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HomeBusinessWho’s who in Vancouver’s FIFA World Cup 26 organizing office

Who’s who in Vancouver’s FIFA World Cup 26 organizing office


Bob Mackin 

Call it Vancouver city hall’s Starting XI. 

The 11-member FIFA World Cup 26 Secretariat is the central hub for organizing Vancouver’s hosting of seven World Cup matches and the FIFA Fan Festival in June and July 2026.

Jessie Adcock (LinkedIn)

Jessie Adcock, the former chief technology officer, is back at 12th and Cambie. She started a contract in January that pays up to $270,000-a-year as the secretariat lead, according to the city hall freedom of information office.

The other major contractor is Dave Jones, the co-lead of integrated safety and security. Jones, the retired chief of the New Westminster Police Department and Metro Vancouver Transit Police, joined last year on a contract worth a maximum $160,000 annually. 

Nine staffers are under them, with acting city clerk Rosemary Hagiwara being the most-senior. 

Hagiwara, who was paid $158,561 in 2022, is the coordination and alignment lead for the secretariat. She joined city hall as a licensing manager in 2002. 

Ex-Sport Hosting Vancouver assistant manager Taunya Geelhoed is the operations lead, Sherwood Plant the transportation and mobility lead, Kevin Nguyen the strategy lead and Natasha Qereshniku the communications lead. 

Rounding out the team: Kirsten Jasper from the Vancouver Emergency Management Agency (manager of operational readiness), Arthur Ruiz (senior marketing and digital strategist), Dan Maloney (project manager) and Kevin Cho (financial analyst). 

Qereshniku refused to provide the list of staff names and titles when a reporter asked. She referred a reporter to the city’s access to information and privacy office. That office’s manager, Cobi Falconer, said in an email that the number of city staff working on the project will increase. 

Falconer refused to provide the current annualized pay rates for the the staff members. Last year’s rates are scheduled to be published in April as part of the city’s 2023  statement of financial information. 

Former New Westminster and Transit Police chief Dave Jones (LinkedIn)

“The FWC26 Secretariat is structured as a project rather than a department,” Falconer said. “This means that staff are assigned to this work, while they remain in their home department within the city, the Board of Parks and Recreation, the Vancouver Police Department, and/or the Vancouver Public Library. Some of these staff positions are working on the FWC26 event planning and delivery full-time, while others are doing so part-time. Further, each staff member is working on this project for a specified period of time – this period of time may be a few months or up to approximately four years.”

Adcock started her contract the same month she joined the board of scandal-plagued Atira Women’s Resource Society. The former HSBC executive spent eight years at City of Vancouver, interrupted by a leave of absence in the fall of 2015 when she unsuccessfully ran for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding. The NDP’s Fin Donnelly defeated Adcock by almost 3,000 votes.

Seven years after the election, Adcock joined the federal bureaucracy in 2022. First as CEO of the Canadian Digital Service, then as senior assistant deputy minister of the Treasury Board secretariat and senior advisor to the chief information officer. 

The B.C. NDP government has refused to release the latest budget figure while it awaits estimates for B.C. Place Stadium renovations. Toronto’s budget rose from $290 million to $380 million. 

In early 2023, Vancouver city hall was expecting to spend $230 million based on hosting five matches at B.C. Place and the FIFA Fan Festival at Hastings Park. In February, FIFA assigned seven matches to B.C. Place between June 13 and July 7, 2026. 

The NDP government in Victoria and ABC-governed Vancouver city hall are both concealing their contracts with FIFA. 

Seattle city council released its agreements last August. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which obtained the Toronto deal via freedom of information, has called the arrangement one-sided, in favour of FIFA. 

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