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Assistant Corporate Secretary

Job Summary

Reporting to the Corporate Secretary, the Assistant Corporate Secretary plays a key role in providing efficient and effective support to the Board of Governors and senior management of the Centre. The incumbent works closely with the Corporate Secretary to support the coordination, facilitation and recording of the activities of the Board of Governors, the Board Committees, and the Centre Management Committee, as well as in providing advice and guidance on jurisdiction, strategy, policy and process to governors and senior management. The Assistant Corporate Secretary supports the Corporate Secretary in the planning and management of the Secretariat, and in maintaining strong relationships across the Centre, and with various central agencies of government, including the Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada with regard to corporate governance of IDRC.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Governance and Corporate Secretarial support to the Board, Board committees and CMC:

Plays a key role in the coordination and administration of key facets of Board and Board committee meetings (standing committees include Executive, Finance and Audit, Human Resources, plus additional specialized committees) as well as of Centre Management Committee meetings (CMC), including:

  • Ensuring the accuracy and integrity of meeting agendas.  
  • Maintaining a reliable tracking system for substantive meeting topics and items.
  •  Assisting in the collection, review and quality assurance of all documentation and materials sent from management to the Board, Board committees and CMC. 
  • Attending all Board, Board committee and CMC meetings to take accurate and comprehensive minutes, within a reasonable time following each meeting, as the corporate recording secretary.  
  • Undertaking appropriate post-meeting action to ensure implementation of decisions arising from meetings, and ensuring appropriate forward plans are provided to management.
  • Reviewing public disclosures, including the annual reports, access to information and privacy reports, and reports on Board expenses. 
  • Supporting the maintenance of communications with Board members between meetings, by coordinating the administration of the electronic Board Portal and by reviewing regular ‘newsletter’-style updates from the President, the Corporate Secretary or Chairperson to Board members.

Plays a key role in the coordination of various Board activities and events, including orientation program, occasional Board field visits to developing countries, and representational events.

Ensures effective corporate governance by:  

  • Providing support and advice to the Corporate Secretary in carrying out duties relating to the effective governance and performance of the Board and corporation, as well as information on governance best practices.
  • Contributing to the development and revision of governance guiding documents, and corporate policies, to reflect evolving governance best practices, legislative requirements and operational requirements.
  • Researching and providing contextual information about past decisions, as well as preparing briefing materials and resolutions for review and consideration by the Board and Board committees.
  • Maintaining up-to-date records of committee composition and governors’ skills, monitoring vacancies and expiration of terms of office, and planning for the appointment processes in compliance with government standards for governor in council appointed boards. 
  • Supporting the Corporate Secretary in maintaining a strong rapport with various central agencies of government, including the Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada with regard to corporate governance of IDRC.
  • Contributing to the conceptualization, development and implementation of special projects and business plans to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the Corporate Secretariat in terms of records management, information sharing and evolution of policies. 
  • Tracking Board operating plan expenses and participating in the development of the annual Board of governors’ budget.

Performs other functions or projects as may be assigned.


Direct supervision : No direct supervision
Indirect supervision : Within the Office of the Secretary and General Counsel:

  • Corporate Planner – in coordinating Board, Board committee, CMC meetings and document delivery and in reviewing of Board expenses and honoraria approvals.  
  • Casual workers – in planning work, instructing, establishing priorities, monitoring work in progress and verifying results.

Job Scope

The incumbent must work independently, but as a vital part of a small, dynamic, nimble and extremely busy team. The priority of this team is to provide efficient and effective support to the Board of Governors and CMC.  The Board consists of up to fourteen members who meet at least three times a year in person (Board committees - four standing and occasionally some ad hoc – also meet at least 3 times per year each).  CMC consists of approximately eighteen members of senior management who meet at least monthly.

The incumbent is a senior member of the Corporate Secretariat team, and her or his input and advice on matters pertaining to the effective management of the unit is frequently sought.

Work impacts the operations of the Board, its Committees and CMC, all of which are key to the good functioning of the corporation. Unforeseen errors would compromise the effective working of the corporation. For example, unclear or inaccurate information could create confusion, delay or poor or inaccurate decision-making; consequences of which would be, at minimum, significant reputational risk for the corporation.