Mayor Gregor Robertson, along with representatives from 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation – formally launched their partnership and announced the appointment of Vancouver’s first chief resilience officer, Katie McPherson.
Through the support of 100RC, Katie will lead the development of the citywide Resilience Strategy to ensure our residents, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems can persist, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks Vancouver may experience.
The appointment of a chief resilience officer is a core component of the 100RC program, and is funded by the organization through a grant to the city. As CRO, Katie will leverage resources and knowledge from 100RC, its partners, and other member cities to drive action to address the city’s most pressing resilience challenges.
At a day-long workshop, over 80 leaders from different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise in Vancouver were brought together to discuss existing initiatives and identify opportunities that assess the social, cultural, environmental, and economic systems that shape our city, and identify our collective resilience to the shocks and stresses Vancouver faces as a growing urban centre.
About Katie McPherson
Katie has been with our Office of Emergency Management for five years. She recently led the implementation of a new community resilience portfolio with a mandate to work collaboratively with government and community stakeholders to promote resilience to all hazards.
As manager of community resilience, and former manager of emergency planning, Katie:
- Developed new ways for citizens, businesses, and volunteers to engage in community emergency preparedness
- Led regional risk assessments for oil spills
- Engaged a wide range of inter-agency partners to assess risk and develop plans for emergency response and recovery
- Took leadership roles during emergency responses to the 2015 Marathassa Oil Spill, the 2015 Port of Vancouver container fire, and the 2013 Calgary Flood
Katie has a wealth of unique experience in the private and non-profit sectors. She led an award-winning, multi-disciplinary climate adaptation project. She volunteered in emergency social services volunteer for the Red Cross and the City of Vancouver. She’s planted over one million trees across Canada.
Her passion for resilience comes from her experiences as a volunteer responding to the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. She worked with community members to support a successful grassroots recovery project that:
- Provided employment for local citizens
- Resulted in the construction of an art centre for local youth