Job Posting: Secretariat Director – Community Action Initiative CMHA




Secretariat Director – Community Action Initiative



About the Community Action Initiative (CAI)

The Community Action Initiative (CAI) was created to support community-led projects that promote mental health, prevent substance use challenges and promote effective treatment and support for individuals and families experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges in BC. The CAI was established in 2008 through a $10-million grant from the Province of British Columbia. In March 2013, the CAI received a subsequent $10 million grant from the Province to continue its work, as well as $5 million to specifically address supportive recovery housing.


The CAI Leadership Council represents a coalition of non-governmental organizations, First Nations Health Authority, Metis Nation British Columbia and BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, provincial government bodies, and other key stakeholders.


The Secretariat is the office and staff responsible for management and operations of the CAI at the direction of the Leadership Council. CMHA-BC Division acts as fiscal agent.



Position Overview

The Secretariat Director is responsible for supporting the CAI Leadership Council and for overseeing the CAI Secretariat. The Secretariat functions 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 will facilitate funding decisions, oversee all granting activities and/or contracts, manage legal, fiscal and policy matters, supervise staff, initiate and maintain relations and communications with funders and partners, establish evaluation needs and ensure accountability. In addition, a critical function of the Director will be to lead and implement changes ensuring from the recent CAI review.



About You

This is an excellent opportunity for an individual who is a solid strategic thinker and effective operations manager with recent experience in change management. The candidate will have a strong public policy background, familiarity with the mental health and substance use (MHSU) service delivery system in British Columbia, experience with the NGO sector and landscape, community development experience, demonstrated leadership ability, experience with boards and governance models, and superior communication skills.



Responsibilities include:


  • Lead change management activities that improve CAI’s relevance to broader system efforts to address MHSU in British Columbia.
  • Establish strategic and program partnerships with constituent NGOs, government funders, other select government ministries, health authorities, Ministry of Child and Family Development regions, and centres of excellence to establish priorities and align CAI’s investments and activities with public policy direction and key initiatives.
  • Champion the interests of the MHSU sector.
  • Manage and ensure accountability for the Support Recovery Home Project (SuRHP), an initiative focused on enhancing the capacity of non-health authority funded residential substance use service providers in BC, supported through a $5M grant from the Ministry of Health.
  • Identify, analyze, evaluate and communicate MHSU service gaps, best practices, and emerging opportunities for CAI.
  • Develop an operational plan to achieve CAI goals and objectives.
  • Determine staffing needs, hiring based on those needs, and leading and overseeing the secretariat staff, fostering effective teamwork within the group.

Council and Working Groups

  • Monitor and ensure membership, roles and functions of Leadership Council adhere to its Terms of Reference
  • Provide leadership in developing direction for Leadership Council and working groups / committees as established.
  • Oversee the co-ordination of Leadership Council and working group meetings, providing leadership and communication in all areas as well as facilitating the meetings.

Legal and Fiscal Management

  • In conjunction with CAI’s fiscal agent, develop and manage an annual budget, administer funds and approve expenditures within level of authority, and ensuring Leadership Council is provided with timely financial reports.


  • Develop and implement an evaluation framework and plan for measuring and reporting results of investments and activities and prepare an annual report for the Leadership Council, fiscal agent and funder.


  • Oversee all external communications in relation to support for partnerships and projects, e.g. website development, key messaging, hard copy and web- based publications, media and public relations, CAI messaging and positioning, event management, writing, and editing.
  • Act as a spokesperson for CAI and as the conduit for communications and agreements with funders, government, health authorities, NGOs, First Nations, Metis and Aboriginal partners and other stakeholders.



What you will bring to the role:

A Graduate degree in a related field and a minimum of 7 or more years  of senior management experience in a non-government organization, health related government ministry or provincial or regional health authority.

You will also have:

  • Strong operational management experience and in-depth knowledge of effective administration.
  • 5 or more years of experience in the MHSU field.
  • Direct community development experience.
  • An understanding of public health and clinical issues in MHSU.
  • Familiarity with the MHSU service delivery systems and approaches in British Columbia.
  • An understanding of the relationship between government Ministries, health authorities and the non-government MSHU sector.
  • Knowledge, skills and experience to represent the voice of Aboriginal Groups: First Nations, Métis and Urban Aboriginal populations.
  • Knowledge, skills and experience to represent the voice of the non-governmental MHSU sector.
  • Leadership and knowledge of management principles of a healthy organization.
  • Sound financial management skills.
  • Knowledge of human resource management and effective functioning of teams.
  • Proficiency in use of computer software including Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.



Located in downtown Vancouver, this 37.5 hour a week position includes a competitive salary and benefits package. Some flexibility is required to work outside core business hours as well as for occasional travel.




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 May 29, 2017. While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted.


For more information about the Community Action Initiative visit



Community Action Initiative is committed to our workforce reflecting the diversity of the communities within which we work. As such, we encourage applications from persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the diversity of our staff. Personal experience with mental illness and or addiction, either through self or a loved one, is an asset.