Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager and chief executive officer for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District is the largest municipal water provider in the nation delivering an average of over 2 billion gallons of water a day to 19 million customers across Southern California. Metropolitan serves one out of every two Californians in the six counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.
Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006. As general manager, he manages the District’s $1.8 billion annual budget and 1,800 employees to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of high quality water every day throughout Southern California. He reports to a board of 38 members representing 26 member agencies.
Kightlinger has an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Santa Clara University. He serves on a number of boards including the Coro Foundation, the USC Price School of Public Policy, the UCLA Sustainability Advisory Board, the Climate Action Reserve, the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, the Los Angeles Economic Development Council and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Gerald C. Riss is the general auditor for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the region's major water importer and wholesaler.Riss brings over 37 years of audit, accounting and risk management experience to Metropolitan. His responsibilities include reviewing internal controls, financial records and reports, developing a flexible annual audit plan, determining compliance with bond covenants and applicable laws and regulations, ascertaining that assets and resources are properly accounted for and safeguarded against waste, loss or misuse, and administering Metropolitan's contract for audit services with an independent public accounting firm.Prior to Metropolitan, Riss was vice president and assistant division head for the Risk Management Administration at United California Bank/Bank of the West. He also served as senior vice president, director of risk management and general auditor of Tokai Bank of California.Riss earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and a MBA in financial accounting from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He is certified as a fraud examiner, financial services auditor, risk professional and has completed the certified public accountant examination.
Fidencio “Feedy” Mares is the interim assistant general manager and chief administrative officer of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In this capacity, he is responsible for the strategic direction and management of Metropolitan’s critical administrative functions. His primary responsibilities include managing Human Resources, Information Technology, Business Outreach, Real Property, and Administrative Services.
Prior to joining Metropolitan, Mares was the owner of the Mares Company, where he served as a consultant to companies in the overall assessment of their management programs and processes including the evaluation of the strategic alignment and performance of the human resources function, executive compensation systems, performance metrics, talent management processes, employee and labor relations procedures, and organization structure and design.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Mares worked both in the private and public sectors, serving as vice president of human resources and corporate communications for Beckham Coulter and as chief administrative officer of BHP/Pacific Resources and President & CEO of Gas Operations. He worked for more than 15 years in the public sector for The Gas Company in Hawaii and Southern California Edison Company.
A graduate of the California State University, Fresno, he also serves on the National Board of Visitors (Distinguished Graduates) for the University. Mares is also very involved in community activities such as his long tenure serving as Vice Chair of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California.
Dee Zinke is the assistant general manager and chief external affairs officer at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and is responsible for the agency's communications, outreach, education and legislative matters.
Zinke joined Metropolitan in 2009 as manager of the Legislative Services Section with a wealth of experience in the fields of government and public affairs, and communications.
Before coming to Metropolitan, Zinke was the manager of Governmental and Legislative Affairs at the Calleguas Municipal Water District for nearly 10 years, where she received recognition for her significant contributions to the Association of California Water Agencies, the Ventura County Special Districts Association and the Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County. During her tenure at Calleguas, Dee was named chair of the Ventura County Watersheds Coalition and appointed by then-Secretary of Resources Mike Chrisman to the State Watershed Advisory Committee, a post she still holds today.
Prior to her public service, she worked in the private sector as the executive officer and senior legislative advocate for Building Industry Association of Greater Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and Director of Communications for E-Systems, a defense contractor specializing in communication, surveillance and navigation systems in Washington, D.C.
Zinke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Psychology from Virginia Tech.
Gordon Johnson has responsibility for all of Metropolitan's engineering activities, including management of the Capital Investment Plan. He oversees a staff of 380 employees responsible for facility planning, design, construction management and inspection, project management, environmental planning, infrastructure monitoring, and for the engineering testing laboratories.
