City Appoints Second Interim Planning GM

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

M E M O / N O T E D E S E R V I C E 

To / Destinataire Mayor and Members of Council File/N° de fichier:  

From / Expéditeur Wendy Stephanson 

City Manager 

Subject / Objet Senior Leadership Team Update – Interim General Manager, Planning,  

Real Estate and Economic  


Date: December 11, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform Members of Council that Don Herweyer, Interim General  Manager (GM) of Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development (PRED), will be retiring in  the spring of 2024.To ensure a seamless leadership transition, Vivi Chi, Director of Transportation  Planning, will move into the role of Interim GM of PRED effective January 2, 2024, until a  permanent GM is announced.  

Don has dedicated 36 years of municipal public service to the City of Ottawa. Since August 2022,  he has successfully led the team in PRED to advance transformative files that will shape Ottawa’s  future including the Official Plan, the Transportation Master Plan and Climate Change Master  Plan. Throughout the past 18 months, Don has brought stability to the department by working  closely with his leadership team to navigate multiple provincial legislative announcements that  have led to unprecedented changes to how the department functions. Don has successfully led  the department through two budgets, further provincial changes to the Official Plan, work on the  new Zoning and Development Charges by-law, Lansdowne 2.0 and the Community Improvement  Plan review.  

Don has made significant and lasting contributions to our great city and will be missed by his  team for his supportive leadership style and commitment to building strong and productive  relationships with employees, elected officials and community partners. Around the senior  leadership team table, Don will be missed for his collaborative nature and in-depth knowledge.  

A formal recognition will take place closer to Don’s retirement date. Please join me in thanking  Don for his dedication to the City of Ottawa and wishing him well as he prepares for the next  chapter.  

Effective January 2, Vivi Chi will begin working closely with Don and the departmental leadership  team as she transitions into the role of Interim GM of PRED. Vivi is a professional civil engineer  with more than 35 years of experience in municipal government, beginning with the former  Region of Ottawa-Carleton, then the amalgamated City of Ottawa. Her career started in  

construction and progressed quickly to planning major transportation projects that improve  mobility options for residents.

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Vivi is a seasoned leader within the organization having served in several senior management  roles including most recently as Director of Transportation Planning and as Associate General  Manager (AGM) of PRED from 2021 to 2022. As AGM, Vivi had the opportunity to strengthen the  core leadership skills and competencies required of a GM.  

Vivi excels in challenges and has led many high-profile city-building initiatives such as the West  Transitway Extension, the O-Train pilot project, the Corktown Bridge, the Laurier Bike Lanes,  Churchill Avenue and the City’s first Transportation Master Plan. These projects and others have  won several provincial and national awards for innovation and design excellence. 

A proven collaborator, coach and mentor, Vivi is committed to providing opportunities for staff to  excel, building trust and alliances with external partners, and working collaboratively to deliver on  Council’s priorities.  

Both Don and Vivi remain committed to the continued success of the PRED team. Should you  have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.  


Wendy Stephanson 

City Manager 

cc: Senior Leadership Team 

 Extended Senior Leadership Team  

Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General 

 Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library 

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health 

Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services



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3 Responses

  1. The Voter says:

    If you want to read something scary, make sure you read right to the end of the press release where it says: “Both Don and Vivi remain committed to the continued success of the PRED team.” Now that is truly frightening!

    I know, Ken, you will have been particularly heartened by the credit given to her for the Laurier bike lanes and the Churchill Avenue revamp among other things. Maybe she’ll bring you more great projects like that!

  2. Been There says:

    Another “seasoned leader”, when can we expect some new blood to bring new ideas to all the departments at city hall ?

  3. Ken Gray says:


    I don’t think new ideas is the prime directive.

    It’s rather not changing anything because entrenched interests making lots of money don’t want to have the boat rocked.



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