Executive Leadership

Chief Operating Officer


Richardson Executive Search

Chief Operating Officer Fort McMurray, Alberta


We have an exciting opportunity for a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to join an organization that provides essential services to 5 First Nations within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). The COO mandate will be to build a success-orientated, culturally appropriate, accountable environment to support the future growth of the organization.

The COO’s responsibilities will include efficient management of the organization’s day-to-day operations in accordance with the organization’s mission and vision and operationalizing the organization’s Strategic Plan. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the COO will be a critical member of the Senior Leadership Team. We are looking for someone with the experience, expertise, and leadership abilities and exhibit the appropriate behaviors required to manage a multi-faceted, service-orientated organization using methods that foster mentorship, collaboration, and achievement of results.

The COO will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the following departments within ATC:

  • Education, Culture and Language
  • Employment and Training
  • Child and Family Services
  • Health
  • Technical Services

The department heads (Directors) of each of the above departments will report directly to the COO. The COO must be a leader who can work with the Directors to deliver measurable, on-budget results that meet identified needs of ATC’s five-member First Nations.


The Athabasca Tribal Council serves these Nations by providing relevant and innovative programs and services that enrich the well-being, health, and prosperity of their people. They are committed to ensuring the protection of their Inherent rights, their Treaty Rights, and their Traditional Territories.

For more information about the Athabasca Tribal Council, please visit https://www.atcfn.ca/.


The responsibilities for the COO will include:

  • Work in partnership with department heads and the CEO, to contribute to the development of the Strategic Plan yearly operational plans.
  • Manage all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day operations.
  • Design and implement internal and external environmental scans.
  • Design and implement reporting and measuring methods to measure the status, progress and results of the yearly operational plan.
  • In concert with the CEO and department heads, develop the organization’s annual budget.
  • Ensure the establishment and consistent implementation of all human resource and IT systems.
  • Provide strong day-to-day leadership characterized by a consultative management approach and exhibit a willingness to “roll up the sleeves” to get large and small task done.

Service Delivery:

  • Understand the service and program needs of ATC’s First Nation members and design and conduct quality assurance review of the programs and services to ensure they continuously meet these identified needs.
  • Identify synergies within ATC to improve program and service delivery and to eliminate redundancies.
  • Support department heads in addressing service and program issues that may arise with First Nations, governments and other external stakeholders.
  • Work with CEO to develop advocacy strategies to enhance programs and services.


  • Manage all aspects of building management for the ATC office and satellite facilities including but not limited to maintenance and renovations, safety and security, and insurance requirements.
  • Ensure reliable IT systems are in place that meet the needs of employees including phone systems, internet conductivity, computer software and hardware updates, electronic record keeping systems.
  • Ensure the ATC fleet of vehicles are well maintained for safety and reliability.
  • Oversee the purchase and maintenance of office equipment and furniture.
  • Evaluate existing, and where necessary, develop Emergency Response & Evacuation Plans for floods, fires, health emergencies that may impact Fort McMurray and our satellite facilities.
  • Ensure timely and accurate departmental budgets are developed by the position’s direct reports.
  • Develop and ensure use of documentation templates.
  • Establish and ensure maintenance of the organization’s record keeping system.
  • Provide clear, concise and complete reports as required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Human Resources:

  • Working in tandem with the Human Resources Director ensure the design and use of effective recruiting, onboarding, professional development, performance management, and retention management processes.
  • In tandem with the CEO and Human Resources Director design and implement employee feedback systems.
  • Exhibit and foster a collaborative management approach.
  • Establish and maintain employee communications systems and methods (regular staff meetings, strategic updates, clear and updated job descriptions, etc.)
  • Exercise conflict-resolution techniques consistent with organization and Indigenous cultures.
  • Manage overtime practices.


  • Minimum educational requirement is post-secondary education in business or public administration, management, or a related field.
  • 7+ years’ experience with similar Indigenous-led organizations.
  • Experience working for a government funded organization or not-for-profit is considered an asset.
  • Proven track record of exceeding evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment.
  • Knowledge and experience of First Nation political, governance, and community structures.
  • Understanding of and experience in dealing with a wide range of historical and current Indigenous issues and sincere desire to address such issues.
  • Ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; problem-solving mindset, project management skills, and creative resourcefulness and understanding of complex funding arrangements.
  • Understand the organization’s strategic direction and ability to translate the direction into concrete actions.
  • Ability to effectively build and manage organization and staff capacity, developing a highly functioning and cohesive workforce.
  • Establish the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly and ensure they are consistently and fairly implemented as to foster loyalty among employees to minimize turnover.
  • Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; a team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations; ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in groups.
  • Develop and empower staff to be confident decision makers and to be accountable for results and for their actions and behaviours. Put people in a position to succeed.
  • Senior level broad experience with the full range of organizational functions and systems, including strategic development, and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, human resources, and marketing.
  • High level of expertise in the use of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and project management programs.
  • Criminal Record Check.
  • Child and Family Services Intervention Check.
  • Valid Driver’s License & clear Driver’s Abstract.
  • Ability to speak Dene of Cree is an asset.
  • Acceptance and celebration of the Dene and Cree cultures.


SANDY JACOBSON | T: 587.453.4242 | E: sandy.jacobson@richardsonsearch.ca | www.richardsonsearch.ca

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