Assistant Commissioner, Watershed Management

City of Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Assistant Commissioner, Watershed Management

City of Atlanta

Atlanta, GA


Salary: Commiserate with experience

Close date: Ongoing Recruitment

The Department of Watershed Management is a regional public water and wastewater utility serving 1.2 million people each day.  The Department’s core services include treatment and distribution of safe drinking water; collection and treatment of wastewater to a high standard; management of watersheds within the City of Atlanta; and customer care and billing services for 164,000 accounts.  The Department’s vision of being a leader in innovation, service and value is supported by eight strategic priorities including: Service Delivery, Infrastructure Reliability, Workforce Development, Operational Efficiency, Financial Resilience, Compliance, Smart Utility Transformation; and Safety, Security and Emergency Management. 

Functional Category


FLSA Status


Number of Vacancies 


Reports to


Hours per week

(If Part Time)




Regular or Temporary


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday; weekend hours will be required as needed; serves as Duty Officer for the Department on rotation

Position Location

Atlanta, GA 30303


General Summary

The Assistant Commissioner reports to and is responsible for supporting the Commissioner in the implementation of Department’s vision, mission and strategic business plans. The Assistant Commissioner is also responsible for facilitating the Commissioner’s direction, providing strategic leadership and supervision to the Operations Branch of the organization including the Offices of Engineering Services, Water Treatment and Reclamation, Watershed Protection, and Linear Infrastructure Operations. 

The Assistant Commissioner also has as direct reports the Office of Innovation, Office of Safety, Security and Emergency Management, Office of Asset Accountability Management and the Department’s Clean Water Atlanta Program. 


Essential Duties & Responsibilities   These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive.  May perform other duties as assigned.

  • Provides strategy and policy recommendations to the Commissioner
  • Acts on behalf of the Commissioner to manage the day to day operations and functions of the Department, including fulfilling Cabinet level obligations and Council related matters, in the Commissioner’s absence
  • Provides direction and manages operational activities to ensure overall operational efficiency. 
  • Provides for the executive management of all DWM activities related to engineering and construction, linear infrastructure utility operations, water production and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, Watershed Protection, development services, compliance, homeland security and asset management.
  • Reviews and addresses a broad array of organizational matters to ensure the fiscal health of DWM and to deliver top quality services to the community.
  • Facilitates effective management of the Department’s operations branch in a fiscally responsible manner by continually exploring opportunities for increased efficiencies
  • Works closely and collaboratively with all stakeholders of the Department internally and externally 
  • Listens to, engages, develops, mentors, encourages, motivates and works collaboratively with   members of the executive leadership team
  • Leads by example to exemplify the Department’s core values of teamwork, customer centricity, integrity, and employee commitment – ensuring that all employees are recognized, respected, appreciated and valued equally in the Department of Watershed Management to deliver the highest quality of service
  • Assists in leading the organization with a mission critical focus and a focus on compliance and continuous improvement
  • Reviews and provides timely response to citizen complaints following staff investigation
  • Makes day-to-day decisions on matters not requiring approval from the Commissioner where needed or on behalf of the Commissioner as necessary
  • Provides executive direction and management on communications with government officials, stakeholders, employees, and customers
  • Collaborates with all Department divisions including the office of Performance and accountability to ensure the most efficient and effective alignment
  • Takes responsibility for the effectiveness and efficiency of operations as a whole, intervening as and when required, to ensure that key objectives are met
  • Promotes a culture of innovation, service and value

 Required Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities

  • In-depth operational knowledge of water, wastewater, and storm water management. 
  • In depth knowledge of Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water Act regulations
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the modern principles of public administration as they apply to utilities administration
  • Proven ability to plan and lead the operational functions and activities of a complex organization
  • Ability to lead, direct, mentor, organize and effectively communicate with individuals to accomplish goals consistent with the strategic business plans
  • Ability to lead and direct a large complex organization in which customer service is essential to the organization’s success
  • Ability to develop and implement long-term plans and programs and to evaluate work accomplishments
  • Ability to build and sustain a collaborative, high performing team culture
  • Ability to thoroughly understand and respond to the results of all applicable financial reporting
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within and outside the City, with State officials, employees and the general public
  • Ability to build partnerships with stakeholders internal and external to the organization and at the local, county, state and federal levels
  • Ability to analyze facts and exercise sound judgment in arriving at conclusions
  • Ability to present facts, recommendations and directives effectively in verbal and written form
  • Ability to provide leadership to others
  • Ability to recognize where the organization is and where the organization needs to go to ensure future success
  • Ability to listen, communicate effectively and speak persuasively with individuals, groups and stakeholders
  • Ability to make decisions that are fair and impartial

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to be proactive and communicate Watershed Management’s story to its stakeholders to obtain stakeholder buy-in
  • Commitment to integrate into the community and be a part of the region’s future success
  • Sound professional judgment, tact, courtesy, and unquestioned integrity
  • Willingness to accept and implement ideas and recommendations of others

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Public Administration, Business/Fiscal Management or related discipline
8+ years of experience at the executive level of a water utility or similar organization that is large and complex
3+ years of direct management experience
Significant experience managing operations (e.g. water production, resource recovery, pipeline engineering and maintenance, etc.) at a water utility or similar organization
Advanced degree preferred
Demonstrated experience building and maintaining key stakeholder relationships
Demonstrated ability to establish productive, innovative work environments