The City of Santa Rosa has appointed Jennifer Burke to serve as the Director of the Water Department, a role responsible for overseeing all Water Department operations, including water supply, wastewater collection and treatment, groundwater, recycled water, and stormwater management. Burke will oversee a 253-person department.
With 20 years of experience as a water industry professional, Burke has most recently served as the Deputy Director of Water Resources, overseeing Water-Use Efficiency, Water Resources Planning, Energy and Sustainability, and Water Quality. In response to the October 2017 wildfires, she successfully led the task force that resolved the post-fire water quality advisory which impacted more than 350 homes in an area of Fountaingrove. In March, she was appointed as the Interim Water Director during the recruitment process to permanently fill the Director position.
Burke was first hired to the City of Santa Rosa Water Department in 2003 as the Water Conservation Coordinator and has also served as Deputy Director of Environmental Services, overseeing regulatory compliance for the Water Department. Prior to working for the City of Santa Rosa, Burke worked for the City of San Jose with a focus on the Regional South Bay Water Recycling Program.
“Ms. Burke has proven her ability as a leader within this organization,” said City Manager Sean McGlynn. “After a nationwide recruitment, I am confident we have landed on the right fit to ensuring that we continue to bring value and excellent service to the citizens of our community and perform our best to protect public health and the environment through our water operations.”
Jennifer grew up in the east bay area and has lived in Santa Rosa for the last 16 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from U.C. Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Business Administration from San Jose State University.
Burke’s appointment as permanent director of the Water Department is effective immediately, May 28, 2019.