Job Posting 93904

Director, Policy and Programs
Coastal First Nations - Great Bear Intiative
Work From Home - Vancouver & Lower Mainland
closed yesterday (Wed, 31 May)
full time



About The Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative:

The CFN-GBI is a not-for-profit Society established in 2003 that is owned and operated by a unique alliance of First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. The principal goal of this group is to restore and implement ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable resource management approaches on the Central and North Coast and Haida Gwaii. To learn more about us at



A unique alliance of nine BC First Nations, creating jobs for the future and protecting the Great Bear Rainforest.


Who we are looking for:


Coastal First Nation – Great Bear Initiative (CFN) is looking for a Director of Policy and Programs who is dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable about protecting the environment, supporting ecosystem-based resource management and enabling sustainable economic development.  You are a talented, inspiring, and creative leader who has a history of building diverse, cohesive teams. You are comfortable in the boardroom with Chiefs, Deputy Ministers, and CEOs but equally so with people on wharfs and in the coffee shop. You are a financially savvy, professional and policy expert with solid networks throughout Indigenous organizations, business community, government agencies, and with other environmental and diverse partners.


To succeed in this role, the Director of Policy and Programs must have a political mindset with the ability to recognize and act on opportunities to benefit CFN and its member Nations and also the ability to guide and work with skilled professional program experts. You are a highly effective communicator comfortable presenting, facilitating, and negotiating with a variety of audiences and adapting your style as required.


What we offer:

We offer meaningful work. We give back to our communities, our land, our sea, our economy, and our environment. In addition to working with an inclusive, supportive, caring group of people, we offer a competitive compensation package which includes:


  • Three (3) weeks annual vacation
  • An additional two (2) weeks paid time off during the festive season
  • One (1) additional paid week off for cultural/family leave
  • A generous registered matched pension plan (6%)
  • A healthy extended benefit plan
  • An annual education fund and opportunities for learning and development
  • A chance to make an impact while being part of a progressive, dynamic team


About the Position:


Position:                 DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROGRAMS

Reports to:            CEO

Location:               HYBRID

Start Date:             ASAP

Salary range:         negotiable, commensurate with experience

Status:                    FULL-TIME, PERMANENT

Tax exempt:          Status individuals may be eligible for income tax exemption


The Director of Policy and Programs oversees the lifecycle of GBI’s programs, from planning and program start-up, through to implementation and delivery, evaluation, and eventual close-out.  Guiding 8+ Program Managers, the Director of Policy and Programs is responsible for managing the team to ensure that GBI’s Programs and projects fulfill the mandates of the GBIS Board, have sufficient resources to undertake the work, and that deliverables are successfully completed within specific time frames and budgets.


The Director of Policy and Programs is the organization’s leader in monitoring the Crown Government’s policy environment as it affects GBI’s mission and mandate and recommends changes and initiatives through the CEO to the Board of Directors. The Director of Policy and Programs skillfully forges strong relationships and works closely with Indigenous organizations, community, government agencies, and other diverse partners to develop and implement relevant strategic policy.


The Director of Policy and Programs is a management position reporting to the CEO and, with the Director of Operations, is a member of the senior management team responsible for leadership of the organization and providing oversight of all key operations to ensure that the organization’s mission is achieved.


The Director of Policy and Programs has extensive knowledge related to policies, practices and procedures associated with planning, organizing and managing people and Programs in a non-profit organization.




The Director of Policy and Programs is responsible for the following key areas:


1             Program Management

  • Recruit, lead, manage, mentor, and coach a team of Program Managers
  • Oversee and guide the work of the Program Managers by:
    • Reviewing the goals and objectives of each Program, regularly and guiding as required
    • Interpreting the results from each Program regularly and reporting to the board on progress, success, and need for change taking economy, efficiency, and effectiveness into consideration
    • Collaborating with the Programs Administrator to ensure Program Managers and their Programs are regularly providing financial reports, undertaking communications, considering various options and opportunities for success
    • Collaborating with the Stewardship Directors Committee to monitor the implementation of Programs in communities; respond to any issues and consider the need for changes or new Programs
    • Collaborating with the CEO to successfully establish community engagement on all GBI Programs with member communities
    • Collaborating with the Director of Operations to build a cohesive efficient team of employees and Program Managers
    • Work collaboratively with the Finance team to ensure Programs are financially sound and on budge
    • Approve all Program Manager invoices, etc.,
  • Guide the Program Managers to ensure the overall continued success of the eight existing Programs:
    • Bioregional Fish Management under Fish Reconciliation
    • Wild Salmon – Hatchery program
    • Coastal Stewardship Network – guardian program
    • Stewardship Directors Committee
    • Forestry and Land use/Wildlife and Tourism
    • Climate Action – network of coordinators/community energy
    • Shoreline Clean up/ Food Security/recycling.
    • Marine Programs – Oceans Framework/MaPP/MPA Network
  • Develop succession plans for all Program Managers to increase First Nation and Indigenous participation in all leadership positions
  • Conceptualize, develop, design, and implement programs while ensuring required resources are available
  • Oversee the administration and financial accountability of Programs, including final approval of all Program-related funding applications and funding agreements
  • Oversee  various agreements such as the Oceans Agreement, Fisheries Agreement, Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, and the associated Committees
  • Track program financial stability, performance, and results by conducting program evaluations


