DC Water Picks Former Veolia North America Exec as New CEO, General Manager

    David Gadis DC WaterGadis

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority’s board of directors named David L. Gadis as the new permanent CEO and general manager of DC Water. Gadis was selected after a nationwide search that attracted more than 100 candidates.


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“David impressed our selection committee with his experience and understanding of the challenges facing DC Water, including aging infrastructure, stringent regulatory requirements, and rising rates,” said Tommy Wells, DC Water board chairman. “He is committed to tackling those issues head-on and we believe he is exactly the leader this organization needs at this critical time.”

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Gadis previously served as executive vice president of Veolia North America. In that role, he worked with large municipalities to develop utility plans to address infrastructure improvement needs and to save money in operating their utilities. Gadis is also the former CEO and president of Veolia Water Indianapolis, formerly known as the Indianapolis Water Company.

He was the first African American CEO to lead a major utility in Indianapolis. Gadis is a third-generation water utility employee with more than 60 years of family lineage in the industry. He started at the Indianapolis Water Company as a summer student helper performing valve and hydrant maintenance and went on to serve in or manage every department at the utility.

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“I am humbled and excited to be appointed CEO and general manager of DC Water. I would like to thank the board of directors for entrusting me to lead America’s gold standard water and wastewater utility,” Gadis said. “I look forward to serving the customers and becoming a member of the DC Water family and team. I am dedicated to continuing the DC Water vision of being a world class utility.”

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DC Water’s previous CEO and general manager, George S. Hawkins, stepped down at the end of 2017 after eight years. Henderson J. Brown IV is currently serving as the interim CEO and general manager.

“The board is indebted to Henderson for his steady leadership over the past four months,” said Wells. “He has not only ensured a smooth transition at the helm of DC Water, but also shown great compassion for our customers and a willingness to work with everyone to find solutions to the most pressing issues. He has served DC Water and the District with distinction.”