Director, Marketing & Communications

Communications & Engagement · Toronto, Ontario
Department Communications & Engagement
Employment Type Full Time - Professional Staff
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor


The Vector Institute is seeking an ambitious marketing and communications professional who is eager to prove their talent, take the institute’s brand and thought leadership to the next level, and position Vector as the voice of AI in Canada.

The successful candidate will have proven experience and successes in startup/scale-up organizations and be a strong and strategic leader. They will set strategies, lead a high-performing team, cut through complexities, ensure synergies across teams and with stakeholders, and deliver measurable business results for the institute.

The candidate will have an enterprising mindset and a strong voice on the senior management team, where they will directly advise the CEO and Chair on high-profile opportunities and risks. The candidate will actively champion and ensure diversity of ideas and representation in Vector’s marketing and communications initiatives.


The Vector Institute’s mandate is to drive excellence and leadership in Canada’s knowledge, creation, and use of AI to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians.

The institute is at an important juncture in its evolution: Having launched in 2017 and piloted many successful programs, it is now well into the implementation of its first Three-Year Strategy and seeking to dramatically scale its impact and brand. To meet its objectives, the Marketing & Communications team collaborates across the organization (approx. 50 staff), community of 500+ machine learning researchers, 40+ enterprise and startup/scale-up sponsors, funding partners at the federal and provincial level, and the health sector. The team manages the institute’s brand, builds community internally, and supports sponsor stewardship/acquisition and global talent recruitment.


The Director, Marketing & Communications provides strategic direction, priority setting and leadership for the planning, development, management, and execution of marketing and communications strategies and tactics across the Vector Institute.

  1. Thought Leadership & Knowledge Translation
    1. Position Vector as the voice of AI in Canada through its spokespeople and creation of insightful, impactful content.
    2. Translate and disseminate Vector’s technical insights into plain language and valuable knowledge for businesses, public institutions, and society (on topics such as economic and societal impacts, responsible AI, etc.).
    3. Establish an editorial strategy, direction, process, and calendar (incl. setting themes/topics, story-finding, interviewing).
    4. Produce impact/success stories resulting from Vector research and industry programs.
  2. Performance Marketing
    1. Grow and champion the Vector brand as the voice of AI in Canada.
    2. Leverage analytics to continuously improve and drive business results.
    3. Develop and execute marketing strategy, plan, and annual reviews, including planning, execution, and optimization of specific marketing campaigns (e.g., for sponsor acquisition/retention, program enrollment, international talent recruitment, etc.).
    4. Develop and execute social media strategy, and grow and enhance Vector’s digital presence across all channels, including website (incl. leveraging SEO, UX, etc.).
    5. Enforce Vector’s CASL & website privacy policy.
    6. Develop and lead content strategy: optimize written content, video, graphic, photography, etc. to drive business results. Deliver high-quality, cohesive brand, positioning, and value propositions across all channels.
    7. Represent the voice of customers and stakeholders, conduct competitive analyses and market research, and gather customer feedback. Present and implement actionable insights.
  3. Media & Public Relations
    1. Serve as an official spokesperson for the organization.
    2. Build and leverage relationships with local and global media outlets and reporters and develop successful media pitches.
    3. Monitor, share and capitalize on relevant news.
    4. Scrupulously and proactively defend Vector’s reputation against complex and nuanced reputational risks & issues. Develops strategies and briefing notes and mitigative messaging for executives and internal teams.
    5. Receive, coordinate and prepare responses for all incoming media requests.
  4. Events & Community Engagement
    1. Optimize and oversee all Vector events and participation in community events (incl. branding, experience, and technology).
  5. Corporate Communications
    1. Coordinate and optimize all internal and external communications (incl. all public announcements).
    2. Produce significant public-facing reports and strategy documents (e.g., annual report).
    3. Communicate with government on relevant announcements and events.
    4. Identify and manage opportunities for CEO’s public engagements (incl. presentations & speeches).
    5. Ensure all content (particularly written copy) is accurate, consistent, cohesive, and impactful towards business results.
  6. Marketing & Communications Administration and Operations
    1. Synchronize all marketing and communications activities, events, and calendars.
    2. Set, manage, and optimize the marketing and communications budget.
    3. Run procurements to source vendors/agencies to meet all marketing and communications needs (e.g., website development, freelance writing, etc.) including developing business cases, managing vendors/agencies and contracts), all in accordance with Broader Public Sector guidelines and best practices.
    4. Implement processes to ensure adherence to writing style guides, brand guidelines, etc.
    5. Source and manage all creative needs (e.g., visual identity, graphics, photography, video production).


  • Measurable increases in brand awareness and consideration: Progress towards sponsor acquisition, program enrollment and talent recruitment targets is measurably boosted.
  • Frequent thought leadership and impact/success stories in high-profile media (per quantitative metrics in Vector’s Three-Year Strategy).
  • Vector’s digital presence reflects and enhances its reputation as a leading technology institute.
  • Internal and external colleagues provide positive feedback about the team’s value and impact.
  • Nurtures and leverages strategic relationships with key partners in the AI ecosystem.


  • 7-10 years of experience leading and working in both marketing and communications. International brand-building is an asset.
  • Eager to prove their ambition and talent based upon accomplishments working with senior leaders and governance and in startup/scale-up environments.
  • A strong, experienced leader.
  • Hands-on experience in digital marketing and communications.
  • Cuts through ambiguity: translates broad strategic directions into clear quantitative targets and results.
  • Enterprising, entrepreneurial, opportunistic.
  • Creative and strategic.
  • Shrewd and nuanced communicator.
  • Persuasive.
  • Builds high-performing teams and promotes their growth.
  • A quick study: translates highly technical, complex, and nuanced subject matter into plain language.
  • Collaborative and consultative problem-solver.
  • Compassionate, thoughtful, empathetic.
  • Promotes wellbeing of colleagues and Vector community.
  • Strong and diligent administrator and manager.
  • Familiarity with Broader Public Sector policies and practices is an asset.

Please address applications (cover letter and resume) to Kailyn Burke, Human Resources Business Partner, using the link provided. Review of applications will begin March 25, 2021. We thank all applicants for their interest in this exciting opportunity and will be in touch with those whose qualifications most closely match with our needs.

Please note that all interviews are currently being held remotely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Vector Institute we are committed to driving excellence and leadership in Canada’s knowledge, creation, and use of AI to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians. We strive for greater inclusion in the programs and culture that we build by welcoming and encouraging applications from all qualified candidates. This includes but is not limited to applicants who are indigenous, LGBT2Q+, racialized persons/visible minorities, women, and people with disabilities.

If you require an accommodation at any point throughout the recruitment and selection process, please contact and we will happily work with you to meet your needs.

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  • Location
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Department
    Communications & Engagement
  • Employment Type
    Full Time - Professional Staff
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor