Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & General Manager
David L. Gadis serves at Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of DC Water, one of the largest and most highly regarded water utilities in the nation. Mr. Gadis oversees a one billion dollar annual budget and leads a workforce of approximately 1,200 employees. He joined DC Water in May 2018 and is implementing a new strategic plan with a redefined vision and focused priorities. That includes improving both customer satisfaction and employee engagement, and a commitment to performance planning and business process improvement.
In addition, Mr. Gadis has formed a Stakeholder Alliance of city residents, business owners, members of the faith community and others to help address the twin challenges of rising rates and aging infrastructure. Under his leadership, DC Water is delivering on its $2.7 billion commitment to build a massive system of deep tunnels and other infrastructure to nearly eliminate combined sewer overflows to the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek in the nation’s capital.
Mr. Gadis brings 20 years of industry experience to his current role, having previously served as Executive Vice President of Veolia North America and as CEO and President of Veolia Water Indianapolis. He was that utility’s first African American CEO/President and the first African American CEO to lead a major utility in Indianapolis.
Mr. Gadis has been a frequent presenter at utility and government services conferences, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, speaking on both Underground Infrastructure and Managing Utilities, as well with the National League of Cities and the National Association of Public Private Partnerships. His expertise in demonstrating how private firms can help municipalities as valued partners in securing significant cost savings, has earned him a reputation among city and municipal leadership as an innovative leader and a trusted partner who truly understands their challenges and desired goals.
Mr. Gadis is Chairman of the Board of Blue Drop, DC Water’s nonprofit sales and marketing affiliate. He also current serves on the boards of the National Association of Clean Water Association (NACWA), the National Forum of Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) and the DC Utility Infrastructure Advisory Council. Mr. Gadis has previously served on the boards of the Indianapolis Urban League, Fifth Third Bank, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Indianapolis Sports Corporation, Indiana Business Diversity Council, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and Indianapolis Downtown Inc.
Gadis attended Pike High School in Indianapolis, where he was the school’s first Indiana All Star basketball player. He earned a basketball scholarship to Southern Methodist University and was a four-year basketball player and team captain before graduating from SMU with a B.A. in Marketing Communications. Gadis was inducted to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.