Emerging Leader AwardsRecognizing and supporting the next generation of water leaders
WaterNow is committed to celebrating and elevating local leaders who do the hard work of advancing innovative, sustainable, equitable, and climate resilient water solutions in their communities. We believe that exceptional leaders can be found at every level within cities, towns, utilities, and water resource agencies, and that their professional development is key to ensuring our best water future. For these reasons, WaterNow has developed the Emerging Leader Awards to recognize and support Next Gen water leaders and help them further their careers.
The Emerging Leader Awards recognize mid-level water utility professionals poised to take on leadership positions in the coming years. These individuals have demonstrated promise and creativity in advancing meaningful cultural change in the areas of sustainability, equity, or community engagement. Emerging leaders awardees will receive a $1,500 stipend to support their leadership training and professional development.
WaterNow is working on developing strategies to support emerging leaders in ongoing ways, connecting them with educational resources, developing a peer network, and more. We need your input to help us support the next generation of water leaders and grow an Emerging Leader Cohort. Whether you work with up-and-coming water leaders on municipal and utility staff, or you are yourself poised to take on utility leadership in the coming years, we’d be very grateful if you could take just a couple of minutes to fill out our short survey to share your thoughts.
Nominations for the 2023 Emerging Leader Awards closed on February 17, 2023. If you have any questions please contact: [email protected]
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who is an "Emerging Leader"?
Emerging leaders are mid-level utility and municipal staff of diverse backgrounds, poised to take on leadership positions in future years, with a particular focus on those who are underrepresented in the utility space. By supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and people of marginalized genders who will become the water utility leaders of the future, we support efforts to recruit and retain water leaders who reflect the communities they serve, and who represent a diverse array of perspectives and experiences.
Who is eligible for nomination?
Eligible Emerging Leader nominees include mid-level staff from a utility, city, town, special district, or other entity with responsibility for drinking water, wastewater, and/or stormwater services.
When are nominations open?
We typically open nominations once a year, usually early in the calendar year (i.e., January - February timeline). Join our email list and keep an eye on our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for the official announcement.
Can I nominate myself?
Yes! We welcome both peer and self nominations.
Can I re-nominate someone (or myself) if they (or I) were not awarded previously?
Yes! We often receive many strong applications in each application cycle, and re-nominations are welcome.
City Planner, Department of Public Works, City of Baltimore, MD
Assistant City Engineer, Department of Public Works, City of Chelsea, MA
Revenue Supervisor, Aurora Water, CO
Director of External Affairs, Walnut Valley Water District, CA
Community Outreach Specialist, Philadelphia Water Department, PA
Sustainability Manager, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI
Communications Project Manager, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, PA
Stormwater Program Manager, City of New Orleans Department of Public Works, LA
Cathleen Chavez Morris
Environmental Supervisor, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, CA