Introducing our new Executive Director

Community Action Initiative (CAI) is pleased to introduce Julia Kaisla as our new Executive Director.

Julia joins us after spending the last 12 years in B.C.’s mental health and substance use sector.  Prior to joining CAI, Julia worked as the Executive Director at the Canadian Mental Health Association North Shore branch where she worked alongside the provincial office of CMHA to co-create the province’s Peer Assisted Care Team model. She also worked closely with partner communities and knowledge keepers across the province to build a curriculum for Indigenous peers. Her work with health authority partners led to the launch of Metro Vancouver’s first Recovery College. Under her leadership, the CMHA North Shore launched the branch’s first Donor Advised Fund worth over $1million, undertook a restructuring of financial assets, and tripled its operating budget and staff team. Before that role, Julia worked as the Director of Community Engagement at CMHA BC. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Analysis from Royal Roads University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UBC.

Julia’s extensive experience and education will no doubt serve us well as CAI reinvigorates its commitment to a mission of strengthening and creating capacity within the mental health and substance use sector through innovative grant making and results-based community engagement. Her leadership is rooted in compassion and a commitment to building systems based on relational care. She also believes that communities and our natural environment hold the knowledge we need to understand and respond to society’s greatest challenges.

Outside of work, Julia’s passions involve everything to do with food (including baking), being in the forest with her family, and travel. Julia is based in Vancouver.

You can access her contact information here.