City of Surrey
General Manager, Corporate Services

City Council has set ambitious goals to ensure we continue to build a thriving, green, inclusive city. The General Manager (GM), Corporate Services, leads a diverse and talented team in the delivery of services to other City departments and a broad range of stakeholders (both internal and external).
The GM’s key priorities, in alignment with the City’s Values, include, delivering human resources (with occupational health and safety), legal services, technology (IT), and municipal government services (Legislative Services), in a manner that is sustaining, best in class, compliant, and ensures that the needs of the City’s staff, departments, residents, unions, and Council are met.
In addition to the leadership of the Corporate Services Department, the GM has city-wide responsibilities and accountabilities that transcend all departments and contributes to the development of strategies and processes which result in the formulation and achievement of the City’s overall goals and objectives.
Reporting to the City Manager, and working collaboratively with the Senior Management Team (SMT) across City Departments, the GM Corporate Services participates in establishing corporate direction and in achieving corporate goals and objectives. The GM leads approximately 170 staff (both union and non-union) and manages key relationships with outside consultants, subject matter experts, vendors and contractors.


  • Contribute to the City’s goal of best serving its residents, businesses, staff and other stakeholders into the future.
  • Sustain transparent, accountable and credible corporate services; lead the development of multiyear plans to achieve Council’s vision.  Reviews, evaluates and optimizes existing and new practices, systems and technology.
  • Work with SMT to ensure corporate service excellence across all departments; provide support, guidance and advice to City Council, City Manager, City Staff and outside agencies.
  • Demonstrate the City’s values of service, community, innovation, integrity and teamwork.
  • Effectively articulate the role corporate services fulfills in all areas of City services, highlighting opportunities for future opportunities and overcoming challenges
  • Explore, evaluate and consider best practices both with municipalities and other organizations to deliver the best results for Surrey residents.
  • Manage the complex and challenging change efforts necessitated by the evolution of technology, customer service models, privacy requirements and legislative requirements.
  • Provide strategic leadership, direction and structure for external vendors/partners/agencies.


  • Effectively and efficiently lead and manage the Corporate Services Department, including human resources, legal services, occupational health and safety, legislative services and information technology.
  • Establish Department goals and objectives in conjunction with SMT that are reflective of Council’s vision.
  • Provide leadership for the organization as a member of the SMT to create overall goals and objectives and make decisions that contribute to the achievement of Council directed objectives.
  • Coordinate/support Corporate Services staff in initiatives supporting the strategic direction and sustainability of the City.  Provide strong leadership to project teams and City initiatives to achieve full potential.
  • Contribute to the development of organizational leadership through focused staff development strategies.
  • Review policies, procedures, work methods and service standards for all Corporate Services with a view to continuous improvement and the identification of efficiencies in the delivery of City services.
  • Ensure the organization is in full compliance with all relevant legislation and City administrative policies.
  • Attend Council meetings as the functional representative and sit on various committees as required. Ensure that reports from Corporate Services to Council contain the necessary information and provide the appropriate recommendations to assist Council in its decision-making process.
  • Support and/or review the Five Year Financial Plan for the Department. Contribute to the Annual Business Plan, City budget and other operational matters.
  • Keep abreast of trends and developments in municipal operations and recommend new and innovative approaches to enhance the performance of the City.
  • Develop strategic and operational plans.  Participate in and contribute to Surrey Excels. 

Engage: Lead the Corporate Services Team in the delivery of complex services to diverse stakeholders. Lead by supporting/encouraging others in gaining personal mastery, autonomy and purpose. Lead a broad team of subject matter experts, with a strong commitment to service, in a spirit that is inclusive, engaging and rewarding. Coordinate and evaluate team efforts.
Innovate: Model the City’s values by learning, being comfortable with new ideas, and having the curiosity to seek innovation and the courage to seek change; explore new technologies/best practices to re-think corporate service practices and identify initiatives that can deliver greater benefit for Surrey residents.
Collaborate: Work with staff, unions, stakeholders, subject matter experts, other City departments, and residents on strategies to continue building the best City. As a member of SMT, provide input to coordinate and integrate the work with other City Departments on various citywide issues and policy matters.  Provide advisory services to SMT directly or through the Corporate Services Team on such issues as the occupational health and safety, learning and development, change management, municipal standards, legislative requirements, legal practice and information technology. Maintain an effective working relationship with the external stakeholders to meet compliance requirements, best practice knowledge, and related subject matter influence.
Lead: Implement the optimal practices that address long-standing business opportunities, share solutions with others, and create best in class performance. Increase service levels to the public as part of the sustainment of the delivery of City services. Collect, interpret and preparing data for studies, reports and recommendations on Corporate Services areas.

Measure: Lead the use of appropriate metrics across Corporate Services (including the balanced scorecard) by creating, evolving and implementing metrics, policies and procedures that establish and sustain excellent standards of performance. Provide strategic advice on the evaluation, selection, implementation and engagement of staff to support City initiatives and service goals.

Coach: Support others by providing Corporate Services advice to City Council, City Management, City Staff, and external stakeholders; represent the City at various conferences, symposiums, and meetings, by sharing and gaining insights adding value to the bigger municipal discussion.

