WSSC Water names new GM, CEO


Ushering in a new era of leadership, stakeholder engagement and strategic opportunities, WSSC Water’s Board of Commissioners has announced Kishia L. Powell as the commission’s next general manager and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1. Powell currently serves as DC Water’s chief operating officer and executive vice president.

“Commissioners conducted a nationwide search with the goal of selecting an experienced global leader who will continue our unparalleled track record of water quality excellence, put customers first and ensure we remain vigilant stewards of the public’s money,” said WSSC Water Commission Chair Fausto Bayonet. “In unanimously selecting Kishia Powell as our next General Manager/CEO, we have achieved our goal.”

At DC Water, Powell oversees the authority’s shared services, IT, operations and engineering and oversight of the its $6.4 billion capital improvement program, as well as customer service for a utility that distributes drinking water and treats wastewater for more than 672,000 District of Columbia residents.

Powell has 24 years of public- and private-sector water and wastewater utility experience serving clients across the United States and London, England. She is recognized as a global leader in the water sector – improving service delivery, driving equity and inclusion and implementing strategies to address affordability concerns, climate change, resilience and innovation.

“I’m incredibly honored to have the trust of the Commissioners and excited to lead this nationally recognized utility and be part of the WSSC Water team,” said Powell. “I look forward to working with the Commissioners, a dedicated workforce and stakeholders as we enter a new era of leadership focused on opportunities to improve services across the board.”

Before joining DC Water in 2020, Powell held executive management positions at three water/wastewater utilities serving millions of customers in Atlanta, Ga., Jackson, Ms. and Baltimore, Md. As Atlanta’s Watershed Management Commissioner from 2016 to 2020, Powell was responsible for day-to-day management and oversight of the water and wastewater utility serving 1.2 million customers. With an annual operating budget of $644 million and a five-year capital program of $1.26 billion, Powell leveraged strategic investment to improve service delivery, utility business processes and workforce development – including partnering with Atlanta’s Department of Corrections to reduce recidivism by providing job training and apprenticeship opportunities to non-violent offenders.

“We are confident that Ms. Powell’s extensive prior experiences provide her with well-rounded leadership skills that will benefit WSSC Water customers for years to come,” said Commission Vice Chair Regina Y. Speed-Bost. “We thank outgoing General Manager/CEO Carla Reid for her many years of leadership and service to the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.”

Powell is a registered Professional Engineer and has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University’s Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., School of Engineering. She resides in Bowie, Md. Her first day as WSSC Water’s General Manager/CEO will be Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.

Established in 1918, WSSC Water is Maryland’s largest water utility and among the largest in the nation. With more than 11,000 miles of water and wastewater pipes, WSSC Water serves 1.9 million residents throughout a 1,000 square-mile service area in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Six Commissioners, three from each county, govern WSSC Water. They are appointed by their respective county executives and confirmed by their county councils. More information on WSSC Water Commissioners is on the Governance page.

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