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Executive Director, Internal Audit & Enterprise Risk Management | University of Alberta

The Organization

Founded in 1908 along the North Saskatchewan river, the University of Alberta has a trajectory of being a world-class institution for post-secondary education, with excellence in the areas of teaching, research, humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering, and health sciences. The University of Alberta’s mission is to be at the forefront of innovation in our province by providing a vibrant, accommodating learning environment to ensure student success and a bright future for all.

After over a century of providing high-quality education, the University of Alberta has found that the post-secondary sector is transforming, with new challenges and pressures facing the institution. To meet these challenges, the University of Alberta has implemented the U of A for Tomorrow project. The project’s visionwas to centralize and re-structure administrative and academic services. By taking these actions, the university has been able to align all its faculty and staff with a clear vision while eliminating duplicate services. Key to this project, the university established three colleges: the College of Health Sciences, the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. The three colleges contain several faculties that retain their identity and history. These colleges are saving administrative costs, as well as enriching teaching, research, and community engagement. Moreover, these colleges work to boost human health and wellness, conduct research to improve our quality of life, and build a just, equitable society.

In addition to academic restructuring, the University of Alberta has implemented an approved administrative operating model. The new administrative model consists of two separate service centres that focus on staff and student needs, Centres of Expertise (CoEs) that provide specialized services, Service Partners that provide functional support to a faculty, and a Shared Services processing hub that streamlines transactional services and processes concerning the university. While the functional logistics of this model are still in process, the university believes this model will improve efficiency among staff and ensure a commitment to service excellence.

For further information about University of Alberta, please visit their website at


The Opportunity

Reports to:Board Audit and Risk Committee (BARC) and Vice President, University Services and Finance
Direct Reports:5: Integrated Audit Lead, 3 Internal Auditors, Enterprise Risk Management and Financial Audit Lead
Location:Edmonton, Alberta



Reporting functionally to the Board Audit and Risk Committee (BARC) and a recognized administrative reporting to the Vice-President, University Services & Finance, the Executive Director, Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management (IA&ERM), in accordance with the Internal Audit and Risk Management Charter, is to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve the university’s operations. This role assists the university in accomplishing its objectives by employing a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, controls, and governance processes.

The Executive Director leads a team of intellectually confident and collaborative individuals responsible for supporting the operational functions of audit and risk management. Moreover, the Executive Director will be responsible for coordination of high priority projects, accurate and timely reporting, and will collaborate with other senior university leadership and functional leads to identify, evaluate and implement strategic initiatives for the university. Receiving oversight and direction from BARC, the Executive Director will also be accountable for deliverables related to internal audit and enterprise risk management.


Key Accountabilities

The position will include the following responsibilities:


To lead, plan and prioritize the activities of the IA&ERM team including:

  • Leads and motivates staff to achieve team objectives and project goals, proactively managing the performance of staff to achieve high quality standards and maximum productivity.
  • Leads the development of complex integrated area plans (both short and long term). Makes the connections for staff between the role of the area and the success of the university.
  • Assesses gaps between current and future state internal audit and risk management and creates strategies to close the gaps.
  • Aligns resources and adjusts the organizational structure of the unit as required to deliver on strategic priorities.
  • Monitors and ensures compliance with legislative, regulatory, policy and procedural requirements in the area.
  • Understands the strategic consequences of emergent trends, barriers and opportunities in the internal and external environment. Synthesizes and integrates information from multiple internal and external sources in order to develop an effective organizational response.
  • Ensures the availability of resources for key area objectives and makes adaptations to resource plans in response to changing organizational priorities. Seizes opportunities to leverage resources between area units.
  • Sets clear performance standards and expectations. Critically analyzes and evaluates the area’s performance against the strategy and makes changes as required. Holds self and area accountable for meeting performance objectives.
  • Establishes and ensures adherence to policies and procedures designed to guide IA&RM and support conformance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.
  • Develops effective collegial relationships with senior staff across colleges, faculties, governance committees and central support units.
  • Works towards establishing a diverse workforce reflective of the broader community.
  • Develops the talents of staff; builds capacity and capability. Identifies future competencies and expertise required by the area and develops/ acquires talent accordingly. Champions and models the importance of personal and/or professional development.

