Director, Business Development & Government Relations Canada
Job Type


The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (Foundation) is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding permanent homes for the more than 140,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking.



With support from the president and CEO and SVP, business development & government relations, the director, business development & government relations Canada will assist with initiating, developing and nurturing relationships with provincial, territorial and government agencies, Indigenous communities,  public and private leaders, influencers, elected officials, affinity groups and decision makers in Canada to support the expansion of the Foundation’s signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK). 

The director will work in collaboration with the SVP, business development & government relations to proactively seek ways to assess and support systems improvement in provincial, territorial and federal government, Indigenous communities, organizations and agencies by identifying opportunities to advocate for the child-focused recruitment model to be implemented throughout Canada in effort to work towards the goal of dramatically increasing adoptions from foster care.

The Foundation offers a hybrid work environment with employees required to be in the office at least three days per week. Remote employment may be considered for out-of-state candidates willing to travel onsite as required.


  1. Work in close collaboration with the SVP, business development & government relations to plan approaches, pitches and proposals and partner with target jurisdictions to embed the results-driven WWK program in these jurisdictions
  2. Coordinate with provincial and/or territorial child welfare departments, government leaders and relevant organizations and agencies to help identify and structure partnerships for expanding the WWK program, while also identifying new partnerships with influential, mission-aligned organizations to cultivate relationships and elevate the visibility of the WWK program among provincial, territorial, Indigenous and national child welfare leaders
  3. Assist with ongoing management and stewardship of existing relationships in provinces and territories where scaling is currently underway; leverage relationships and partnerships to support scaling of WWK as well as fiscal accountability among the relevant partners
  4. Work in partnership with the SVP, business development & government relations to establish and cultivate relationships within jurisdictions to sustain commitment to WWK by systematically partnering with and mobilizing associations and community/collateral organizations
  5. Assist with identifying key political and nonprofit leaders and decision-makers in targeted provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to advance productive relationships and an environment to support the growth of WWK 
  6. Prioritize and support relationships at the provincial and territorial government level that advance opportunities to educate these leaders on the WWK child-focused recruitment model; cultivate and sustain relationships with stakeholders and organizations able to create or influence change
  7. Monitor child welfare policy, practice and trends that could impact the Foundation’s WWK scaling activities; participate, as appropriate, in collaborations, networks and groups to build relationships and advance the Foundation’s priorities and strategies



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Proven experience in government relations, public affairs or business development; strong understanding of Canadian government processes, legislative procedures and regulatory frameworks; 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Canadian policy and programmatic issues related to child welfare, foster care, foster care adoption, and Indigenous communities as well as the socioeconomic and equity factors affecting these areas
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, proven ability to adapt communication style to different audiences; demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively according to intended audiences and the ability to draft policy language 
  • Proven ability to build and maintain positive relationships with multiple audiences, including legislative and government agency staff, Indigenous communities, coalitions and trade groups, nonprofits and cross-functional internal teams 
  • Strong team player who can collaborate effectively with colleagues and partners to achieve shared goals; personal qualities of integrity, credibility and commitment to the mission
  • Flexible and able to multi-task; can work within a fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and goals while focusing on measurable outcomes
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and the ability to learn new programs
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Values diversity and supports an inclusive culture


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred 
  • 5+ years of experience in Canadian government relations, business development, public policy, and/or outcome-based program development or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 3+ years of experience working with provincial and/or federal policymakers, national partners, advocacy groups, and constituents; including but not limited to policymakers and staff, child and family welfare service providers, Indigenous communities, business leaders, philanthropic partners, advocates, community organizers, field experts, judiciary and youth 
  • Proven leadership, analytical skills, strong public speaking and confidence in presenting and communicating with a variety of senior-level leaders, public figures, as well as success in fostering strategic partnerships


  • Frequent travel, including to Canada, required
  • This position requires valid U.S. work authorization 

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is including a reasonable, good faith estimate of the compensation range for this role. A specific salary offer considers multiple factors including but not limited to job-related knowledge, skillset, experience and training, internal equity, budget and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the salary range and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. A reasonable estimate of the current base salary range for this position is $85,000 - $105,000 per year. 

Interested candidates may apply for this position through June 2, 2024. Late submissions may not be considered. We appreciate your understanding and timely response.


The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant based on race, color, religion, religious beliefs, political affiliation, creed, HIV/AIDS status, ethnicity, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, familial status, veteran/military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, prior arrest or any other category protected by applicable law. Any employee who engages in such conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.