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AFC20 Virtual Featured Guests & Speakers

Visiting Officer
Jim Williams
Immediate Past-President (2020-2021)
American Water Works Association

Jim Williams is the Immediate Past-President of AWWA.  He is committed to the vision and mission of AWWA and has been an active member on both the Section and Association levels for over 30 years.  Jim is currently the General Manager of Suez Advanced Solutions/Peerless-Midwest.  

For the Indiana Section, he has served as chair and director, and currently sits on its Water Utility Council and Water for People Committee. Jim has received several water industry awards including the Kenneth J. Miller Founders’ Award, the Hoosier Water Award and the George Warren Fuller Award.  

As a member of the Water For People Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015, he has traveled to Bolivia, Honduras and India to help in providing safe water and sanitation to communities in need.  He is an active member of the Water Buffalos and travelled by motorcycle with the “herd” to 10 consecutive ACE conferences.  

Jim received his BS in Business Management and Administration from Indiana University and currently resides in Mishawaka, IN.

Opening Session Panel - The Next 100 Years: Defining the Water Future (Tuesday)
Patricia Mulroy
serves as a Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy and also as a Practitioner in Residence for the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.  She also holds a faculty position at the Desert Research Institute, where she serves as the Maki Distinguished Faculty Associate.  

Between 1989 and early 2014, Pat Mulroy served as General Manager of both the Las Vegas Valley Water District, a municipal purveyor serving more than 350,000 accounts, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), the regional agency responsible for acquiring, treating and delivering water to two million Southern Nevadans and 40 million annual visitors. Mulroy was a principal architect of the SNWA, helping to guide Southern Nevada through an unprecedented period of growth and one of the worst droughts in the history of the Colorado River.

During her long tenure at the combined agencies, she led Nevada’s delegation in the negotiation of numerous agreements with neighboring Colorado River Basin States and the country of Mexico. Her reach in the water community extends far beyond the desert Southwest.  She currently serves as a member emeritus of the Water Research Foundation Board of Trustees. She previously was on the board of the National Water Resources Association and was a member of the American Water Works Association. Additionally, she was the original chairperson of the Western Urban Water Coalition, is immediate past president of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and has served on the Colorado River Water Users Association’s board of directors.
At UNLV’s Boyd School of Law and DRI, Mulroy’s focus is on helping communities in water-stressed areas throughout both the American Southwest and the world develop strategies to address increased water resource volatility and identify solutions that balance the needs of all stakeholders. In her faculty role at DRI, Mulroy also will explore the role of technology in optimizing the use of water resources.
Opening Session Panel - The Next 100 Years: Defining the Water Future (Tuesday)
Jeffrey Kightlinger
is general manager and chief executive officer for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26 member agencies serving 19 million people in six counties.
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.  He has directed Metropolitan’s search for cooperative solutions to water allocation on the Colorado River, and championed win-win outcomes for the environment and California water users that rely on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.

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.

Opening Session Panel - The Next 100 Years: Defining the Water Future (Tuesday) / Public Persuasion: Getting To Yes With Any Stakeholder (Thursday)
George S. Hawkins, Esq.,
Founder and CEO, Moonshot LLC and Moonshot Missions, launched his innovation-focused enterprises Moonshot LLC and Moonshot Missions after stepping down as CEO and General Manager of DC Water, where he served for eleven years.  George helps agencies identify and adopt strategies to deliver better service and lower cost.

George transformed DC Water into an innovative enterprise while tripling its investment in clean water.  DC Water’s innovations ranged from Green Infrastructure to a $500 million investment in clean energy.  DC Water issued the first century bond, first environmental impact bond, and spearheaded programs to support low income customers.

George serves on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which advises the White House.  George is an advisor to Xylem, Inc. and is an Executive in Residence for XPV Water Partners.  George serves on the Boards of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the US Water Alliance.  George has served as a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University and an Executive in Residence for American University.

Mr. Hawkins also served as Director of the DC Department of the Environment and also served as Director of non-profit organizations and held positions with the USEPA and the firm Ropes & Gray.

George is a popular speaker on water, infrastructure and environmental issues.  He has been the recipient of many awards, including the AWWA’s Fuller Award for Leadership and Innovation, Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year in 2015, WEF Public Official of the Year in 2016, and the Water Leader of the Year Prize in 2017.  DC Water was awarded the US Water Prize in 2016.

He graduated from Princeton University (Summa Cum Laude) and from Harvard Law School (Cum Laude). 
Monitoring COVID-19 Prevalence In Communities Through Sewershed Surveillance (Thursday)
Dr. Kara Nelson
is a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.  She received her B.A. degree in biophysics from U.C. Berkeley, her M.S.E. degree in environmental engineering from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from U.C. Davis.  Prof. Nelson’s research program addresses innovative strategies to improve the sustainability of urban water infrastructure, including technologies for potable and non-potable water reuse, nutrient recovery, decentralized systems, intermittent water supply, household water treatment, and affordable sanitation. In particular, Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on the control of waterborne pathogens, including mechanisms of pathogen inactivation and new detection methods.  She has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Prof. Nelson leads the Engineering Thrust at the Engineering Research Center for Reinventing our Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), and recently served on the expert panel advising the State of California on the feasibility of direct potable water reuse. Dr. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at a ceremony in the White House in 2004. This award is the nation’s highest honor for scientists in the early stages of their career.  She currently conducts research in the United States, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Panama.