Communication, coordination and reporting

As the focus point for the IA&ERM initiatives the Executive Director will:

  • Engage stakeholders on the impact and interdependencies between projects and ensure efforts meet the university’s overarching goals and objectives.
  • Report to relevant governance boards and committees on internal audit findings, and top risks facing the university.
  • Develop presentations and status reports to appropriately inform senior management about progress of transformation initiatives, risks, challenges and recommendations. This would be done in collaboration with the functional leads as appropriate.
  • Communicate strategically, considering optimal timing, style, channel, medium and form of communication.
  • Ensure communication plans are developed for area initiatives and implemented so stakeholders are informed in a timely, consistent and accurate manner.
  • Demonstrate persuasive, engaging, clear and credible communication to gain support and commitment in varied situations from a wide variety of audiences.
  • Serve as the Designated Officer for disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.
  • Collaborate and share information with the Campus Alberta Internal Auditors Consortium (CAIAC), which includes all 26 Alberta PSIs.

Internal Audit

While maintaining independence and objectivity, the Executive Director leads the unit which is responsible for a broad comprehensive program of internal auditing within the university. The Internal Audit team oversees the planning and completion of comprehensive reviews of the university’s accounting/ financial operations, information systems and management policies, processes and procedures to determine:

  • The adequacy of the university’s systems of internal control and the degree of compliance.
  • The economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of financial, administrative and academic management.
  • The degree of compliance with applicable Federal, Provincial and local laws and regulations. The performance of these duties requires frequent interaction with high-level officers on matters of policy and implementation.
  • The degree to which the organization is meeting strategic objectives.


The Executive Director provides oversight to internal investigations through:

  • Coordinating the investigations of fraud and irregularity allegations within the organization and following the policy and procedures for notifying leadership and the audit committee of results.
  • Leading the activities of the department to ensure all work is performed independently without bias and with attention to the need for confidentiality, objectivity, due diligence, timeliness, and with adequate support for appropriate findings and recommendations within well-written reports.

Enterprise Risk Management 

The Executive Director leads the enterprise risk management function for the university, which includes:

  • Encouraging and enabling optimal decisions through an effective Enterprise Risk Management Framework implementation.
  • Advancing a proactive culture of risk management across the organization.
  • Developing and maintaining a fully operational risk register monitoring and tracking program.
  • Establishing and maintaining foundational compliance and controls benchmarking and monitoring.


First Year Deliverables / Measures of Success

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

  • Appropriately identify and manage risks that strategic initiatives and undertakings would pose;
  • Maintain timely, reliable, and accurate financial, managerial, and operational reporting to the BARC and Vice-President, University Services & Finance;
  • Ensure university activities are in compliance with policies, procedures, standards, and applicable laws and regulations; and
  • Thoughtfully integrate themselves within the organization through regular collaboration and communication with multiple internal and external stakeholders including governance committees, senior leadership committees/councils, faculties and departments as well as faculty and staff at all levels.


Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will have the following:


  • Masters degree, or Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (or related field) and equivalent experience.
  • CPA designation, or equivalent audit-related designations (CISA, CIA, CCSA).
  • Membership of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).


  • A minimum of ten years of internal audit experience with a minimum of 5 years in a leadership role in a large complex organization.
  • Significant experience and a proven track record of success in leading change effectively across a complex organization.
  • Extensive experience within the public or government sector.
  • Deep understanding of project management techniques, including experience working in a project based environment.
  • Exemplary interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience with working as part of a team, not all of whom are within the same line management structure and where it may be necessary to persuade those who are in a more senior position.
  • Ability to deal successfully with complexity; to balance the involvement of many areas of the university and the requirements of simultaneous major initiatives.
  • The ability to exercise discretion regarding the handling and management of sensitive information.

Competencies and Attributes:

  • A high degree of initiative, judgment and resourcefulness, flexibility and a self-motivating approach.
  • The ability to complete tasks based on only broad direction and with minimal supervision.
  • A bias for action and results.
  • A proven leader with engrained tact and diplomacy.
  • Inspires confidence and is able to command authority with a range of colleagues.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely.
  • Ability to assimilate data to identify opportunities and risks/issues and to formulate and confirm best approaches to effectively deal with both.
  • An ability to produce high quality papers and plans in order to gain agreement to change.


The Compensation

An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.

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:
AOSY-156742 Executive Director, Internal Audit & Enterprise Risk Management | University of Alberta - AB - Edmonton and Area (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.