General Manager

Central Arizona Project (CAP) | Full-time


The Position

The Central Arizona Project (CAP) is seeking a confident, solutions-oriented professional to lead a high performing organization and move CAP forward in an era of unprecedented challenges of severe drought and climate change. The General Manager will lead one of the west’s premiere water agencies, which supplies water and critical infrastructure for 80% of Arizona’s population and is the largest single resource of renewable water supplies in Arizona. The General Manager works closely with other entities in the Colorado River Basin, stakeholders, and the Board of Directors to forge a sustainable path for water for Arizona’s future. In addition to major policy and regulatory issues, the General Manager oversees the operations of a large utility, including leading the workforce, managing capital assets and infrastructure, and ensuring sound financial management of operations and capital needs.

The General Manager provides leadership and direction on the management and operations of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) by identifying, planning, and implementing strategic policy and financial initiatives that are consistent with those developed with and approved by the Board of Directors. This position will work closely with the Board in a collaborative manner to interpret and assess the current state of the water resources issues affecting Arizona and CAP to determine how to ensure that strategic objectives are set forth in the bi-annual budget planning process and are achieved.

The General Manager is a primary spokesperson for CAP to all constituencies of stakeholders, regulators, government agencies, and the media regarding important project operations and funding. In this role, the General Manager is an experienced leader in the water industry through leadership participation and representation with key government, industry, and trade association organizations. In addition, the position is responsible for keeping the Board informed on new developments within the enterprise and industry and allowing the Board to function with maximum effectiveness.

The position’s key focus is to ensure sustainable and economical water supply for the more than 80% of Arizona’s residents served by CAP. The General Manager needs to work closely with the Board and numerous stakeholders (including regulators, government, customers, and the general public) to ensure debt repayment, fund and complete infrastructure improvements necessary to maintain project reliability, locate and secure supplemental water supplies, strengthen the workforce, and ensure the reliable delivery of economical power sources for operations along the system.

The General Manager is responsible for establishing and monitoring an ongoing succession planning process throughout the enterprise. This process includes hiring, training, developing, and mentoring staff to encourage professional growth among direct reports and their respective organizations, and by providing them with opportunities to progress beyond their current responsibilities.

CAP’s 500 full-time employees are under the direction of the General Manager. CAP’s 2021 budget, including capital expenditures, is $321.2 million.

Key Characteristics:

  • Exhibit strong, consistent leadership
  • Understand the operational, financial and policy sides of the business
  • Deliver and execute complex policy recommendations
  • Communicate complicated information effectively
  • Manage and delegate work to others well
  • Be innovative and solutions-oriented
  • Be adept and flexible, in order to implement Board direction
  • Make decisions in a dynamic water supply environment
  • Build relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Be an inspiring leader
  • Show flexibility in thinking and action


  • Develop and build collaborative relationships with the Board of Directors, staff, and stakeholders as well as other water entities. Listen and learn what is needed and maintain engagement with key stakeholders.
  • Implement a Strategic Plan that is focused on the urgent need to address the impact of drought and climate change on the water supply and the economy.  
  • Educate people on the importance of water and their responsibilities for conservation.
  • Become a respected leader on water policy in the Colorado River Basin.
  • Develop recruitment strategies to best support CAP’s hiring needs and take steps to build a diverse, inclusive workforce.
  • Review and develop options and recommendations regarding CAP finances.
  • Continue to implement and improve management of strategic assets, evaluate condition of assets, and develop prioritization of identified capital improvements and asset modifications.

The Successful Candidate

The next General Manager is a confident leader, who is collaborative and can communicate complex information clearly and concisely to the Board, external stakeholders, the general public, and the organization.

The successful candidate has a strong foundation in water law and policy, including federal and Colorado River Basin law, and is knowledgeable in state and federal legal and regulatory structures around water resources. The next General Manager will be diplomatic and develop strong relationships with state, local, and tribal leaders, irrigation districts and agricultural users, and other water entities. They need to have a familiarity with tribal history with water and understand what water needs are in different areas in Arizona.

The next General Manager is a strategic and systems thinker with innovative ideas and can speak up and be a strong vocal leader when it comes to changes and decisions. The successful candidate fosters a strong desire for relationship building with the Board, state elected and appointed officials, and stakeholders, as well as a passion for educating people on the importance of water for the state’s future.

