Executive Director

Application Deadline: 
Monday, January 31, 2022 - 5:00pm


Meeting the needs of a diverse society since 1952, COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural not-for-profit agency providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities, new Canadians and individuals in need of assistance.


Each year, more than 40,000 clients use COSTI’s many services and programs, including: 


  • Specialized employment services for internationally trained individuals, as well as information and referral to appropriate services, employment assessment and counselling, work placement, job search training and job development for adults and youth.
  • Settlement services including orientation, information, counselling and cultural interpretation for recently arrived immigrants.
  • English language (ESL and LINC), skills training and Enhanced Language Training (ELT) programs.
  • Post-settlement support for settled immigrants who continue to require social and government services.
  • Housing and settlement support for Government-Assisted Refugees, Refugee Claimants and Privately-Sponsored Refugees.
  • Family counselling and mental health services.
  • Housing support for families facing eviction, or those marginally housed.
  • Help for immigrant women to overcome barriers in their lives and to access opportunities.
  • Services specific to the needs of seniors to help them lead a satisfying and dignified life.
  • Translation and interpretation services.


COSTI has grown significantly over the years, and today is one of the leading organizations in Canada dedicated to serving the needs of newcomers. The diversity of programs and services offered are a core strength, along with the ability to be creative and highly responsive. Augmenting its capacity in research and policy will further its ability to advocate for broader policy and social changes.

In 2021, COSTI launched its new strategic plan. Developed against a background of uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the plan outlines four key directions that will provide a framework to guide the agency over the next 5 years:

Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, COSTI has 470 staff in 18 locations in Toronto, the Region of Peel and York Region, with additional services offered across Ontario, Canada and overseas in more than 60 languages. Well-regarded by clients and other stakeholders alike, including sector agencies, funders, donors and municipal, provincial and federal governments, COSTI is committed to ensure that regardless of language or cultural barriers, people who arrive in Canada are able to use their existing skills, learn new ones, and participate actively in all aspects of Canadian life.

The Opportunity:

With the pending retirement of the incumbent, the search is under way for the new Executive Director. Reporting to the President of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is the key management leader for COSTI. In partnership with the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team, the Executive Director is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the organization and overseeing its effective and efficient operations. Using an inclusive and collaborative approach, the Executive Director inspires staff, establishes and fosters external partnerships and manages the organization. Ultimately, the Executive Director is responsible for the success of COSTI, ensuring the organization’s accomplishments, outcomes and financial sustainability are aligned with its mission, values and strategic directions.

In assuming this leadership position, the new Executive Director will want to focus on the following key priority areas to continue to strategically grow COSTI’s excellent reputation and impact:

  • As a trusted and credible leader, maintain and build on strength of relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, internal and external.
  • Play a lead role, in close collaboration with others, in implementing the new strategic plan.
  • Assess and develop appropriate organizational structure, leadership and team capacity, policies, and performance management metrics to support change and growth.
  • Continue to build relationships, collaboration and advocacy with funders and sector partners to deliver solutions, solve problems and share learnings.
  • Embrace new and innovative approaches, including technology and business models.
  • Ensure ongoing financial sustainability through growth in government funding and philanthropic foundations and donor support.
  • Continue to proactively progress anti-racism and equity, diversity and inclusion principles that are foundational to the mission.


COSTI is a trusted, well-regarded organization with strong relationships with funders and partners, and an excellent reputation for delivering quality programs and services, and for leading challenging initiatives including in moments of crisis. This is a wonderful opportunity to lead an organization with committed and dedicated staff and Board, and to play a principal role in helping to achieve prosperous and inclusive Canada built on the success of every individual. Although sometimes challenging, the work of the organization and subsequent impact on people’s lives is also immensely gratifying. 


The Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following knowledge, experience, skills and attributes:

  • Senior management experience in the non-profit community/human services sector, and an affinity for the values and traditions of diverse communities and the trends and best practices of settlement services.
  • Demonstrated success in the development of a strategic approach in turning vision into results; ability to lead an organization of scale and complexity during times of growth and change; ensures organizational structure and processes continue to adapt.
  • A collaborator, connector and consensus builder with demonstrated ability to build partnerships with the Board, government, funders, donors and sector organizations, and work in close consultation with a strong Leadership Team.
  • Superior communication and public speaking skills, comfortable with and adaptive to all audiences including media and public relations.
  • Astute problem-solving skills, including in-the-moment; rational and non-judgmental; able to provide calm leadership in times of crisis.
  • Government and policy relations acumen with ability to build relationships and advocate effectively with multiple levels of government while being non-partisan.
  • Business and financial acumen; comfortable with evolving service models and complexity of funding. Able to participate in effective fund-raising activities with various stakeholders.
  • Understands the unique roles that technology, human resources, finance and public relations play in supporting direct services to clients.
  • Experience in leading an organization through change in a fast-paced environment; adaptive, and sees change as an opportunity to push boundaries, innovate and improve.
  • Has a vision in the use of technology; ideally has working knowledge of integrating management tools.
  • An inspiring, visible leader and a builder of culture, leadership capacity and performance; quickly earns trust and credibility through values, integrity, transparency and accountability; an effective and supportive delegator.
  • Client-focused and stays connected to the people served; compassionate, humble and empathetic.
  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of and commitment to social justice issues and principles anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Experience in a unionized environment and can act as spokesperson for collective bargaining and grievances.

How to Apply:

COSTI is a multicultural organization committed to equity, and employs staff who are reflective of the communities that it serves. COSTI is committed to creating a community where there is respect and equity for all. 

The integration of non-discriminatory and anti-racist principles and practices is fundamental to operationalizing principles of social justice and support of COSTI's Vision and Values. COSTI's investment in anti-racism organizational change is an extension of the agency's leadership and commitment to providing high quality services to immigrants.

COSTI encourages applications from individuals reflecting the diversity of the community. COSTI is committed to fair and accessible employment practices and when requested, will make reasonable effort to accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes when filling positions. Should you wish to self-identify on an anonymous basis, you are welcome to do so using the link below. Submitting this form is entirely voluntary. Any information provided will remain strictly confidential and non-attributable, and will only be shared with COSTI for employment equity purposes. https://forms.office.com/r/8BZmwVunwV

Should you have any questions regarding this important and meaningful opportunity, or wish to forward a cover letter and resume for consideration, please contact Madiha Rashid (madiha.rashid@lhhknightsbridge.com / 416.928.4549).