The successful candidate possesses the communication skills necessary to motivate excellence within the City; inspires change, stimulating both staff and key stakeholders to embrace new technology; develops relationships within the City, and with key external stakeholders; acts as a leader and advisor to City Council, City Manager, City Staff and outside agencies on Corporate Service; and manages the complex and challenging change efforts necessitated by the size and diversity of operations of the City.
The successful candidate will hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, Business, Engineering, Information Technology, or Human Resources, or a related field. A post graduate degree is preferred. A professional designation in a related field of the assigned portfolio is an asset.
The GM Corporate Services will have ten (10) plus years of related experience in progressive leadership roles in complex unionized organizations (preferably including experience in the public sector) with strong business acumen. Must have previous experience leading teams with a comprehensive understanding of operations and financials, outstanding organizational skills, strong leadership and management skills and a community minded vision of excellence.


  • Innovative, inclusive and transparent leader; motivates, develops, empowers and engages others.
  • Comfortable with new ideas and has the curiosity to seek new opportunities and implement change. Collaborative decision maker focused on practical, timely solutions. Self-assured and confident; drives towards results while constantly problem-solving. Learns quickly; recognizes and adapts to evolving conditions.  Translates knowledge and ideas into action and tangible and measurable outcomes.
  • Keeps abreast of trends and developments in municipal operations and recommends new and innovative approaches to enhance the performance of the City.
  • Business acumen, including a keen understanding of the business issues that municipalities face (i.e., strategic and operational planning, staff administration, relevant laws, communication, occupational health and safety, municipal administration, trends in the public sector and the primary services models/goals of municipalities). Anticipates the future. Demonstrated experience managing complex and demanding projects with competing interests and resources; keeps projects on track and hold teams to deliverables.
  • Demonstrated ability to relate to and/or appreciate all levels of stakeholders with multiple and sometimes competing priorities. Demonstrated team building and relationship management skills and a proven ability to work across departments and stakeholders. Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with the public, staff, unions and management.
  • Establishes an efficient execution of work and motivates subordinates to develop to the highest potential of their capabilities. Plans, directs, co-ordinates, assigns and reviews the work of professional subordinates. Delegates effectively and ensures individual and team accountability. Uses judgment, makes decisions and takes actions that move issues to closure.
  • Meets with and negotiates effectively with other unions, government bodies, representatives of business, the development industry, other levels of Government, and other local governments. A demonstrated ability to forge partnerships, alliances and strong working relationships.
  • Resolves conflicts without major disruption to workflows or interpersonal relationships.
  • Communicates effectively with large audiences and has the ability to effectively and persuasively articulate high-level information to diverse audiences and organization levels. Works effectively with media.
  • Flexible and willing to change priorities to meet constantly changing and unrelenting deadlines. Local government operations and governance, including City bylaws, policies and procedures;
  • Has a sound knowledge of applicable federal, provincial and municipal legislation.

Accountability and Reliability: Take personal ownership and responsibility for the quality and timeliness of work commitments and demonstrate integrity on a daily basis. Follow organizational guidelines, professional standards, regulations and principles.
Adaptability and Flexibility: Flexible and comfortable adapting current work practices to respond to changing conditions, priorities and job requirements. Remain open-minded with a willingness to alter opinions and behaviours on the basis of new information.
Collaboration and Negotiation: Work with others to foster mutual understanding of complex initiatives and sensitive situations, ensuring ideas, proposals and solutions from all participants are considered. Work collaboratively to resolve conflicts as well as reach solutions that best meet organizational needs and goals.
Communication: Ability to interpret, report, provide, advise and guide on a variety of complex matters pertaining to the City. Utilize active listening skills and summarize information according to the audience in order to promote engagement and increase understanding. Explain and advocate facts and ideas in a convincing manner while communicating and negotiating with individuals and groups.
Decision Making and Problem Solving: Analyze situations, diagnose problems, and identify key issues. Solve and evaluate alternative courses of action in order to make concrete, well informed, sound decisions that support the overall organization and demonstrate integrity. Exercise sound judgement in assessing and applying the impacts of decisions involving policy and procedures, guidelines and legislation in various contexts.
Leadership: Influence others; encourage, inspire and support others to deliver. Has the ability to understand how individuals, at all levels, operate and how best to use that understanding to achieve objectives.
Networking and Relationship: Interact with others in ways that advance work of the organization by developing respect, mutual understanding and productive working relationships with stakeholders (e.g. staff, Unions, public, media, business, representatives of all levels of government, City staff and Council).
Planning and Organizing: Organize own time effectively, delegate appropriately, prepare in advance and set realistic timeframes. Make sure all activity and resources are used efficiently and effectively and monitor progress toward operational or strategic objectives. Ability to prioritize workload, which may have competing interests, and adapt readily to rapidly changing demands and circumstances.
Teamwork: Foster effective working relationships by working willingly and cooperatively within diverse groups of people in order to achieve group and organizational goals. Participate actively in group activities, encourage departments to work cooperatively and take personal accountability to foster teamwork across the organization.

Guided by our core values of Community, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation and Service Excellence, the City of Surrey provides municipal government services to the residents and businesses of Canada's 12th largest city. We value the contributions of our 4000+ employees and are proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People. We’ve created a culture that reflects our desire to work collaboratively with our employees, our residents and our communities. Originally incorporated in 1879, the City of Surrey has received national and international awards for financial reporting, building excellence, recreation, policing and sustainability initiatives.
Surrey is set to be the most populous city in BC by 2041 and the Light Rail Transit project will help shape and focus this growth along the LRT corridors. With a capital cost of over $1B for the first phase of the project, this will be the largest capital project in our City’s history. Phase 1 will not only comfortably and efficiently transport over 18 million passengers per year, but will also transform Surrey into connected, complete and livable communities.

Location: Surrey, BC
Region: Lower Mainland
Professional Categories: Corporate Services
Posted: April 20, 2017, 1:38 pm
Expires: May 20, 2017, 4:30 pm