Some of the current programs Johnson is responsible for include the major rehabilitation of Metropolitan's 75-year old Colorado River Aqueduct, five water treatment plants, and prestressed concrete cylinder pipe lines within the water distribution system; a comprehensive seismic assessment and upgrade program to maintain reliable water deliveries in the event of a significant earthquake; and addition of the ozonation process for primary disinfection at each water treatment plant.
Prior to his Metropolitan employment, Johnson served as principal engineer and project manager for two major consulting firms from 1979-90. In addition, he served with the United States Public Health Service.
Johnson is affiliated with the American Water Works Association and the International Ozone Association, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and of Stanford University with a M.S. in Environmental Engineering.
Diane Pitman is the Director of Human Resources for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Pitman has more than 20 years of experience in the field of human resources. She is responsible for ensuring that Metropolitan’s workforce is ready for the challenges ahead. This includes recruiting and retaining the best talent, developing and training employees for future opportunities and challenges, ensuring benefits and compensation are competitive, fostering positive and effective employee and labor relations activities, workers’ compensation and risk management.
Pitman is a product of Metropolitan’s training and development program. She began her employment as a Human Resources Analyst and through training, rotational learning and support of Metropolitan leadership was promoted to the most senior position in Human Resources Management. Prior to Metropolitan, Pitman worked in banking and computer software development, which included international HR assignments.
A California native and avid soccer player and fan, Pitman has a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Human Resources, from Cal Poly Pomona.
Lilly Shraibati is responsible for the acquisition, management and protection of all of Metropolitan’s Real Property Assets and for developing additional revenue generating opportunities related to real property management. In addition, her group provides support to key projects such as the Diamond Valley Lake Recreation and Development Project, the Bay-Delta Initiatives, the Regional Recycled Water Supply Program and the Right-of-Way and Infrastructure Protection Program.
Shraibati brings 28 years of well-rounded professional and managerial experience. She began her career in the private sector, where she practiced civil engineering from concept to full implementation of projects of varying complexity for residential, commercial and institutional developments.
In 1994, she joined Metropolitan and worked in the Engineering Services Group for more than a decade and was responsible for concept-to-implementation of many successful capital projects. Shraibati was promoted to Water System Operations as a manager of the Operations Support Services, later the Conveyance and Distribution sections, and lastly as the Infrastructure Reliability Manager. She served in those positions for nearly a decade. She served as a member of the State Water Contractor's Operations, Maintenance and Engineering Committee and was responsible for remaining vigilant over technical matters impacting delivery reliability of the State Water Project.
Shraibati is a graduate of California State University at Northridge with a B.S. in Engineering, is a registered engineer in the State of California and holds a Grade 3 Distribution Operator's Certificate. She is a founding board member of the Bonita Campbell Endowment for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) at her alma mater, a member of the American Water Works Association and the American Society for Civil Engineers. She also volunteers for the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, which advances interest in STEM education.
Deven Upadhyay is the manager of the Water Resource Management Group at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He is responsible for managing the district's planning activities and policy guideline development related to Metropolitan's water supply plans and integrated resources plans. He also oversees the development and implementation of Metropolitan's resources programs for conservation, local resources projects and groundwater recovery and conjunctive use programs. In addition, he directs the management and negotiations of resource contracts related to the State Water Project and Colorado River deliveries as well as water transfers and purchases.
Upadhyay began his career with Metropolitan in 1995 as a resource specialist in the Planning and Resources Department. In 2005 he left Metropolitan to work for the Municipal Water District of Orange County as a principle on policy issues. In 2008 he returned to Metropolitan as the manager of the Budget and Financial Planning Section in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where he managed Metropolitan's annual budget process. He also handled the district's process for administering rates and charges and managed business continuity and financial planning.
An avid tennis player and a devoted Angel's baseball fan, Upadhyay earned a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University, Fullerton and a master's degree in public administration from the University of La Verne.
Jim Green is the manager of Water System Operations at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In this capacity, he oversees a staff of 950 employees responsible for operating and maintaining Metropolitan's conveyance, treatment, and distribution facilities; planning and scheduling water deliveries and power operations; ensuring compliance with water quality, safety, and environmental regulations; and responding to emergencies.
