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Chief Administrative Officer – Strathcona County


Strathcona County’s Vision

“Becoming Canada’s most livable community”

About the County

Strathcona County, located in the heart of Alberta, is an energetic and thriving community. A leader in North America’s petroleum industry and a champion for advancing diverse agricultural business, the County is excited by their current economic prospects, as well as their massive potential for future prosperity.

The County includes the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large rural area made up of eight hamlets. As a result, the needs of residents in various parts of the community are quite diverse.  In 1996, Strathcona County was granted status as a specialized municipality by the Province of Alberta.  Specialized municipality status means that the Province of Alberta recognizes Sherwood Park and the Urban Service Area immediately around as equivalent to a city for purposes of programs and grants. Rural Strathcona County, meanwhile, is recognized as equivalent to a municipal district for programs and grant purposes.

Strathcona County strives to be a model of ecological integrity, protecting the environment and preserving their agricultural heritage. Investment in infrastructure, quality services, cultural and recreational programs and facilities is a priority and sets the County apart.

Known as a welcoming place to live, the County attracts people of all ages, cultures and walks of life. Families thrive in this dynamic, caring and safe community.

About the Organization

Strathcona County has approximately 2,000 permanent, temporary and hourly employees who are responsible for the efficient administration and operation of all elements of the County.  The organization consists of four service areas: Infrastructure and Planning Services, Corporate Services, Community Services, and Financial and Strategic Management.

As the people who deliver the programs and services valued by their community, the employees of Strathcona County enjoy significant job satisfaction from providing excellent service.  They take pride in the work they do to improve the experience of residents and businesses in Strathcona County.

Strathcona County strives to work within their Corporate Values of

Integrity | Respect | Safety | Fairness | Cooperation

For more information, please visit:



Job Title:Chief Administrative Officer
Reports to:County Council
Direct Reports:Six (6):

Associate Commissioner, Corporate Services

Associate Commissioner, Community Services

Associate Commissioner, Financial & Strategic Management

Associate Commissioner, Infrastructure & Planning Services

Director of Communications

Manager of Intergovernmental Affairs

Indirect Reports:Approximately 2,000
Location:Sherwood Park, AB



Reporting to Council, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will contribute leadership, strategy, direction and enthusiasm to a staff of almost 2,000 employees while overseeing a total operating and capital budget of approximately $400M.  As the administrative head for Strathcona County, the CAO leads and manages the overall business to ensure strategic and business plans are effectively implemented, the results monitored and reported to Council, and the financial and operational objectives are attained.  The CAO is responsible for facilitating strategy development and implementing the vision of Council, as well as leading the County to build on past successes in delivering the highest caliber of services to the community.  Recognizing the unique nature of leading the administration of a specialized municipality, the successful CAO will take a balanced approach to navigating both urban and rural issues in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment.


Key Accountabilities

Council Affairs and Relations:

  • Accountable to the Strathcona County Council for the overall management of the County’s operations
  • Attends all meetings of Council and Standing Committees and meetings of such Boards, Authorities and other bodies as required by Council
  • As per the Municipal Government Act, the CAO is responsible for advising and keeping Council fully informed of all significant Council and management operational, financial and advocacy matters, including potential risks relevant to the Council and subsequent mitigation strategies
  • Effectively communicates with Council and Committees to ensure information and updates on key initiatives are provided such that the Council is up-to-date and supported in making informed decisions on the operations and affairs of the County
  • Provides Council with opportunities to interact with the County’s senior executive management, both during and outside Council and Committee meetings

Administrative Leadership:

  • Creates an environment in which the entire leadership team feels empowered to share their ideas and expertise in support of collaboration and innovation
  • Models the desired culture and values of the County through daily actions and behaviors
  • Balances leadership and direction with empowerment to ensure an engaged and dedicated team County-wide
  • Supports internal staff development and ensures professional development practices and plans are in place and executed
  • Ensures the County is prepared for succession at all levels
  • Proactively builds strong relationships with all members of Council, with leaders throughout the region and with all levels of government
  • Inspires staff to maintain a positive, citizen (customer) solution-based /citizen (customer) service focus with the community

Financial Performance and Risk Management:

