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Murray appoints new Seattle Public Utilities Director

MamiHaraMayor Ed Murray today announced his appointment for the Director of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Mami Hara. Hara is an experienced utility executive and planner.

“Mami brings a strong foundation of public and private sector leadership to the City, along with a commitment to advancing equitable and sustainable cities through collaboration and thoughtful infrastructure investment,” said Murray. “Her cross-sector experience will allow for a holistic view of our utilities and the needs of the 1.3 million regional customers both in Seattle and the 26 municipalities served by SPU.”

“Thank you to Mayor Murray for the opportunity to serve the residents of this region. Seattle Public Utilities is one of the most progressive and respected utilities in the nation and I am honored to join the team,” said Hara. “I look forward to continuing and expanding the City’s traditions of modeling sustainable water management practices; delivering safe, reliable, and affordable utility services; and enhancing quality of life through strategic infrastructure management.”

Hara is currently the network coordinator of a practitioner network that supports communities seeking to expand green storm water infrastructure programs. While in Philadelphia she helped implement national models that Seattle aspires to today. Green City, Clean Waters is the nation’s most ambitious green infrastructure program and its successes are helping to define national practice. Philadelphia is creating living landscapes to reduce the storm water pollution and to enhance quality of life. Seattle has long been a leader in this field and her experience will help us to continue defining best practice.

Prior, Hara served for five years as Chief of Staff at Philadelphia Water, a 2,000-person utility serving more than 2 million customers across 200 square miles, with a $700 million annual operating budget and a $6 billion Capital Improvement Program.

Hara, once confirmed by Seattle City Council, will replace Ray Hoffman, SPU Director since 2009, who will retire tomorrow. Hara is expected to start September 1, with an annual salary of $223,500.

SPU is comprised of three lines of business that provide efficient and forward-looking utility services in Seattle: solid waste and sewage and drainage for Seattle residents and businesses and drinking water for the 1.3 million regional customers both in Seattle and the 26 municipalities and special water districts also served by SPU. SPU’s annual budget is approximately $1 billion, including Operations and Maintenance and Capital Improvement.