Former Los Angeles infrastructure director Liz Crosson to begin March 28
Environmental leader and former Los Angeles infrastructure director Liz Crosson will help the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California implement an aggressive agenda to reduce its carbon footprint and strengthen its resiliency to climate change, the agency announced today. After a six-month search process, Crosson was selected as the district’s first chief sustainability, resiliency and innovation officer, a new position that will report to Metropolitan’s General Manager Adel Hagekhalil beginning March 28.
“While ensuring a reliable water supply for 19 million Southern Californians is the core of our mission, we can’t achieve that mission without innovation and environmental sustainability,” Hagekhalil said. “Liz brings significant leadership experience and knowledge to Metropolitan that will help us confront the many environmental and infrastructure challenges we’re facing due to our rapidly changing climate.”
Crosson was a sustainability consultant for the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, and is currently an adjunct instructor in urban sustainability at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. As director of infrastructure for the city of Los Angeles from 2018 to 2021, Crosson was Mayor Eric Garcetti’s policy lead on water, power, waste and public right of way infrastructure issues. From 2017 to 2018, she served as the city’s deputy chief sustainability officer and was the city’s first appointed water policy advisor. She served as executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper from 2010-2015.
“I am incredibly excited to lead MWD’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and continue its leadership in environmental sustainability,” said Crosson. “As climate impacts are increasingly affecting the lives of Southern Californians and our water infrastructure, I look forward to helping the agency build resilience, sustainability and equity for the benefit of all.”
In her role at Metropolitan, Crosson will develop and pursue strategies, programs and policies to address environmental concerns including energy use, conservation, pollution, environmental justice, and climate resilience. She also will drive initiatives to foster innovation. The chief sustainability, resiliency and innovation officer position is one of three created by Hagekhalil. The district also is finalizing a search for a new Equal Employment Opportunity officer and a diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.