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Mayor Kasim Reed Appoints Kishia L. Powell as Commissioner of Department of Watershed Management

Post Date:06/01/2016 3:30 PM
Mayor Kasim Reed press release header

 Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell

Keith Reed, Deputy Press Secretary
404-330-6272, office
404-617-1568, cell


News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed Appoints Kishia L. Powell as Commissioner of Department of Watershed Management

Powell brings extensive experience and a track record of success in sustainable infrastructure management and utility operations to the City of Atlanta

ATLANTA –Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that he has appointed Kishia L. Powell as the Commissioner of the Department of Watershed Management. The Department is responsible for the integrated management and operation of water, wastewater and stormwater systems, overseeing the production and supply of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater for approximately 1.2 million customers in the Atlanta service area. Powell brings more than 17 years of experience in sustainable infrastructure management and utility operations to the position and currently serves as the Director of Public Works for the City of Jackson, Mississippi. 

“I am pleased to have Kishia L. Powell join the Administration as Commissioner of our Department of Watershed Management,” said Mayor Reed. “She brings to us a wealth of senior leadership and operating experience in water and wastewater utilities and I am confident she will enhance the Department’s focus on efficiency and improving customer service."

“I am honored to have been appointed as Commissioner and look forward to leading the agency as we establish a culture of effective utility management and improved service delivery,” said Kishia L. Powell. 

In her current role, Powell oversees 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 Business Administration. Her responsibilities include managing the strategic direction for the City of 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, and 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.

Prior to joining the City of Atlanta, Powell 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. She will begin her service to the city on June 13.

The Atlanta City Council must confirm Powell before her appointment is final.


For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed

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