Exceptional Executive Education Designed for Utility Leaders

The Water & Wastewater Leadership Center

Apr 21 - May 2, 2024 |  Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, NC

Application Deadline: December 15, 2023

Arming utility executives with the management and leadership skills they need.

Celebrating over two decades of executive education designed specifically for water and wastewater professionals – The Water & Wastewater Leadership Center is now accepting applications for its 2024 class. Exceptional leadership is essential as water and wastewater utilities strive to thrive as utilities of the future.

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How to Apply

The Leadership Center’s curriculum is designed for current and up-and-coming water and wastewater utility CEOs, General Managers, Senior Managers, and Upper-Level Management – from both public and private utilities.

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Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center

All classes are held in state-of-the-art facilities at the Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center’s Executive Education program at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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The Leadership Center’s curriculum, taught by unequaled UNC faculty, is designed for current and up-and-coming water and wastewater utility CEOs, General Managers, Senior Managers, and Upper-Level Management – from both public and private utilities.

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Our Faculty

Lydian Altman

Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Teaching Assistant Professor, Center for Public Leadership and Governance

Center for Public Leadership and Governance

Doug Bean

Director of Government Services, Raftelis

Sreedhari Desai, PhD

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Crist W. Blackwell Scholar

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Elizabeth Dickinson, PhD

Adjunct Professor, UNC Executive Development, Former Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), and Independent Consultant in DEI & Inclusive Leadership

Jennifer Giordano, M.A., Ed.M., ACC

Affiliate Faculty, UNC Executive Development Organizational Psychologist, Executive Coach SmartfulWorks Founder

Mabel M. Miguel, PhD

Clinical Professor of Organizational Behavior

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Atul Nerkar, PhD

Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Allred Distinguished Scholar

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Angel M. Swindell Nix, MA, BCC

Affiliate Faculty, UNC Executive Development

Heidi Schultz, PhD

Clinical Professor of Management and

Corporate Communication, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Albert “Al” H. Segars, PhD

PNC Bank Distinguished Professor, Chair,

Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business


I have been through several leadership trainings, but the Water & Wastewater Leadership Center is next level! This program is for those who are truly dedicated to becoming the best leader they can be in the water and wastewater industry. Every instructor was engaging and knowledgeable and guided us through how to apply the teachings in our own organizations. Just in the first few weeks since the training I have been able to apply in the workplace so much of what I learned. I also made lasting connections with classmates, who are all top notch, and we have continued to collaborate and learn from each other after completion of the program through social media and technology since we are spread out across the U.S. If you don’t believe me (and even if you do), try it for yourself! You won’t be disappointed.

Jen Cobb, PE
(2023 Alumnus)

Assistant Director
Newport News Waterworks, VA

What happens when you put 29 Water Industry Management Professionals in one room for 12 days and expose them to educators from the UNC Keenan-Flagler Business school….pure magic. Well, at least that’s how it felt as a member of the 2023 Water and Wastewater Leadership Center cohort. Not only have I made lifelong friends & industry contacts, but also have been exposed to the amazing selection of educators tasked with molding the Water Industries Up and Coming Leaders.

Brian Persing, MBA
(2023 Alumnus)

Plant Superintendent Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility,
WSSC Water, MD

The 2023 Water and Wastewater Leadership Center was, without a doubt, the highest-quality and most beneficial professional development experience I’ve had the pleasure of attending. It’s an experience and education you won’t get at any other water sector event. Well-run, planned, and efficient, there is an amazing amount of content packed into the two weeks of immersion with your water sector colleagues. The hand-picked faculty are interactive and engaging, each a subject matter expert in their facet of leadership. The agenda and teaching methods are well-planned and deliberate to keep you engaged, beginning to end. Clearly, a lot of thought and experience has gone into optimizing this program for water sector leaders.

Matt Ries, PhD, PE
(2023 Alumnus)

Vice President, Strategy and Performance, DC Water

The 2022 WWLC Program was undoubtedly one of the best experiences I have had in leadership and water/wastewater peer-to-peer training. Professionally orchestrated, the WWLC is an elite, certified program for individuals wishing to take their analytical and collaborative skills to a higher level. As with most graduate certifications, the program also bears the most beneficial result of connecting brilliant professionals in the water and wastewater community with one another. Five stars all-around!

Elizabeth Fazio Hale, J.D., LL.M (2022 Alumnus)

General Manager/CEO,
Gulf Coast Authority, TX

My participation in the 2022 W/WW Leadership Training Program came at a time when I was struggling with some specific aspects of my job and career, and the skills, experiences, and information gained during the Training Program were transformative for me and gave me a fresh perspective that has allowed me to move forward, tackle some existing problems/challenges, and move forward confidently in my career as a Water/Wastewater professional. I am extremely indebted to the W/WW Leadership Program staff and instructors for their valuable knowledge and support.

David Laughlin, PE
(2022 Alumnus)

Chief Engineer – Planning & Engineering Division, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, NM

My time at the Water and Wastewater Leadership Center was among the most valuable professional development experiences of my career. The material was crafted to teach leadership concepts in a way that was relevant to the unique challenges faced in the water sector and it was delivered and reinforced by a fabulous team of instructors and through experiential activities. What really set the experience apart was the ongoing interaction with the cohort. From mock negotiations and interviews to simulating change management initiatives, we were given many opportunities to practice leadership with each other. This allowed me to go beyond just being more aware of my leadership style and tendencies but to actually practice doing it differently with real humans who understand my work.

Christine McIntyre
(2022 Alumnus)

Chief Financial Officer,
Alexandria Renew Enterprises, VA

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Intersted in learning more about the Water & Wastewater Leadership Center?