Andrea MacLeod

Forty under 40 winner 2017: Manager of environmental programs, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Age 39

To Andrea MacLeod, manager of environmental programs at Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, one of the most exciting parts of her job is helping improve industrial proposals within the port authority’s jurisdiction to ensure that land is being put to its best use – and with the least harm to the environment.

“We work really closely with people who are proposing projects to make their projects better, find solutions and find ways to mitigate or reduce impacts to the environment,” MacLeod said. “I am really motivated by when we find solutions … when we work with someone and suggest changes to their projects that end up benefiting their group.”

MacLeod, an expert in federal and provincial environmental assessments, brings to her work a background that includes extensive academic achievement. After graduating from the University of Guelph in 2001 with a bachelor of science in biology, she went on to complete her PhD in wildlife ecology at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 2006. Her thesis research at SFU is being applied today as part of the port authority’s proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project, and her research has been published in multiple international peer-reviewed journals.

Motivated by her concern for the environment, she has worked with the wind industry to study wind energy development’s effect on birds and bats in B.C. Her interest in environmental issues is rivalled only by her persistence and appetite for hard work.

Her focus now is on the disappearing industrial land base in Metro Vancouver and in conflicts arising from pressure to develop those lands for residential housing.

“It is going to be really interesting to see how we can make the best possible use of the industrial lands we have available, and finding ways for people to gain efficiencies on their sites – developing some innovative approaches to site development to ensure we are really maximizing the land we have.”

MacLeod has had her hand in high-profile local projects like the G3 grain terminal, Vancouver airport fuel delivery project and the port authority’s Centerm expansion project.

Birthplace: Brantford, Ontario

Where you live now: Burnaby

Highest level of education: PhD in wildlife ecology

Currently reading: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Currently listening to: Manager Tools podcast 

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: An orthodontist 

Profession you would most like to try: University professor 

Toughest business or professional decision: To take time off work to travel for a year. I was in my early 30s and was worried it would really set me back

Advice you would give the younger you: Take more post-secondary math classes – those subjects teach you logic and problem-solving skills that are so valuable in business

What’s left to do: Working with the team to make the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority the most sustainable port in the world

Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit