Skip to main content

Leading with Purpose – FT. Andrea Wright on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day stands as an important reminder to honor, respect, and celebrate women who have shaped our world with their leadership and determination – and we are so fortunate to have one of these women right here at the Vancouver Police Foundation: Executive Director Andrea Wright. Andrea has worked tirelessly – and very successfully – throughout her career helping to shape this very city that we call home. And perhaps most importantly, she has completely transformed the ability for VPD officers to make an impactful and lasting difference in communities across Vancouver that need it most.


Over the last five and a half years with the Vancouver Police Foundation, Andrea’s leadership has grown the number of annual grants from 43 funded programs totaling almost $550,000 in 2018, to 125 funded programs totaling $3.1 million in 2023. That is an extra $2.5 million for 82 additional programs and initiatives compared to five years ago! More importantly, all that adds up to thousands of vulnerable children, youth, women, and seniors who are now receiving meaningful support who were not previously.

This success is reliant on Andrea’s incredible ability to generate, maintain and grow relationships with key stakeholders, with the most notable group being the VPF’s generous donors. Under Andrea’s guidance, the Vancouver Police Foundation has seen a 272% increase in individual donors over the last five years. And one must consider this was accomplished while navigating a devastating and long-lasting global pandemic, as well as a lengthy period of volatile public perception towards law enforcement officers.



“As Chair of the Vancouver Police Foundation board, I’ve personally witnessed Andrea’s remarkable dedication and skill in connecting with donors,” says Christian Chia, Chair of the Board for the Vancouver Police Foundation. “She genuinely seeks to understand their motivations and passionately aligns philanthropic goals with the Foundation’s mission. Thanks to her tireless efforts, we’re forging strong partnerships and securing the support necessary to make Vancouver safer for everyone.”


Another very powerful relationship Andrea manages is that with the Vancouver Police Department. Andrea and her team are fortunate to have a front-row seat to all the incredible VPD passion-projects and the inspirational officers behind them. Andrea hears their stories first-hand; their stories of concern, of what they’ve witnessed while protecting our city, of what patterns of trouble are occurring in our neighbourhoods.

But most significantly, Andrea gets to hear their proposed solutions, how they want to make a real difference, how they want to go above and beyond to help, and what they are going to do to achieve that. She successfully works arm in arm with dozens of VPD Units to help fund these impactful programs that each fall outside the regular operating budget of the Vancouver Police Department.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in our work to address crime and public safety concerns in Vancouver, and I’m grateful to all of the Vancouver Police Foundation supporters who contribute to community outreach and crime prevention programs,” says VPD Chief Constable, Adam Palmer. “Under Andrea’s leadership, the Foundation has increased both its number of donors and the amount of total donations, which helps our officers deliver important programs that fall outside our normal operating budget.”

Prior to joining the VPF in 2018, Andrea spent many years as a leader in fundraising roles for a variety of key not-for-profit organizations across Greater Vancouver including Vancouver Talmud Torah, West Coast Environmental Law, Richmond Hospital Foundation, and the University of British Columbia. Most notably, perhaps, was the five years she spent at the Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise as Director of Development leading teams of staff, volunteers, and donors to support this beloved Vancouver institution. And outside of fundraising, she was also an instrumental part of the Business Development team for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC as they transitioned into the MLS in 2011.

Andrea has made a career out of championing causes close to her heart and has found great success due to her leadership style which prioritizes collaboration, empathy, and a deep sense of purpose. She also understands the importance of empowerment, recognizing that valued leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to discover their full potential.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, join us as we pause to honor the strength and integrity of female leaders like Andrea and the countless others like her. Female leaders who are not defined by titles or accolades, but by the positive and impactful change they bring to their work and their community.


The Vancouver Police Foundation supports programs and initiatives that fall under one of four pillars: Youth Programs, Mental Health & Addictions, Community Outreach & Engagement, and Technology & Special Equipment. You can help build a safer Vancouver by donating to the Vancouver Police Foundation.

Donate Online