Community Action Initiative – Director of the Secretariat

Community Action Initiative

 Director of the Secretariat



About the Community Action Initiative (CAI)

The Community Action Initiative (CAI) was created to strengthen the role and capacity of the community sector to address substance use and improve mental health for British Columbians. The CAI was established in 2008 through a $10 million grant from the Province of British Columbia and a subsequent grants in 2013 from the Province to continue its work and address a number of key provincial policy issues. In 2018, CAI received an investment of $4 million to contribute to the provincial overdose response in collaboration with the Ministry of Mental Health and Additions (MMHA) Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC).




About the Job

 The Director of the Secretariat is responsible to and supports the CAI Leadership Council. The Director oversees the CAI Secretariat whose function is to operationalize the strategic direction of the Leadership Council. The Director is responsible for ensuring priorities and goals approved by the Leadership Council are addressed and for monitoring and reporting back to the council on implementation and outcomes.


The Director facilitates funding decisions, oversees granting activities and/or contracts, manages legal, fiscal and policy matters, supervises staff, initiates and maintains relations and communications with funders and partners, establishes evaluation needs and ensures accountability.



Responsibilities include

The Director leads change management activities that improve CAI’s relevance to broader system efforts to address mental health, substance use (MHSU) and addictions in British Columbia. In addition, the Director:

  • Reviews and assesses grant and community investment applications and determines successful recipients.
  • Establishes strategic and program partnerships with constituent non-government organizations, government funders, other relevant government ministries, health authorities, and research centres to establish priorities.
  • Champions the interests of the non-government community mental health and substance use sector.
  • Manages and ensures accountability for the overdose response grants in collaboration with the OERC, an initiative focused on strengthening community-led multisectoral response to the overdose crisis in BC.
  • Fosters effective teamwork and relationships to align CAI’s investments and activities with BC’s public policy directions and key provincial and regional MHSU initiatives.
  • Identifies, analyzes, evaluates and communicates mental health, substance use and addictions service gaps, best practices, and emerging opportunities for CAI.
  • Lead and oversee a small secretariat team to ensure efficient and effective day-to-day operations.
  • Co-ordinate and facilitate CAI Leadership Council and working group meetings.
  • Determines staffing and resource requirements for operations.


  • Oversees all external communications in relation to support for partnerships and projects.
  • Acts as a spokesperson for CAI and as the conduit for communications and agreements with funders, government, health authorities, non-government organizations, First Nations, Metis and Aboriginal partners and other stakeholders.

In conjunction with CAI’s fiscal agent, the Director:

  • Determines allocation of funds over various programs and oversee and monitor the expenditure of funds, granting activities and/or contracts by recipients.
  • Develops and manages an annual budget.
  • Ensures the Leadership Council is provided with timely financial reports.



What you will bring to the role

In addition to a Masters degree in a relevant discipline, you will have at least 7 years of experience in a senior management role with a non-government organization, health related government ministry or provincial or regional health authority and 5 or more years’ experience in the mental health and/or substance use field.


You will also have strong operational management experience and in-depth knowledge of effective administration and direct community development experience.




  • Familiarity with the mental health and substance use service delivery systems and approaches in British Columbia.
  • An understanding of the relationship between government Ministries, health authorities, Indigenous peoples and the not for profit sector.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in evaluation and quality improvement
  • Knowledge, skills and experience of the non-government MHSU sector.
  • Leadership skills and experience in continuous quality improvement.
  • Sound financial management skills.
  • Knowledge of human resource management and effective functioning of teams.
  • Proficiency in use of computer software including Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.



Located in downtown Vancouver, we offer a flexible work environment along with a competitive salary and benefits package. There may be occasional periods where work outside normal office hours is required in order to meet program requirements.


For a more information on the Community Action Initiative, visit




For more information and a full job description visit the “Get Involved” section of   Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter outlining how they meet the specific requirements for this position. Please submit these documents in PDF format to by 5 p.m. on July 20, 2018 While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted.




We are an equity employer and encourage applications from women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people, people of all sexual orientation and genders, and others who may contribute to our further diversification.