Career Transition:

If your employer has provided you with Career Transition Support through Optimum Talent, click here to get started.


Get Support With:
  • Career planning + assessment
  • Resume development + optimization
  • Creating your professional online profile
  • Networking training + events
  • Interview preparation

Current Opportunities

Executive Director, Smart Agriculture & Food – Alberta Innovates


Alberta Innovates is a provincially funded corporation with a mandate to deliver 21st-century solutions for the most compelling challenges facing Albertans. They do this by building on the province’s research and technology development strengths in the core sectors of health, environment, energy, agriculture and food and fibre, and platforms such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and omics. Alberta Innovates works with their partners to grow and diversify Alberta’s economy, create jobs, improve environmental performance and enhance the well-being of Albertans through research and innovation.

Alberta Innovates has two subsidiaries. C-FER works with the global energy industry to advance safety, environmental performance and efficiency with full-scale testing and specialized engineering consulting services.  InnoTech Alberta offers a range of science, engineering and technological research talent and testing capabilities, and the facilities that can help accelerate technology development serving both the private and public sector.

For more information on Alberta Innovates, please visit



Job Title:Executive Director, Smart Agriculture & Food
Reports to:Vice President, Clean Resources
Direct Reports:2 Program Managers and 2 Project Specialists
Location:Edmonton, Alberta



Alberta Innovates is seeking an Executive Director, Smart Agriculture & Food in to join their Clean Resources team. The incumbent will develop and execute programs in agriculture and food 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.


Key Accountabilities

Strategic Leadership & Oversight

  • Inspires a shared vision for, and lead program development in Smart Agriculture and Food
  • Oversees the management of staff activities, ensuring team and individual goals are established, while managing day to day activities
  • Ensures management and administrative processes, standards and protocols are established to support Smart Agriculture and Food project/program development and implementation
  • Manages operational, capital and staff budgets and reporting activities for the department
  • Continues as the key contact for Alberta Innovates and ensures operational support for the recently created Canadian Agri-Food Automation & Intelligence Network (CAAIN), a not-for-profit partner of Alberta Innovates

Research & Development

  • Develops opportunities to drive/advance innovation and key technologies, identifying gaps and necessary investment resources, promoting multi-stakeholder collaborative approaches, engaging business partners, securing funding, sponsorship and commitments, ensuring background research and analyses are conducted, preparing business cases, initiating projects and initiatives and influencing outcomes
  • Manages project/program development and initiates activities
  • Integrates the Smart Agriculture and food portfolio with the other industrial groups to harness additional opportunities in the market

Stakeholder Management & External Relations

  • Develops and maintains relationships with external and internal stakeholders including, but not limited to, government, private industry and public sector
  • Develops a strong government relations strategy to work collaboratively with all three levels of government
  • Builds trusting relationships with financial stakeholders to work collaboratively to achieve growth or partnership objectives
  • Positively represents Alberta Innovates in the community by proactively building and nurturing relationships with the start-up community, other organizations and not-for-profits, in order to initiate opportunities and raise the level of innovation
  • Liaise with existing and prospective strategic partners to build/maintain collaborative working relationships



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

  • Promote a positive and thriving team culture that indicates a trusting, mentoring, communicative and empowering work environment
  • Develop a strong understanding of Alberta Innovates as a whole, in order to identify integration opportunities with other internal divisions
  • Build strong relationships with key industry stakeholders that will drive credibility and subsequently bring potential programs and innovations to the sector
  • Seek and establish partnerships with complementary organizations such as Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network, Results Driven Agriculture Research and Emissions Reduction Alberta
  • Identify new opportunities that have potential to impact the Agriculture & Smart Food portfolio
  • Secure and deploy an impactful pool of funds into new program development
  • Continue to further develop and deliver on the current programs in the Smart Agriculture & Food portfolio



The successful candidate will have the following:


  • Masters or Doctoral degree in Agricultural Sciences or related field
  • Extended work experience may be substituted for educational credentials



  • Minimum 15 years broad based technical and business management experience
  • 10 years progressive leadership experience at a senior level
  • Ten years’ related work experience at a senior leadership level
  • Track record of success within a complex, multi-stakeholder environment
  • Extensive smart agriculture and food science knowledge
  • Familiar with Alberta’s social, economic, environmental and technological needs and priorities
  • Experience in working in/with government and industry in agriculture and food production 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 smart 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
  • Proven ability in articulating complex smart agriculture and food production application in simple terms and in a business context


Competencies and Attributes

  • Ability to manage key or strategic stakeholder relationships and generate respect and trust from a diverse group of external and internal stakeholders
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership, and facilitation skills
  • Strategy and Business case development skill
  • Business acumen and management oversight
  • People leadership, coaching, and career development skills
  • 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

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:
ARQP-641681 Executive Director, Smart Agriculture & Food – Alberta Innovates - 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.