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Vancouver appoints new general manager of development services, buildings and licensing

July 4, 2016

June 30 2016

“Kaye’s demonstrated leadership will ensure that we make developing a building or licensing a business easier in Vancouver,” says Sadhu Johnston, Vancouver City Manager.

Kaye Matheny Krishna, General Manager of Development Services, Buildings and Licensing

Kaye Matheny Krishna will be the new General Manager of Development Services, Buildings and Licensing of a newly created City department.

Kaye will:

  • Assume leadership of our efforts to transform our permitting and licensing processes and improve service and turnaround times for applicants (The licensing function, which has been under the Community Services Department will be integrated into the new department.)
  • Take on responsibility for several key policy issues, including management of liquor licensing and our regulatory framework for marijuana dispensaries

“We are excited for Kaye to join the City of Vancouver. In addition to pursuing innovative policies, Kaye’s demonstrated leadership will ensure that we make developing a building or licensing a business easier in Vancouver,” says Sadhu Johnston, Vancouver City Manager. “As part of her immediate efforts, we’ll be appointing an expert panel to look at ways to improve the development process in Vancouver, including tools that can be utilized through city processes to increase the supply of affordable housing in Vancouver.”

Kaye is a resident of Vancouver and will be starting her position on August 1, 2016.

Extensive experience in local government

“I’m thrilled to join the exceptional leadership team at the City. Vancouver continues to be a global leader of forward-thinking policy and good government and I look forward to building on that legacy to transform service delivery, strengthen partnerships, and develop an inclusive, thriving city for the residents of today and the future,” says Kaye Matheny Krishna, incoming General Manager of Development Services, Buildings and Licensing.

Kaye brings extensive experience in local government:

  • Most recently as a Principal with HR&A Advisors, a real estate and planning firm
  • Previously as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Operations for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

She also spent several years as a management consultant.


Kaye holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations.

At HR&A, Kaye was the strategy partner for the 100 Resilient Cities program leading chief resilience officers through:

  • Economic analyses
  • Land use planning
  • Neighbourhood revitalization strategies
  • Community engagement
  • City-wide strategic planning

She was also the program lead for the National Disaster Resilience Competition Capacity Building Initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The Rockefeller Foundation, leading municipal and state government teams through a one-and-a-half year effort to design innovative projects to better adapt to climate change.

Prior to that, as Chief of Staff for the NYC Department of Housing, Kaye led the department leadership team through large-scale change initiatives and major political policy and community issues.

While Deputy Commissioner of Strategy and Operations, Kaye led the department’s Hurricane Sandy recovery effort which included:

  • Designing and implementing emergency housing and replacement programs
  • Coordinating and developing private and non-profit recovery programs

New department

Following Brian Jackson’s retirement as General Manager, Planning & Development Services last November, internal and external stakeholder engagement identified the need for a dedicated senior position to lead our planning function and to separate that role from the general manager responsible for the overall Planning and Development Services portfolio. The search for those two positions has been very comprehensive and has received significant interest nationally and internationally.

In addition to the role that will be filled by Kaye Matheny Krishna, we will be filling a second general manager position to oversee the Planning and Urban Design functions, as well as Sustainability.This new department will also have our Sustainability Group integrated within its mandate, which will support the effective implementation of our Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP), Renewable City Strategy, and green building initiatives.

This GM will fulfill the statutory responsibilities of the Director of Planning under the Vancouver Charter and will lead our work on land use, urban design and the negotiation of major developments. The integration of Sustainability into the Planning portfolio will also support the effective implementation of our ambitious sustainability agenda through long-term land use planning and design work.

The recruitment process for the GM of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability is ongoing and we expect to make an announcement in the near future.


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