Powell Named New Atlanta DWM Commissioner

Mayor Kasim Reed has appointed Kishia L. Powell, P.E., to serve as Commissioner of the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management. Commissioner Powell possesses more than 17 years of experience in sustainable infrastructure management and utility operations.

Prior to joining the City of Atlanta, she served as the Public Works Director for the City of Jackson, Mississippi where she oversaw operations for eight city divisions including Administration, Engineering, Infrastructure Management, Facilities Management, Fleet Management, Solid Waste, Water and Wastewater Operations and the Water and Sewer Administration.

In this role, she was responsible for managing the strategic direction for Jackson’s Municipal Special Sales Tax-funded infrastructure improvements program, oversight of a $90 million performance contract and the city’s wastewater consent decree program as well as developing a new customer care and billing system. Most notably, Powell developed revenue recovery strategies for the water and sewer enterprise, created a plan to tackle water theft including eliminating more than 1,700 illegal water connections and established a “Greening the Gateways” initiative to win a $16.5 million TIGER Grant in October 2015.

Commissioner Powell has held a number of leadership positions in cities across the United States including Gary, Indiana; Richmond, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. She also served as lead engineer on a major wastewater infrastructure program in London, England. Previously, she served as Bureau Head for the City of Baltimore, Maryland. In this position, she was responsible for managing the city’s water and wastewater utility serving 1.8 million customers in the Baltimore metropolitan region. In addition, she managed the Bureau’s $2.2 billion, six-year capital improvement plan.

Powell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Morgan State University. Her appointment is pending confirmation by the Atlanta City Council.

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