Nuclear Power Plant

Program Director, Environment & Health

Company: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Post Date: 3/6/2018 3:56 PM
Location: Chalk River, Ontario, Canada Job Type: Full Time
Start Date: Projected End Date:
Job Description

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization. Headquartered in the upper Ottawa Valley of Ontario, CNL is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries.  Highly skilled employees enthusiastically deliver a variety of nuclear services ranging from research and development, design and engineering to specialized technology, waste management and decommissioning.  Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is actively working to strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones with government, with industry, and with academia.  With a 10-year transformation strategy and $1.2 billion government investment in CNLs infrastructure, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is on a journey towards a new vision for the future.  The transformation will position CNL to remain a leader in developing peaceful and innovative applications from nuclear technology through its expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology and engineering.


CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories represent the largest single complex within Canada’s science and technology infrastructure.  Over the next decade, CNL will be transforming its Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) through the revitalization of essential site infrastructure, the decommissioning of aging infrastructure and a significant investment in new, world-class science facilities.  


All of the work in Research and Development (R&D) is binned into program areas that cover Energy, Environment, Health, and Safety and Security.  The program areas include the five theme areas of the Federal Science and Technology (S&T) Program and also provide a suitable program organization for work for other government agencies and commercial work.  The R&D portion of the Annual Program of Work and Budget, which encompasses all R&D work at CNL, is organized around these programs. Each program area is managed by a Program Director (PD).


The Opportunity:  CNL is seeking a Program Director, Environment & Health in support of their R&D vision and strategy.  The role is responsible for identifying new projects, determining the needs of the projects, and is accountable for the progress of projects in the specific program areas of Environment and Health.  The ideal candidate understands how to build and grow programs, while fostering an environment of collaboration and inspiration.


Position Title:                     Program Director, Environment & Health

Reports To:                         Vice President Research & Development, CNL

Location:                             Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada



  • Responsible for identifying new projects that support the R&D vision and strategy.
    • Working with their AECL counterpart, the PD determines the projects that are selected annually to best support the priorities of Canada as part of the Federal S&T portfolio. 
    • The PD also interfaces with individual Canadian government agencies to identify research projects that may support their specific needs under the CNL as a Federal Laboratory sub-mission. 
    • Investment of a fraction of CNL revenue into projects that are deemed to support R&D capability growth within a program area is a responsibility of the PD under the New Technology Initiatives Fund, as defined by the contract. The PD also works with BD to identify investment opportunities for margin and other investment funds.
    • PD drives the expansion and development of the program area by working with business development people to find new customers, maintain good relations with existing customers, and expand the work from an existing customer.  Although a project leader and his/her Branch Manager will interact with the customer at the working level, the PD will take a broad and strategic view in considering the larger customer and their needs. The PD will also interact with:  project managers; Branch Managers; Division Directors.  Interactions will include obtaining resources that are needed for projects, but will also include obtaining information on internal and external interactions that affect the program, as well as technical information necessary to carry out his/her duties.

  • Responsible for identifying the needs of projects.
    • These needs include human resources, support services, facilities, equipment, and financial, i.e., adequate budget.  Normally, a project leader will obtain readily available resources for a particular project by working with his/her Branch Manager and Division Director and support services.  When the resources are not readily available, the PD will have the required broad knowledge to identify and obtain resources across R&D, across CNL, or from external sources.  When difficulties arise, the PD will have the requisite authority to seek support from management at all levels within CNL.
  • Accountable for the progress of projects in the program area.
    • PD will review progress of the projects in the program area on a regular basis with the project leads.  The reviews will include cost, schedule and performance, including earned value.  When a project is not meeting expectations in any of these areas, the PD will work with the project lead to develop plans for moving a project towards the expected results.  This may necessitate that the PD obtain additional resources.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • 10 to 12 years of progressive leadership in a research and development environment
  • 10 to 12 years of technical project/process management experience
  • Significant experience and knowledge of the nuclear industry and health sciences
  • National and international recognition in his/her field, including a publication record that supports that recognition
  • Ability to integrate information from multiple sources to form a comprehensive perspective
  • Ability to analyze setbacks and seek honest feedback to learn from mistakes
  • Designs initiatives to enhance operational efficiency
  • Encourages and incorporates diverse initiatives and perspectives
  • Redesigns the program’s work activities to meet changing R&D needs
  • Makes effective recommendations to the Vice President
  • Considers the people components of issues and decisions

Competencies and Personal Characteristics:

Leadership Skills – Ability to communicate vision and program plans with clarity and commitment across the organization. Establishes regular comprehensive exchange of ideas. Sets realistic timelines and clear accountabilities for project managers and leads.  Known to inspire and motivate others.  Coaches project managers, challenges them, and provides opportunities for their growth.

Communication Skills – Ability to adapt communications to suit audience and forum. Shares information vertically and horizontally. Uses persuasion to gain support for initiatives. Regularly engages with executives and/or major customers and influences decision making regarding matters of significance to the organization.  Ability to make presentations on short notice, to both internal and external groups. Ability to own ideas yet listen to others too.

Fostering Relationships - Ability to develop, build and foster relationships. Demonstrates and integrates values and ethics in personal behavior and program practices.  Promotes collaboration among managers and employees and fosters a climate of transparency and trust. Monitors and addresses workplace well-being. Works collaboratively and cross-functionally.  Promotes team building.

Contribution to Business Performance – Good business acumen. Implements strategies to achieve operational efficiencies.  Allocates and manages program resources transparently.  Designs program work plans based on the big picture.

Some travel may be required.

Education and Certifications:  PhD in health sciences or related field from a university of recognized standing.

Compensation:  The successful candidate will be offered an attractive salary, excellent benefits, and relocation assistance.

Contact Information:  KeySource Thomas Thor has been exclusively retained to conduct this search.  Any information exchanged and related to this role is considered proprietary and will be managed through: 



Diane Hoelzel

Director, Executive Search

PH: 330-342-0157

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