Job Posting: VANDU Executive Director

Role and Organization Overview

The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) is a group of over 3500 users and former users who work to improve the lives of people who use drugs through user-based peer support and education. VANDU is committed to increasing the capacity of people who use drugs to live healthy, productive lives. VANDU is also committed to ensuring that drug users have a real voice in their community and in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.

The Executive Director (ED) works in strong partnership with VANDU members and the board of directors, made up of community members with lived experience. The ED’s primary role is to lead in the development, coordination, management, and fundraising responsibilities at VANDU, while engaging effectively with the peer-led board and members. The ED will play a key role in the program development and implementation of the Compassion Club.

Reports to: Board of Directors


Roles and Responsibilities

Governance and Finance
• Support the Board of Directors in their governance responsibilities.
• Collaborate effectively with the Board to ensure clarity in strategic direction, including leadership of vision, mission, values, and priorities.
• Provide weekly reports to the Board, either verbally or through e-mail correspondence.
• Support Board Member recruitment, onboarding, and engagement, assuring Board Members have access to timely and accurate information for effective board functioning and decision making.
• Attend and participate in weekly VANDU Board of Director’s meetings, supporting the development of the Board’s capacity in governance: developing agendas, minute taking, facilitation, finance and public speaking.
• Work with Board Members in reviewing and editing articles, reports of mtgs/conferences in preparing/and making presentations, and reporting to the Board and/or membership.
• Collaborate with VANDU Board Members on the liaison between VANDU and other community groups that deal with issues relevant to VANDU membership.
•  Keep up-to-date and/or renew annually the policies and procedures manual that serves the staff and Board of VANDU and ensures quality service delivery. Apply the policies and procedures to guide the agency.
• Gather, review and submit timely reports to Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and other funding bodies and government agencies as required by contract, and manage budgets.
• Develop and implement a long-term plan for financial sustainability, that supports more diversified revenue sources.
• Assure all general meetings and all board meetings of the society are held in accordance with the Societies Act, assuring all necessary documentation is kept up-to-date and in compliance the Act.


Projects/Programs Development and Management
• Oversee VANDU projects and programs.
• Hire, train and provide ongoing leadership and support to project staff.
• Responsible for financial management including budget submission and management, payroll and program delivery, closely liaising with the VANDU bookkeeper and accountant.
• Be informed of research, consultation reports, city, provincial and federal studies and policies, in the areas of community development, illicit drug use, and health.
• Gather and develop source documents, reports, and research that VANDU is guided by for access by the staff and membership in hardcopy and on the website.


Member, Volunteer, and Staff Engagement
• Assist Members who represent VANDU at community meetings, boards, and consortiums.
• Accompany and empower VANDU Members selected for travel for speaking engagements and seminar delivery at conferences.
• Mentor VANDU staff and volunteers ensuring the goals and objectives of the Society are adhered to and conduct member volunteer and staff performance reviews.
• Identify workshops, trainings and resources that will build the capacity of VANDU Members. Maintain
efficacy of CPR and First Aid certifications.
• Oversee performance and ongoing training and development of staff.
• Be accountable and  generally aware that volunteer shifts such as alley patrol and office workers are assigned weekly; and that volunteers/members are assigned for and aware of general meetings.



Knowledge and Experience
• Knowledge and experience of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) community, or similar population.
• Demonstrated understanding of the relevant landscape of drug policy on the DTES, including in the
areas of community development, illicit drug use, and health.
• 3 – 5yrs leadership and/or management experience (e.g., as executive director or senior program
manager related), ideally in a position related to harm reduction efforts, with direct supervisory
responsibilities for staff and/or volunteers.
• Experience working with a not-for-profit board of directors.
• Experience developing and managing budgets of minimum $150k.
• Experience working in a community of peers with lived experience.
• Excellent written, verbal and digital communication skills.
• Confident public speaker.
• Ability to communicate in an accessible form to a variety of audiences (professional, community
partners, general public, funders and supporters).


Personal Competencies
• Interest and/or commitment to harm reduction work, with a deep compassion for helping others.
• Willingness to learn and openness to diverse perspectives.
• Collaborative leadership approach, with effective interpersonal skills, including conflict resolution
• Excellent organizational and project management skills.
• Judgment and tact as required to guard credibility, integrity and reputation.


Employment Terms and Accountability

The hourly range for this full-time position, depending on experience, is $28.25 – $31.00 per hour, at 30 hrs per week, plus benefits. Benefits include a Health Spending Account, vacation time, and paid sick leave. A Criminal Records Check is required.

How to apply

Please submit your resume and a cover letter in PDF format attention: VANDU ED Selection Committee to [email protected] by 9 PM Pacific time Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Please note, first round interviews are anticipated to take place the week of Monday, January 10, 2022.

Only candidates that meet the minimum requirements will be considered. Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.

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