports and financial documents.
  • Oversees the management of staff activities, ensuring team and individual goals and objectives are established, monitoring productivity, work quality, deliverability of results and adherence to policies and standards, determining organizational structure/skill requirements, and managing recruitment, performance career/ skill development, training, and succession planning activities.



  • Build a reputation and brand in the agriculture and food innovation sectors where Alberta Innovates is seen as the “go-to” organization for innovation, research, and funding.
  • Identify the gaps and opportunities in market for AI’s program growth in the agriculture and food innovation sectors showing demonstrated forward progression and movement.


Given the pivotal role this individual will be expected to play in achieving the strategic objectives and in supporting the success of the organization, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience, and attributes:


  • Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences or related field. Extended work experience may be substituted for educational credentials.



  • Minimum 15 years broad based (field to plate) technical experience in agriculture and/or food innovation sectors.
  • 10 years progressive leadership experience at a senior level.
  • Extensive agriculture and food science knowledge.
  • Familiar with Alberta’s social, economic, environmental, and technological needs, and priorities.
  • Extensive network in agri-food industry, government, and post-secondary institutions (PSIs).
  • Experience in working in/with government and industry in agriculture and food production, biomaterials, and climate change impact including leading research programs and participating in joint industry projects.
  • Experience working with senior and executive-level government, university, and private-sector representatives.
  • Proven track record and possess strategic vision in working across sectors in agriculture and food production.
  • Experience in leading and directing large, complex, and multi-year initiatives with multiple stakeholders and translating goals of the organization into tangible measures and target.
  • Ability to manage key or strategic stakeholder relationships and generate respect and trust from a diverse group of external and internal stakeholders.
  • Proven ability in articulating complex agriculture and food production application in simple terms and in a business context.


Competencies and Knowledge

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership, and facilitation skills.
  • Business management oversight and acumen.
  • Business case development skills.
  • Savvy in dealing with external stakeholders, industry, and government.
  • People management, coaching, and career development skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office.
  • Self-motivated and results orientated with high attention to detail.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced and complex environment.
  • Ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under pressure to meet multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to work both in a team environment as well as independently.


Personal Profile

  • Visionary – an aptitude for the future.
  • Innovative – can look at an “aging” industry and see the opportunities for future transformation.
  • Can see the big picture locally and globally.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with the ability to translate/articulate complex concepts into simple terms for all to understand.
  • Uses the pronouns of “us/we” meaning you work as a team player internally and in community.
  • Collaborative leadership style.
  • Highly accountable with a passion to drive and build.
  • Has grit – no problem is too big to overcome.
  • Builds trust with credibility in knowledge, demonstrated results and by being accountable to your word.
  • Highly respectful of others.
  • Displays ethical leadership.
  • Critical thinker with problem solving skills.
  • A positive attitude when faced with adversarial situations.
  • Exhibits sound judgment.
  • Interested and skilled for upward career progression upon demonstrated program growth and success.


An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.


Edmonton, Alberta preferred with consideration for Calgary, Alberta.


Alberta Innovates operates in a hybrid work environment with preference for its leadership to be in-office to support, lead and collaborate with the team.


For the opportunity to join Alberta Innovates in the role of Executive Director, Agriculture & Food Innovation, please email your resume to DreamBig@profoundtalent.com referencing Position ID #AOPB-470775.

Should you have an inquiry regarding this position, please contact Tammy Berge at 587-200-0114 ext.103.

For further information on ProFound Talent Inc. please visit: www.profoundtalent.com



ProFound Talent is a woman owned and operated business, recognized and certified by Women Business Enterprise (WBE). We pride ourselves in supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives in our recruitment processes and in our work environment, where every individual feels valued and respected. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals to which you may confidentially share your accommodation needs at time of application. We will adjust our processes to ensure you have an inclusive, fair, and respectful experience that allows you to represent yourself in your unique and most authentic way.


* We thank all applicants for your submissions, however only candidates being considered for this role will be contacted. *