Peacebuilders Canada

Executive Director
Posted Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Closing Date: 
Monday, November 4, 2019

Job Description

The Opportunity

Peacebuilders Canada is seeking a community minded Executive Director to lead all strategic operations of our unique and respected Toronto-based youth justice agency.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will oversee a team of 12 staff responsible for program delivery, fundraising, advocacy and administration.

Peacebuilders Canada is at a critical juncture in its development and evolution, as our organization’s Founder and CEO is transitioning to a position on the Board which will bring new perspective and opportunities in the years ahead. Supported by a passionate, committed, and capable team, the Executive Director will be responsible for providing leadership and management of the organization and will foster a culture of collaboration, best practice, and innovation.

The Board is seeking an Executive Director who has a passion for improving the lives of youth in our society, an interest in restorative justice, as well as the skills, experience, and innovative approach to position Peacebuilders Canada for a new phase of sustainable growth in program delivery, advocacy and increased revenues over the coming years.

Building on the success and strength of existing programs such as the Restorative Justice and Restorative Schools Program, the Executive Director will understand the changing needs of marginalized youth in Toronto and seek opportunities to further serve the community. The Executive Director will lead, coach, and collaborate with staff, volunteers, schools, the justice system and community partners to uncover new opportunities and increase public awareness of our innovative agency.

Peacebuilders Canada’s head office is conveniently located in the beautiful new Daniels Spectrum building at Dundas and Sackville Streets in the heart of Regent Park.


About Peacebuilders Canada

Founded in 2003, by Toronto lawyer and mediator Eva E. Marszewski, Peacebuilders Canada is a youth focused, not for profit, charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth by providing them with meaningful and restorative access to justice and developing their skills to manage conflict and overcome personal challenges so that they are empowered to realize their full potential.

Peacebuilders’ programs are grounded in a restorative justice philosophy, an approach based upon the belief that rehabilitation and healthy relationships produce more sustainable outcomes than punishment and that communities have an essential role to play in supporting the rehabilitation and healing of individuals.

In partnership with communities, schools and youth courts, Peacebuilders develops and offers programs that focus on building resilience and personal capacity in young people while building their skills to manage and prevent conflict, violence and bullying.

The organization’s justice, schools and advocacy teams, both staff and volunteers, work together to promote restorative approaches to conflict and help realize Peacebuilders’ Vision of “youth realizing their full potential and building safe and peaceful communities”, thus also serving as ‘trusted intermediaries’ supporting Peacebuilders’ Mission of “Increasing the capacity of youth, schools, communities and the justice system to communicate and manage conflict through Peacebuilding dialogues”.

Restorative Justice Programs

Research has overwhelmingly shown the harmful effects of charging and punishing youth. Young people who are charged are less likely to succeed in school or find stable employment and are more likely to reoffend. Our responses to adolescent conflict or misbehaviour must meet the needs of young people, support their development, and empower them to build on their strengths and capabilities.

Peacebuilders’ Restorative Justice Programs provide young people with access to justice, diverting them out of the courts before trial, having their charges withdrawn and providing mentorship opportunities as needed. Since 2004, Peacebuilders has run a restorative court-diversion program for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 charged with criminal offences and has diverted over 1,100 young people out of the justice system before trial. Our Restorative Justice programs are designed to help young people overcome conflict and reach their full potential.

Key Impact figures from 2018-19:

  • 101 youth referred to Peacebuilders court-diversion program
  • 61 youth had their charges withdrawn before trial
  • 20 newly trained volunteers
  • 1200 volunteer hours
  • 1099 free lunches were provided to youth appearing in court


Restorative Schools Program

In March 2019, Peacebuilders Canada launched a new five-year project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which will help us build on our current school engagement success. Working in partnership with the Toronto District School Board, we aim to establish a commitment to restorative mindset and practices with our partner schools. This means working with all education and community partners —from students to teachers, hall monitors to parents—to promote safe, inclusive, and caring school climates.

We do this by:

  • Redefining and engaging the school community
  • Creating a shared language and vision
  • Capacity-building through trainings and workshops
  • Facilitating restorative practices with students, the school and surrounding communities


Key Impact figures from 2018-19:

  • 3 schools adopted in-school restorative programs staffed by Peacebuilders front line workers
  • 80% reduction in school suspensions at Eastdale Collegiate Institute
  • Over 1000 students supported through direct referrals and or prevention programs


As a result of the success of both programs, Peacebuilders Canada is not able to keep up with the demand for these highly-effective program workers and is in a position to seek further funding opportunities to expand the programs to more schools and courthouses in the future.

Advocacy and Public Legal Education Program

Peacebuilders’ Advocacy and Public Legal Education program builds on the organization’s experience working in our justice and education systems to enhance youth access to justice and advocate for the needs and perspectives of young people. We conduct research on youth justice issues, create publicly-accessible legal education and information, and provide research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in criminal justice and education reform. Our staff also conduct educational presentations for youth, families, students, teachers, legal professionals, front-line workers and community members every year.

Additional Background & Resources


Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the Peacebuilders Canada Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors.