Green brings to his position over 25 years of experience in operations, maintenance, water quality compliance, process research, and design. He previously served as Metropolitan's Water Purification Engineer responsible for water quality compliance at the district's five treatment plants and a multi-million dollar applied research program. He led the implementation of several new water quality regulations including the Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Disinfectants/Disinfection By-Products Rule.
In 2004, Green was selected as the assistant manager of Water System Operations where he was responsible for the startup of numerous water treatment processes including the 750 million-gallons-per-day ozone facilities at the Jensen Water Treatment Plant. During this tenure, he was also responsible for directing Metropolitan's state-certified Apprenticeship Program which provides technical skills training to entry-level mechanics and electricians.
Green has authored or co-authored over 35 publications on drinking water treatment design, development, operation, and maintenance. A registered professional engineer and Grade 5 water treatment operator, Green earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Arizona and a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Southern California.
Adam Kear is an assistant general counsel for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He handles legal matters concerning Metropolitan’s water supplies conveyed through the State Water Project and related issues in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Kear provides legal representation to Metropolitan on key water resource matters, which have included the California WaterFix, Delta wastewater discharges, the Monterey Amendments to the State Water Project contracts, and the Quantification Settlement Agreement. He has successfully litigated Metropolitan cases at the trial and appellate levels and has argued before the California Supreme Court. Kear joined the Legal Department in 2000 but began his career with Metropolitan in 1990 as an engineer in the Planning and Resources Division. As a senior engineer and manager of facility planning for Metropolitan, he served as a project manager of major planning projects, including regional water infrastructure projects, habitat conservation plans, and water resource and facility plans. Kear joined Metropolitan following five years in private consulting engineering practice. In addition, he served as a commissioned engineer officer with the United States Public Health Service.
Kear is a recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, is active in his community and a board member of a Los Angeles historic preservation zone, and is a graduate of the CORO program, Leadership Southern California.
Kear holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona and a law degree from Loyola Law School.
Sue Sims is group manager for External Affairs at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the group, including the Legislative Services Section, Media Services Section, Conservation and Community Services Section, Customer Services Unit, and External Affairs’ Business Management Team.
Before coming to Metropolitan, Sims served as the Executive Officer for the California Water Commission. In her capacity as Executive Officer, she reported directly to the Governor-appointed board and managed all aspects of the Commission’s policy, program, and administrative activities.
Prior to the Commission, Sims was the Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources and helped manage California’s statewide policies and programs related to water management, environmental and infrastructure issues, strategic planning, and communications. She also served as the department’s Public Affairs Director.
Earlier in her career, Sims worked at Cal/EPA for the Department of Toxic Substances Control and Integrated Waste Management Board, as Chief Speechwriter and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Governor Deukmejian, and as a White House intern during the Reagan Administration.
Sims holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles and a public administration management certificate from California State University, Sacramento.
Charles Eckstrom is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day management of Metropolitan’s information technology operations and organization.
Prior to joining Metropolitan, Charles was the Assistant Chief Information Officer and Interim CIO for the County of Orange, where he was responsible for the technology vision and the day‑to‑day information technology operations serving approximately 3.1 million citizens in the sixth largest county in the United States. Charles was named the “2017 Innovator of the Year” by the Association of California Cities, and under his leadership, the Orange County Information Technology team was awarded the “Best in Category Achievement Award for County Administration and Management” by the National Association of Counties.
Prior to the County of Orange, Charles held IT executive positions at Toshiba America Medical Systems, United Health Group, and Deloitte Consulting. He received an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BA from University of California, Santa Barbara.
September 26, 2017MWD Headquarters Building
Physical AddressParking Map700 North Alameda StreetLos Angeles, CA 90012-2944
Mailing AddressP.O. Box 54153Los Angeles, CA 90054-0153