Assistant Director - Public Works (EXE LEV) - Drinking Water Operations

City of Houston
Houston, TX

Salary: $159,211.52 - $175,404.33 Annually

SECTION: Drinking Water Operation
REPORTING LOCATION: 611 Walker St., Houston TX 77002
Workdays & Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm*
*Subject to change
Houston Water is a team of approximately 1,500 drinking water and wastewater professionals, including but not limited to operators, mechanics, engineers, scientists, planners, regulatory and business personnel. The City of Houston Water and Wastewater Utility is a regulated public health agency governed by federal and state laws. Our staff maintains professional licenses issued by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other public health agencies. 

The Senior Assistant Director leading Drinking Water Operations will:

  • Lead a diverse team of over 670 members that operate and maintain a regional water system comprised of 3 surface water treatment plants, 100 groundwater wells, over 7000 miles of transmission and distribution lines.
  • Manage an annual operations and maintenance budget of ~$200M
  • Lead the development and update of the 5-year capital improvement plan.
  • Develop, communicate, and administer branch objectives, policies, and procedures
  • Manage all technical and operational functions to ensure compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements and permits.
  • Be an innovative leader that leads by example and solves complex problems by building strong teams, implementing industry best business practices, integrating technology, and cultivating professional relationships through excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Respond to requests from the public, administration, City Council, and executive management.
  • Direct the development, implementation, and evaluation of program initiatives across multi-functional lines; and implement various programs to improve operational and financial efficiency.

This is a TIER 1 responsibility position with respect to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Most specifically, this means you are responsible for working and being available to work during a natural disaster or catastrophic event.



In alignment with the Houston Public Works Five to Thrive Values we adhere to the following core values:


Respect - we listen and care

  • Lead a team of diverse skill sets with a focus on team building, communication, and alignment of goals to achieve organizational efficiencies.
  • Develop health and safety practices and oversee compliance of those practices.
  • Meet with team members and stakeholders to understand issues and explain operation policies, programs, objectives and/or initiatives.

Ownership - we find solutions, instead of excuses

  • Lead the team by providing general oversight and strategic planning initiatives to improve efficiencies, reporting, quality, and regulatory compliance.
  • Assess, manage, and mitigate the principal risks
  • Assess current practices and management processes to implement an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, and procedures.
  • Oversee emergency management for the team including ensuring staff are properly trained, standard operating procedures are updated, distributed, and followed.

Communication - we are reliable and clear

  • Monitor operational effectiveness through reports on status, adequate resources, feedback, and analytics.
  • Establish and coordinate a variety of special projects to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of departmental operations, processes, and procedures.
  • Work to ensure the department director's expectations are met and exceeded.

Integrity - we are truthful and keep our word

  • Foster a team culture that promotes ethical practices, customer focus, and service and encourages individual integrity.

Teamwork - we work together

  • Develop, in collaboration with the Houston Water Director, an annual operating plan the supports the long-term strategy.
  • Oversee long-range planning for capital improvement projects, maintenance projects, technology and service initiatives.
  • Motivate and lead a high-performance management team.


The position is physically comfortable; the individual has some discretion about walking, standing, etc.


This is a Department of Houston Public Works Emergency Management position at the Tier I Level.


Requires a thorough understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of an analytical, technical or professional discipline; or the basic knowledge of more than one professional discipline. Knowledge of the discipline would normally be obtained through a formal 4-year degree from a college or university and a professional certification/licensing is required.

More than ten years of experience is required.


Preference will be given to candidate who possess a valid Driver's License and be in compliance with the City of Houston policy on driving (A.P. 2-2) 

**Preference shall be given to eligible veteran applicants provided such persons possess the qualifications necessary for competent discharge of the duties involved in the position applied for, such persons are among the most qualified candidates for the position, and all other factors in accordance with Executive Order 1-6.**


None; however, the Department may administer a skill assessment evaluation.
If yes, this position is subject to random drug testing and if a promotional position, candidate must pass an assignment drug test.
SALARY INFORMATION                     
Factors used in determining the salary offered include the candidate's qualifications as well as the pay rates of other employees in this classification.  
Pay Grade 34
Only online applications will be accepted for this City of Houston job and must be received by the Human Resources Department during active posting period. Applications must be submitted online at: 
To view your detailed application status, please log-in to your online profile by visiting: or call (832) 393-6027.
If you need special services or accommodations, call (832) 393-6027. (TTY 7-1-1)
If you need login assistance or technical support call 855-524-5627.
Due to the high volume of applications received, the Hiring Department will contact you directly, should you be selected to advance in our recruitment process.
All new and rehires must pass a pre-employment drug test and are subject to a physical examination and verification of information provided.
EOE – Equal Opportunity Employer
The City of Houston is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and providing a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based upon any legally protected status or protected characteristic, including but not limited to an individual's sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, gender identity, or pregnancy.