Governance, Strategic Leadership and Representation

  • Develop and implement a shared strategic direction consistent with the organization’s Vision and Mission
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization
  • Promote an organizational culture rooted in mutual respect, transparency and collaborative practices
  • Represent Peacebuilders in its relations and advocacy with the public, youth justice and schools communities, government, and media


Fundraising and Communications

  • Lead the development, implementation and evaluation of a diversified and coordinated fund development strategy and identify funding opportunities to the Board of Directors
  • Develop relationships with current and prospective funding partners
  • Expand fundraising activities to support existing programs and operations and future growth
  • Oversee the implementation of both current and new fundraising activities and events
  • Create strategic external marketing and communications initiatives to generate awareness and inform the community and primary external stakeholders
  • Represent the organization in the community and media
  • Participate in public speaking engagements


Team Management

  • Lead the ongoing development of effective teams committed to organizational goals
  • Foster collaboration among team members and among teams
  • Cultivate a sense of interdependency across the Senior Leadership team
  • Work inclusively and effectively with team members to set goals, resolve problems and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness
  • Promote a trusting, positive and safe work environment


Program Oversight

  • Build the organization's capacity to ensure the success of Peacebuilders’ programs and objectives within the organization’s Vision and Mission
  • Ensure the effective and efficient delivery of Peacebuilders' programs
  • Lead the implementation of appropriate program evaluation models
  • Create external marketing and communications initiatives to generate awareness of the organization’s restorative philosophy and circle-based conflict-management methodology


Operations and Financial Management

  • Provide oversight and direction on operations and financial management
  • Develop and acquire resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization
  • Ensure the fiscal integrity of Peacebuilders Canada; submit to the Board a proposed annual budget and accurate monthly financial statements
  • Oversee all organizational fiscal management that anticipates operating within the approved budget; ensure maximum resource utilization and maintenance of the organization in a healthy financial position


The Ideal Candidate

The Executive Director will possess progressive senior leadership experience with proven fundraising skills to build revenue across a variety of development streams, including government grants, foundation giving, individual giving and events. The new incumbent will draw on their past expertise in financial management, strategic planning and operations oversight to lead the organization to the next phase in its evolution.

Demonstrating openness, integrity and transparency in all situations, the Executive Director will be receptive to exploring new and innovative ideas to drive our vision forward. The ideal candidate will enthusiastically lead a strong and dedicated staff team that successfully deliver programs in the schools and court house that continue to demonstrate tremendous impact to the community.

Possessing a positive attitude and unafraid to ask the tough questions, the new incumbent will be comfortable reporting to and working closely with our Board of Directors. With solid management and leadership experience in the non-profit sector, the Executive Director will provide oversight on program development and evaluation to focus the efforts of our staff and Board. A persuasive yet compassionate leader, the ideal candidate will demonstrate diplomacy and tact and ensure follow through on key priorities.

An inspirational and impactful champion of our cause and the youth population we serve, the Executive Director will leverage existing networks to advocate for progressive and relevant youth justice initiatives as well as new funding opportunities. Embracing the diversity of the population of our city, and the lived experience of our service users, the successful candidate will be a champion of anti-oppressive/anti-racism practices.

Passionate about youth, the ideal candidate will be motivated and driven by our future potential. The new incumbent will be comfortable working with youth in conflict in their environment. Familiarity working with traditionally underserved communities and delivering programming to these communities, the successful candidate will have some experience working with youth and families in a community development capacity.


Required Qualifications & Competencies

  • At least 5 years progressive management experience or as an Executive Director in a non-profit organization. Experience with youth and/or youth-serving organizations will be considered an asset
  • Experience in the development and implementation of a strategic plan with demonstrated strategic thinking, planning, and execution abilities in setting and achieving strategic objectives
  • Proven success developing fundraising strategies and meeting or exceeding annual fundraising targets
  • Expertise or a willingness to embrace the principles of restorative justice, conflict management and consensus-building
  • Experience in establishing a thriving organizational culture, leading a diverse and inclusive organization
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors and cultivating positive board/staff relationships as well as external relationships to achieve the goals of the organization
  • Experience leading effective growth or evolution of an organization
  • Expertise in people management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance volunteer teams
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both written and oral
  • Experience in public speaking and coalition building
  • Post-secondary credential in a related field; a degree in social work will be considered an asset
  • A CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) will be considered an asset


Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Experience with youth and/or youth-serving organizations
  • Familiarity with the youth justice system and legal services in Toronto, particularly legal services through community agencies
  • Work experience with schools and familiarity with the Toronto District School Board and school-based policies
  • Experience of working in a multi-cultural environment, working across barriers of class, race, economic status
  • Experience in social mobilization, community organizing, capacity building
  • Experience overseeing quality assurance and program evaluation


For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this leadership search on behalf of Peacebuilders Canada. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice-President, KCI Search + Talent or Kara Spedding, Senior Search Consultant, KCI Search + Talent by email at

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by November 4th 2019.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Peacebuilders International (Canada) is an equal opportunity workplace, welcoming of diversity and people from varied backgrounds and experiences. We encourage racialized individuals that grew up or and/or are current residents of the City of Toronto to apply for this position. Applicants with a variety of lived experiences that further allow for the ability to relate to the youth population that we provide services to are strongly encouraged to apply.