Team spokesman Todd Sharrock has confirmed to The Canadian Press that Howson has been hired. The Jackets expect to make the official announcement on Friday.
Howson has been the assistant general manager of the Edmonton Oilers since 2001.
The 47-year-old played for the New York Islanders in 1984-85, scoring five goals and adding three assists in 18 games as a forward.
He graduated from law school at York University in Toronto in 1990 and ran Edmonton's top farm club from 1994-2000.