Leading Water Utility Executive Joins DC Water as Chief Operating Officer

Kishia Powell
April 23, 2020

Today, DC Water CEO and General Manager David L. Gadis announced the hiring of Kishia L. Powell to fill the new role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Ms. Powell has been Commissioner of the Department of Watershed Management for the City of Atlanta since June of 2016. She is also well-known nationally and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). She is a leading voice in discussions on affordability and equity in the water sector.

“This is a tremendous hire for DC Water. Kishia is one of the most respected and accomplished women and executives in our industry,” said Mr. Gadis. “I also want to welcome her home. Kishia has roots in this region and family here. She knows the District, and the opportunities and challenges it offers.”

Powell has 22 years of experience in sustainable infrastructure management and utility operations in municipalities across the United States and London, England. In Atlanta, she is responsible for management and oversight of the water and wastewater utility with an annual operating budget of $644M and a 5-year capital improvement program (CIP) of $1.26B including the Water Supply Program and the Clean Water Atlanta consent decree program. The utility serves 1.2 million customers in the Atlanta metropolitan region. Previously, Powell served as Director of Public Works for the City of Jackson, Mississippi, and Bureau Head of Water and Wastewater for the City of Baltimore.

At DC Water, Powell will report directly to the CEO and serve on the Executive Leadership Team. She will oversee all of the operational clusters of the enterprise, including water, sewer, pumping, and wastewater treatment; engineering; customer care; and administration.

“I expect Kishia to have an immediate impact on our operations,” Gadis added. “She will provide expert leadership to drive results for our customers and break down silos to improve the overall efficiency of our enterprise. She will help us complete our transformation into a high performing, data driven and measured organization.”

Powell is a licensed Professional Engineer in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University’s Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. School of Engineering. She is expected to join DC Water on May 11.