2             Policy Development 

  • Act as the Senior Policy Advisor for GBI to develop, update and implement policies, strategies, and plans, guided by the organization’s 5-year Strategic Plan
  • Ensure Indigenous values are incorporated into all policies
  • Forge strong working relationships and partner with government ministries & officials, First Nations governments, organizations & communities, corporate stakeholders & other organizations and leverage those relationships to support policy development
  • Develop policy with a focus on
    • Protecting the interests of the rights and title holders
    • Protecting the natural environment of the Central and North Coast and Haida Gwaii
    • Enabling sustainable conservation economies to be developed


3             GBI Board Support

  • Organize the Policy and Program content for board and committee meetings
  • Identify key issues and help articulate mandates for board consideration
  • Coordinate and hold meetings to obtain input from the Board, Stewardship Directors, Program Managers, and Operations Director
  • Coordinate and hold key meetings with governments, foundations, corporate stakeholders, and others as required
  • Provide support by identifying action items and following-up
  • Participate in board meetings:
    • Chair meetings, as required
    • Provide input where necessary
    • Follow-up on key outcomes and action items 
    • Follow-up with staff, stakeholders, etc. as necessary
  • Assist in the onboarding of new board directors



4             Senior Management Team

  • Weekly check-ins to discuss organizational and strategic issues and problem-solving
  • Ongoing reviews of the operational plan and budget
  • Discussion and input into organizational structures and processes and change management projects


5             Internal and External Relations

  • Develop and maintain a broad network of strategic and professional relationships with government agencies, elected representatives, and Indigenous organizations
  • Establish and maintain professional, positive relationships with internal parties:
    • Stewardship Directors Committee 
    • Member First Nation administrations
    • GBIS, GBBC, GBCCC, Fisheries Trust, and Coastal Nation Fisheries Management and boards.
  • Ensure policies are compliant with the BC Employment Standards Act, PIPA, Human Rights, WorkSafe BC and other relevant legislation.
  • Implement and analyze HR metrics (retention, turnover, time to hire, etc.) to measure the success of the HR functions.
  • Research and provide developmental opportunities in relation to Cultural Safety, Conflict Resolution Skills, Leadership Skills, and more


Qualifications: Education and Experience



  • Project Management certification or equivalent work experience
  • Post-secondary degree in Business Administration, Government Relations, Natural Resources, Environmental Management, or related degree/experience



  • A minimum of five (5) years of experience in program or project management
  • Experience working with Indigenous organizations and familiarity with Indigenous values
  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressive experience in the management and supervision of contractors and employees.
  • Experience managing and supervising geographically dispersed and diverse groups of employees and managers.
  • A minimum of five (5) years progressive experience working in government, private sector, or not-for-profit organization with increasing responsibilities to senior management levels
  • Experienced in building and leveraging strategic relationships
  • Experience in business planning, contract management, financial management, and negotiations
  • Experience researching, analyzing, developing, and implementing policy 


Skill Sets and Competencies


  • Has a political mindset, and well-honed political acumen to work/interact with federal, provincial, and municipal legislation, in addition to Indigenous/First Nations governments 
  • In-depth knowledge of natural resources and environmental management
  • Solid understanding of the governance and operations of a not-for-profit organization and board
  • Strong business-level verbal and written communication skills
  • Well-developed media and public speaking/presentation skills for a multitude of audiences with the ability to educate internal and external stakeholders and partners on matters related to CFN - GBI
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain cooperative and productive relationships with First Nations and a broad array of internal and external stakeholders and partners
  • Knowledge of financial management practices including the ability to manage budgets, analyze and interpret financial data, develop financial plans, carry out financial reporting 
  • Proven track record in grant writing, budgeting, and financial management
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills
  • Strong aptitude for problem-solving with critical thinking skills
  • Expert knowledge of policy development and implementation
  • Ability to develop and implement Strategic and Operational plans 
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship-building, and conflict resolution skills to build and maintain strong working relationships both internally and externally
  • Proven ability to lead and inspire a team of employees
  • Ability to develop, organize, manage, and lead diverse complex programs simultaneously
  • Ability to follow accepted project management techniques, and manage program-related service contracts to achieve goals.
  • Proficient in the use of technology (e.g. Microsoft Office, video conferencing platforms, social media, and relevant office equipment)
  • Willingness to travel within BC when necessary  
  • Available for work-related travel and other requirements outside traditional work hours

How to Apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit the following to careers at :


  • A letter of interest, outlining how your previous experience and education would support this position.
  • A most recent C.V.


The successful candidate must provide references and a clear criminal records check. We encourage applicants to submit applications as soon as possible, as applicants will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. We thank all applicants for their interest; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


Persons of Indigenous ancestry will be given preference. s16(1) CHRA.

Please Note: is not affiliated with and in no way endorses or vets the organization that posted this job. Any links posted within the job will take you to their external site where the same disclaimer applies.

Thanks for looking on and good luck with your job search!