  • Accountable to ensure ongoing day-to-day business operations are resourced appropriately, are executed to plan, and are completed within time and budget constraints
  • Ensures that Council resolutions, policies and programs adopted by Council are implemented and managed
  • Oversees and maintains a high level of service and programs regardless of potential fiscal challenges that could arise from economic constraints;
  • Ensures the development and management of policies and procedures concerning budgets, expenditures and financial controls;
  • Directs, in conjunction with the Associate Commissioner, Financial & Strategic Management, the preparation of capital and operating budgets and the timely submission to Council with appropriate substantiating information
  • Promotes ongoing research and development activities to explore innovative improvements and new services to meet budgetary challenges

Strategic Planning and Execution:

  • Supports Council in the development, implementation and maintenance of a strategic plan for the County
  • Engages with Council in strategic, business, and budget planning and ensures plans developed by Council are fully understood and actioned by administration with established timelines and budgets
  • Ensures initiatives are developed and implemented to accomplish strategic objectives

External Stakeholder Relations:

  • Develops and maintains credible and authentic relationships with external stakeholder groups including all levels of government, regional partners, community leaders, citizens and businesses
  • Ensures the stakeholder community is engaged by the County in two-way communication by both providing information (e.g. reports, notices) and collecting information and feedback (e.g. surveys, community meetings)
  • Maintains awareness of provincial political environment and incorporates knowledge into budget and ongoing operations as appropriate for the County
  • Represents Strathcona County positively as an ambassador for the County at meetings with the region, other municipalities, business partners, and community stakeholders



Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Fully understand the culture, relationships, strengths and opportunities of the County
  • Build strong and trusted relationships with staff, all members of Council, all levels of government, citizens, and key stakeholders and leaders within the region and the province
  • Achieve increased employee engagement scores on the County’s employee survey through a concerted culture transformation effort
  • Maintain the fiscal strength of the County by continuing strong budgeting processes and inspiring responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars
  • Demonstrating excellence in communication transparency, both up to Council and down throughout the organization
  • Maintain and improve strong citizen satisfaction metrics



The successful candidate will have the following:


  • A relevant degree or diploma (such as Business, Administration, or similar) is required
  • A graduate degree in Business or Administration is welcome


  • A proactive, senior executive with an outstanding record of achievement and leadership within a dynamic sector or industry
  • A broad-based business generalist with well-developed skills in people leadership
  • A solid operations background with proven operating experience at a senior level in a multi-faceted complex organization
  • A clear view and keen understanding of economic development as it relates to the focus of all sectors of Strathcona County’s economic framework
  • An established relationship builder who invites conversation and who embraces the notion that partnership and collaboration, both internal and external, will result in the greatest success
  • Strong governance with prior experience reporting to and working closely with a Council or Board of Directors, various committees and stakeholder groups would be preferred
  • Solid understanding of municipal services and their optimal delivery to the public
  • Fully understands municipal – political relationships and context on a local, regional and provincial level, with the ability to advise on same



Strategic Leadership: Fosters the development of a common vision providing clear direction and priorities and clarifying roles and responsibilities. Sets the tone for the County’s culture and ensures succession in management and leadership.

Decision Making: Establishes a culture in which effective decisions are made at all levels of the organization. Uses critical thinking, experience and organizational values to make decisions involving varying levels of risk and ambiguity.

Visionary Thinking: Sees beyond the horizon to identify new issues and to position the County to address emerging trends (e.g. capitalizes on trends or takes action before issues escalate).  Sees and synthesizes different sides of an issue, examining the full range of options and outcomes. Embraces disruption and new innovations to old issues.

People Leadership: Ability to inspire and drive the Executive Team toward goal achievement. Demonstrates behaviors consistent with organizational values and fosters same from others.

Business and Financial Acumen: Understands key business fundamentals, understands the drivers of financial health and accountability of the organization and takes responsibility to maintain its ongoing fiscal soundness.

Relationship with Council, Employees and Stakeholders: Builds trusting relationships with Council, employees and stakeholders by being open in the sharing and receiving of information and sees these groups as partners in furthering organizational goals. Proactively seeks partnership and collaboration with external organizations to ensure long-term strategic success.

Communication: Communicates effectively and frequently to ensure transparency and engagement. Articulates a compelling vision; communicates organizational actions and results to internal and external stakeholders in an open and candid manner that is appropriate to the audience; identifies relevant communication strategies to communicate with a diversity of people for the purposes of education or information, with high impact; uses varied communication vehicles and opportunities to promote organizational dialogue in order to develop shared understanding, buy-in, and support; and/or recognizes and interprets complex and possibly contradictory or competing signals or messages.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
AKCP-826025 Chief Administrative Officer – Strathcona County - AB - Sherwood Park (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.