Sandra Kerl

Title: 
General Manager
Organization: 
San Diego County Water Authority
Biography: 
Sandra L. Kerl is general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, an agency responsible for providing wholesale water  supplies to serve 24 member agencies, 3.3 million people and a  $245 billion regional economy. Kerl joined the Water Authority as dep uty general manager in November 2009 and served as acting general  manager from March through November 2019 before being appointed  by the Board of Directors to her current post. 

As general manager, Kerl’s priorities include enhancing relations with  the Water Authority’s member agencies, minimizing rate increases, con cluding the long-running litigation with the Metropolitan Water District  of Southern California, and ensuring long-term water supplies for the  semi-arid San Diego region.

One of Kerl’s first challenges as general manager was leading the  transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic for about  three-quarters of the Water Authority’s 250 employees. She also com missioned the first employee survey in the agency’s history as part of a  larger effort to integrate different generations of employees, embrace  the diversity of the agency’s workforce and empower all employees to  reach their full potential. Kerl’s career highlights in the water industry include leading the effort  to secure financing for the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant,  a public-private partnership that was hailed as a model for other large scale water works around the country.

Kerl has more than 35 years of progressively responsible experience  in all aspects of municipal management. She served as city manager of  La Mesa, California, and has broad experience with city management, extensive knowledge of organizational issues, and a pragmatic under standing of capital project management and delivery. Throughout her professional career Kerl has been active in the Interna tional County Management Association. She currently sits on the board  of the California Urban Water Agencies as an Officer, which represents the water supplies that serve more than two-thirds of California’s popu lation. 
 
Kerl received her Bachelor of Political Science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands. 
 
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