Detailed Job Description


Job Opportunity: ECHO Program Manager

Join an organization that plays a critical role in Canada’s economy. At the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, we focus on doing the incredible work it takes to become the world’s most sustainable port.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the stewardship of the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest and most diversified port. Our mandate as a Canada Port Authority, as set out by the Canada Marine Act, is to enable Canada’s trade objectives, ensuring goods are moved safely and responsibly through the Port of Vancouver. That means providing infrastructure and ensuring the safe and efficient movement of marine traffic and cargo within the port. It also means we carry out reviews of proposed activities and developments on federal port lands and waters to determine whether a project can go ahead without impacts to the environment and community that cannot be mitigated.

We are passionate about the work we do and what it contributes to our local communities, the region and our country. This is reflected in our values of collaboration, continuous improvement, accountability and customer responsiveness.

Be a part of a team that advances initiatives to promote economic prosperity through trade, a healthy environment and thriving communities for the future generations of Canadians.

It’s a workplace where the intrinsic value of your contribution to help foster the continued growth of the Canadian economy becomes a tangible reality. Bring your unique strengths, perspectives and experiences to the port authority and join us in charting a course toward a sustainable future.

The ECHO Program manager is responsible for leading the management of the ECHO Program, including long-term strategic planning for the program, engagement and relationship building with program advisors and stakeholders, and day-to-day administration and implementation of the program, including project-related tasks and oversight of the program-related Species at Risk Act conservation agreement commitments. The ECHO Program manager develops and tracks the annual program budget and workplan, provides general oversight of the program working groups and committees and provides senior review of program communications and materials.


British Columbia’s productive coastal ecosystem sustains numerous populations of whales, porpoises and dolphins, including the endangered southern resident killer whales.  As whales and ships share the same waters, many of the ships calling at the Port of Vancouver transit through endangered southern resident killer whale critical habitat, as well as other areas of importance to whales such as the northern resident killer whales, humpback, fin, blue, and sei whales. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for stewardship of the lands and waters that make up the Port of Vancouver’s jurisdiction in and around Vancouver, British Columbia.

Recognizing that commercial marine activity in the region is increasing, and has the potential to impact at-risk whales, the port authority launched the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program in 2014 to better understand and reduce the cumulative effects of shipping on whales throughout the southern coast of British Columbia. As many different organizations operate commercial vessels within the port’s jurisdiction, the ECHO Program takes a collaborative approach to addressing and understanding the cumulative effects of vessel activity on whales.

The long-term goal of the ECHO Program is to develop and implement initiatives that result in a quantifiable reduction in threats to whales as a result of shipping activities. Towards this goal, the ECHO Program is interested in bringing all relevant parties together to combine efforts and support the recovery of at-risk whales in this region.

The ECHO Program Manager will:

  • Develop, implement and manage the strategic plan for the ongoing development and evolution of the ECHO Program to ensure program objectives continue to be met, and that current and future funding sources are managed and identified during and potentially beyond the five-year term of the program-related Conservation Agreement
  • Communicate the strategy to internal and external advisors and stakeholders and provide direction to ensure the ECHO Program and port authority standards and expectations are maintained
  • Maintain trust in and support of the ECHO Program by fostering and managing relationships with a diverse range of regional, national and international advisors and stakeholders including but not limited to government agencies, Indigenous communities, the marine transportation industry, environmental groups and scientists
  • Maintain a close working relationship and ongoing direct communications with the Director, Environmental Programs, the Internal Steering Committee and other key port authority executives and staff
  • Manage day-to-day research projects, contractors and program partners to meet internal port authority policies and procedures, and to ensure the successful, timely and cost effective delivery of high quality technical data products and reports, such that contractual obligations are met, the scientific integrity of the program is maintained and overarching program goals are met
  • Oversee and ensure the ongoing tracking and reporting of the Conservation Agreement tasks such that annual commitments are developed, advanced and where possible, are met by all parties to the agreement
  • Determine program resource requirements, including internal staff and external consultants and contractors and manage the deliverables, schedules and budget of such resources
  • Provide an active and positive leadership example, clearly communicate the ECHO Program’s goal and key elements of the program strategy, to help ensure that the program continues to develop and implement innovative research and voluntary measures that drive positive change and quantifiably reduce threats to at-risk whales in the region

The ideal candidate must have excellent leadership qualities and management skills. Must be able to listen deeply and understand and interpret nuanced communication. Must have outstanding interpersonal, analytical and coalition-building capabilities coupled with a strong preference and demonstrated capability to lead in a collaborative environment. Must be highly organized with an ability to understand and translate complex technical and scientific concepts to non-technical audiences. Must have a strong customer service orientation while managing a breadth of responsibilities. Must be a creative, innovative and strategic thinker with an awareness of and sensitivity to issue taking place beyond the ECHO Program and an ability to identify synergies to leverage broader opportunities.  Must have the ability to work in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. Must also demonstrate sound judgement, effective and timely decision-making on behalf of the program and the port authority, effective planning and initiative, while fostering the development of all of these competencies in VFPA’s emerging leaders.


The successful candidate will possess a university degree along with a minimum of five years of related experience in the environmental field at a management or leadership level, or an acceptable combination of education and experience. Must have excellent computer skills including the use of Microsoft office tools. Must possess excellent written communication and public speaking skills to effectively interface with advisors, partners and stakeholders across a diverse range of sectors, including all levels of business, government and the public to represent the port authority to help achieve ECHO Program goals and its mission and vision for the Port of Vancouver to be the world’s most sustainable port.



Normal office conditions, with occasional (approximately once per month) evening and weekend attendance at meetings and functions. Regular travel within the region, with occasional out-of-town travel within Canada and internationally.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including an Earned Time Off program.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 around the world, where operationally possible, employees of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority are able to temporarily work remotely from within Canada until further notice.

This work is Canadian based employment and expected to be performed from our Vancouver office location

Please note this posting will remain open until filled.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 At the port authority, we are dedicated to employment equity and a workplace reflective of the diversity of our port community.

Learn more about us at www.portvancouver.com

About Us

As a Canada Port Authority governed by the Canada Marine Act, our mandate is to responsibly facilitate Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver, the country’s largest port. We are accountable to the federal minister of transport, and we work for the benefit of all Canadians.

Our Mission

Our mission is to enable Canada’s trade objectives, ensuring safety, environmental protection and consideration for local communities.

Our Vision

Our vision is for the Port of Vancouver to be the world’s most sustainable port.

Our Definition Of A Sustainable Port

A sustainable port delivers economic prosperity through trade, maintains a healthy environment, and enables thriving communities through collective accountability, meaningful dialogue and shared aspirations.

Learn more about our approach to sustainability.

Our Values

  • Accountability
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Collaboration
  • Customer Responsiveness