This appointment is effective January 1, 2023.
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has appointed Shay Ralls Roalson as the Austin Water Director. Roalson was selected from a group of 55 applicants and is the first woman to serve in this role. This appointment is effective January 1, 2023.
“I am pleased to announce Shay Ralls Roalson as the City of Austin’s next Austin Water Director,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “I am confident that her extensive knowledge of Austin Water’s services and programs will bring the leadership and vision we are seeking for the future of our water utility services.”
Roalson has 29 years of experience working with water utilities on the planning, design, and construction of complex water and wastewater infrastructure projects. She joined Austin Water as Assistant Director in April 2020, where she leads the engineering services team responsible for delivering the utility’s $1.4 billion five-year capital program. Her team also supports utility operations and leads numerous cross-program area initiatives to maintain and improve system performance and resiliency.
“I would like to thank previous Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros for his many years of service and leadership. He led Austin Water with honor and distinction and will be deeply missed,” said Cronk. “I also want to thank Robert Goode for returning to serve Austin as the Interim Austin Water Director since April 2022. His continuing dedication to the City of Austin and the community is greatly appreciated.”
Austin Water provides water, wastewater, reclaimed water, conservation, and environmental protection services to over one million residential customers spanning more than 540 square miles of service area. Austin Water is dedicated to delivering safe, reliable, high-quality water and wastewater services that exceed federal and state standards at affordable rates.
The Austin Water Director leads a large, complex organization including water and wastewater services and treatment, reclaimed water services, field operations and maintenance, engineering, water resource planning and analysis, customer experience, financial services, and business services for Austin Water. This executive level position reports to the City Manager’s Office.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to be the City of Austin’s next Austin Water Director,” said Roalson. “I look forward to creating opportunities to support and empower employees of the department while continuing to build trust in the community in order to provide exceptional water utility services to the residents of Austin.”
Prior to joining Austin Water, Roalson was the Central Texas Water Business Group Manager at HDR Engineering, Inc., where she consulted with utilities across Texas, including Austin Water, San Antonio Water System, and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. Roalson received her master’s degree from the University of Texas and is a licensed professional engineer in Texas.