Keynote Address: Kishia L. Powell
Commissioner of the Department of Watershed Management for the City of Atlanta, Georgia
With expertise in sustainable water infrastructure management she has leveraged 19 years of experience in both the public and private sectors to successfully serve municipalities across the United States and London, England. As Commissioner of Atlanta’s DWM, she has led efforts to ramp up a five-year capital program estimated at over $1.2B including the $350M Water Supply Program which will expand the City of Atlanta’s water reserves from less than a week to 30 days or more. Her Watershed Management team is managing continued investments in the separate sanitary sewer system improvements under an extended consent decree, major investments in the RM Clayton wastewater reclamation facility, and implementation of a water distribution system asset management program. Leveraging experience in the Chesapeake Bay region, as well as local partnerships she will support her team in executing measures under the City’s Green Infrastructure Action Plan.
She previously served as Director of Public Works for the City of Jackson, MS where she led the effort to develop a comprehensive capital improvement program and get a 20-year infrastructure improvement program underway using a municipal special option sales tax including efforts to restore city streets under an initiative called Operation Orange Cone and assisting in the process to secure $16.5M in TIGER grant funds under an initiative called “Greening the Gateways”. Additionally, she provided oversight for implementation of wastewater Consent Decree program requirements and the City’s $90M water infrastructure improvement program. Commissioner Powell is a professional engineer and collection system operator.