Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Appoints Interim Commissioner to the Department of Watershed Management

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Department of Watershed Management Assistant Commissioner Mikita K. Browning has been named Interim Commissioner of the Department.

“Assistant Commissioner Browning has been an experienced and dedicated member of the Department of Watershed Management’s senior management team supporting our mission of providing safe and quality drinking and wastewater services to Atlanta residents,” said Mayor Bottoms. “During this critical time, her leadership will be vital to ensuring continuity of operations and the continuation of mission essential services to our city and the region.”  

Assistant Commissioner Browning takes over following the departure of Watershed Commissioner Kishia L. Powell, who led the Department over the past four years.

“Thank you to Kishia Powell for leading critical infrastructure and clean water initiatives during her tenure that have positioned Watershed as a one of the leading water utilities in the nation,” said Mayor Bottoms. “We wish her well on her future endeavors.”

Assistant Commissioner Browning brings more than 20 years of professional experience in municipal and consulting within the civil and environmental engineering industry to Watershed. She has been employed with the City of Atlanta since 2011, most recently serving as Watershed’s Assistant Commissioner, leading daily administrative operations and overseeing the implementation of the Clean Water Atlanta Program. Prior to becoming Assistant Commissioner, she served as the Consent Decree Program Director and provided leadership for daily operations and implementation of the City’s Clean Water Atlanta Program, a comprehensive, $3B multi-program to improve water quality in Atlanta.  

Prior to joining the City, Ms. Browning was a Design and Construction Manager for a global water and wastewater engineering firm MWH Americas, Inc., overseeing the development of sewer capacity relief and sewer rehabilitation projects related to the City’s existing sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) and combined sewer overflow (CSO) collection systems. She is highly adept in managing large, complex, linear and vertical capital construction, regulatory compliance, operation and maintenance programs. She has extensive experience in water, wastewater, and stormwater conveyance and storage infrastructure design and construction; air quality and transportation regulatory compliance; traditional and natural treatment facilities design; green infrastructure design and implementation; planning and permitting; and environmental policy. Ms. Browning is a cross-functional leader with extensive experience coordinating with the community stakeholders, local, state, and federal agencies and other utilities. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Engineering with an Environmental emphasis from the University of Georgia.

The Department of Watershed Management provides high-quality drinking water and wastewater services to residential, businesses and wholesale customers while protecting Atlanta’s urban waterways, conserving natural resources, and providing clean, safe water for downstream customers. The Department is responsible for the strategic planning and oversight of operations of water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment services, and stormwater management. The Office of the Commissioner ensures that the City complies with all federal and state regulations regarding water resource management; identifies potential environmental issues and develops strategies to effectively respond; ensures the City is aware of proposed environmental standards, trends and technologies; and provides engineering reviews and design and construction management services on capital improvement projects.

Browning’s appointment is effective immediately.