The successful candidate can develop, present, and sell water policy ideas to an audience of over 6 million people who need water, the state legislature and governor, elected officials in three counties, and the director of the state department of water resources, as well as other state government officials. The successful candidate is well respected and will be a nonpartisan leader for the organization. The successful candidate also has a solid background in finance, operations, human resources, and information technology, and has experience within a complex organization.

The successful candidate will be well-versed with leading a large and complex utility with a multi-skilled workforce in a multiple locations. The next General Manager will be open to different viewpoints in CAP’s diverse workplace and carry that out throughout their decision-making process. The successful candidate has experience on managing highly skilled professionals and technical experts and helping provide an environment for them to be successful. They will be a strong, reliable leader that can shift between external and internal needs with ease.


Minimum requirements include at least ten years of progressively responsible experience in utility management, municipal management, water policy, or regulatory role, with at least five years of senior leadership. A bachelor’s degree and a combination of education and work experience sufficient to lead a complex organization are also required.

Preferred qualifications include an advanced degree and direct experience in the Colorado River Basin. Broad experience in utility management, operations, financial, legal, regulatory and/or policy environment is also preferred. Demonstrated experience in asset management, project management, strategic plan implementation, policy advocacy, and intergovernmental collaboration  is preferred.

About the Central Arizona Project

Central Arizona Project delivers Colorado River to more than 50 water users and tribal communities that collectively serve about 5 million people (80% of the state's population) in central and southern Arizona. CAP is a wholesaler, delivering untreated water within Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties that cover nearly 24,000 square-miles and include the metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson, where average annual rainfall is less than 8 inches.

CAP carries water from Lake Havasu near Parker to the southern boundary of the San Xavier Indian Reservation southwest of Tucson. It is a 336-mile-long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants, and pipelines and is the largest single resource of renewable water supplies in Arizona.

CAP was authorized by the Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968 and was constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at a cost of more than $4 billion. The system is operated and maintained by the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, a multi-county special purpose district created by Arizona law. CAWCD is also responsible for repaying the federal government for Arizona’s share of CAP construction costs – about $1.65 billion plus interest.

CAWCD is governed by an unpaid, 15-member Board of Directors elected for staggered 6-year terms by voters in each of its three member counties. The number of directors from each county is based on population: there are ten members elected from Maricopa County, four from Pima County, and one from Pinal County. CAWCD oversees both the Central Arizona Project and the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District. The Board meets monthly to establish policies, set water and tax rates, approve budgets, manage the CAP water supply, enter into agreements and contracts, and address a variety of other critical issues affecting CAP, its water users, and employees. It also develops the strategic plan, which is implemented by the CAP staff.

Arizona is one of seven states in the Colorado River Basin. The Basin states are divided into the Upper Basin (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) and the Lower Basin (Arizona, California, and Nevada). Mexico also receives Colorado River water per the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty. CAP works in partnership with other water agencies within the Basin to collaboratively manage and ensure a continued reliable Colorado River water supply in the face of a hotter, drier future across the entire Colorado River.


CAP serves as a collaborative partner and innovative leader in sustainable management and reliable delivery of water for Central Arizona.


CAP’s dedicated team reliably manages and delivers Colorado River water to Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties.


  • Teamwork: Working together to reach consensus and achieve common goals
  • Safety: Keeping coworkers and the workplace safe
  • Integrity: Doing the right thing with consistency and dedication
  • Service: Caring for the needs of stakeholders, coworkers, and our community
  • Professionalism: Delivering superior results


The Central Arizona Project headquarters are in Phoenix, Arizona. The City is known for its year-round sun and warm temperatures, and it anchors a sprawling, multicity metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun. The headquarters office address is 23636 N. Seventh St. Phoenix, AZ 85024.

In addition to the headquarters location, other staff are dispersed at pumping plants and other locations throughout the Central Arizona Project, including a Tucson, Arizona facility. The map below displays a visual overview on the key highlights of the 336-mile CAP system to provide more information.

Click Here for Map

Compensation and Benefits

The beginning salary is expected to be in the low $300,000’s and may be higher, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package. Benefits for all employees include Medical (at low out-of-pocket cost) and affordable Prescription Coverage, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Accrued Vacation Leave, Sick Leave, Personal Leave, and Nine Paid Legal Holidays. Other benefits also include Arizona State Retirement Pension (ASRS), 401(k), 457(B), and 529 College Savings Plan, On-site Wellness Program, Life Insurance, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance, Employee Assistance Program (available at no cost to employees), and Flexible Work Schedules as well as Relocation Assistance.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The first review of applications will begin August 18, 2022.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at and Robert Colichio at


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