Executive Director

Ontario (CA)
09 Jul 2019
05 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto are seeking a dynamic, strategic, and visionary scientific leader as Executive Director to launch the Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children.  

About the Leong Centre for Healthy Children

The Edwin S. H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children (Leong Centre) at the University of Toronto is poised to take the lead in determining the future of child health through a novel ‘precision prevention’ approach.  The first Centre of its kind in the world, the Leong Centre will address the global rise in chronic disease among children – with a particular focus on those who are underprivileged and at risk. It will do this by developing effective evidence-based practices, interventions and policies to prevent disease before it starts, while also improving outcomes for those with disabilities and chronic conditions. Ultimately, this will lead to solutions that help children to set a trajectory of health throughout their life.

The Leong Centre will be centred at the University of Toronto, but its researchers will collaborate with peers at sister institutions in Canada and around the world, including in Hong Kong, British Columbia and the United Kingdom. Through these collaborations, the Leong Centre will draw on world-class resources to develop targeted, effective and affordable child health interventions, resulting in improved health outcomes for all children, including those with few resources and little access to health care. This unique ‘precision prevention’ approach will be scaled up to inform programs and policies in hospitals, schools and communities around the world.

The Hospital for Sick Children is a central partner with the Leong Centre. It is one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and a leader in advanced paediatric research that has generated innovative discoveries in children’s health care with global impact. Paediatric research performed at SickKids spans the applied health science range from detection, to solution, to prevention. Its researchers and resources will be a key component of the Leong Centre’s long-term success.


The University of Toronto (U of T) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) are seeking an Executive Director who will drive The Edwin S. H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children (Leong Centre) forward and develop actionable recommendations to inform policy and care. The Executive Director will be an associate or full professor with a proven track record of research in the field of health services research and who will work closely with researchers, institutional leaders, government agencies, donors and the general public. Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Trevor Young, SickKids’ C.E.O, Dr. Ronald Cohn and the Chair of Paediatrics and Paediatrician-in-Chief, Dr. Jeremy Friedman, the Executive Director will mobilize the very best ideas and innovations, champion the strategic priorities of the Leong Centre and work with chairs and managers to ensure milestones and deliverables are met or exceeded while ensuring resources remain within the approved operating plan. With half their time dedicated to managerial duties and half to pursuing their own research initiatives under the Centre's auspices, the Executive Director will establish the Leong Centre’s agenda in close consultation with a Scientific Leadership Council and International Advisory Committee.

The ED will be required to be eligible for an appointment with the SickKids Research Institute and academic appointment at U of T and will have protected time to dedicate up to a 0.5 FTE effort to the role to fulfill the responsibilities as outlined herein.  


Strategy and Direction

  • Provide direction and leadership, working closely with the Leong Centre Chairs, to execute and periodically refine the Centre’s strategic plan 
  • Utilizing incomparable leadership and expertise, foster a culture of cross-collaboration that will enhance the Leong Centre’s precision prevention approach
  • Ensure that the projects and initiatives within the areas of focus of the Leong Centre are mutually supportive and integrated according to the Centre’s vision and mission
  • Develop relationships with external stakeholders to further the mandate of the Leong Centre and identify potential partnerships and collaboration opportunities
  • Actively lead and participate in the Leong Centre’s decision-making structures and processes, navigating and adjudicating complex and large-scale issues as they arise
  • Provide research stewardship through the promotion of disciplinary and interdisciplinary program research

Governance and Operations

  • Liaise with the Centre executive, philanthropic leads and the Chiefs of Research and Paediatrics to successfully recruit the Chairs for the Leong Centre’s three areas of focus 
  • Develop and execute Annual Operating Plans to ensure that the milestones and deliverables for the Centre are met or exceeded
  • Oversee the management of the Leong Centre’s resources within an approved budget framework that is fully aligned with the Strategic and Operational Plans as approved by the Management Committee
  • Measure performance against goals and take action to mitigate any risks or issues to ensure all facets of the Centre are achieving or surpassing the annual milestones and benchmarks of success
  • Oversee and optimize discretionary funds including a Directorship Fund and Knowledge Mobilization Fund established to enhance the Centre’s mandate, support special collaboration opportunities with other institutions across Canada and internationally and promote and disseminate the Centre’s knowledge and discoveries
  • Establish and lead the peer review selection committee to direct funding provided through the Leong Centre’s Innovation Fund for Child Health Outcomes & Catalyst Grants 
  • Develop and oversee plans for the infrastructure of the Centre, including appropriate technical support, HR structures and resource planning
  • Nurture opportunities for building large team grants within the Leong Centre’s areas of focus promoting the strengths and future directions of the research communities supporting the Centre
  • Work closely with the Leong Centre Chairs, leveraging program funding for success in granting agency applications to amplify funding sources for the Centre
  • Enhance the learning environment for Centre researchers and collaborators

Communications and Public Relations

  • Act as the public face of the Leong Centre presenting its strategic vision, mission and values
  • Develop and implement effective systems of communications for all internal and external stakeholders (i.e. health institutions, academic partners, industry, government, public) to ensure scientific advances and policy positions developed through the Centre are broadly promoted  
  • Work with the Leong Centre Chairs to actively pursue opportunities to attract talented clinicians, trainees and researchers from diverse fields
  • Serve on provincial, national and international committees where applicable to advance the research mandate and act as the strategic research advisor for the Leong Centre
  • Prepare reports for checkpoints on the Centre’s overall activity for the Management Committee, Scientific Leadership Council, International Advisory Committee and the Tai Hung Fai Charitable Foundation


To explore this opportunity further, please e-mail and submit your CV online via the SickKids career portal. 


SickKids is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Only those applicants selected for the interview will be contacted.


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