Director, State Operations

Posted Date: Feb 9, 2024

Location: Pacific Grove, CA, US, 93950

Company: American Water Works Company Inc

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People are the heart of our business. As an American Water employee, you will be offered a competitive salary and health benefits package, along with opportunities to develop, grow, and evolve your career.  Our benefits packages focus on key areas such as health & wellness, emotional & well-being, and savings for current & future goals.


We are Beautifully Different. We strongly believe having diversity across our company makes us more successful and helps us provide essential services to our customers. We are stronger because we embrace different ideas, viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds. American Water is the best choice for your next role!  Click here for more information on our inclusion, diversity, and equity journey.


About American Water
American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the United States. With a history dating back to 1886, We Keep Life Flowing® by providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people across 14 regulated jurisdictions and 18 military installations. American Water’s 6,500 talented professionals leverage their significant expertise and the company’s national size and scale to achieve excellent outcomes for the benefit of customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders.

As one of the fastest growing utilities in the U.S., American Water expects to invest $30 to $34 billion in infrastructure repairs and replacement, system resiliency and regulated acquisitions over the next 10 years. The company has a long-standing history of executing its core operations, aligned with sustainable best practices, through its commitments to safety, affordability, customer service, protecting the environment, an inclusive workforce and strengthening communities.

American Water has been recognized on the 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Indexfor the fifth consecutive year, ranked 18th on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies 2023 List, earned the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act designation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® Excellence Award, among additional state, local and national recognitions.

For more information, visit and join American Water on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.


California American Water has a leadership opportunity for a Director of State Operations to oversee our Coastal Division. Based out of Pacific Grove, CA, the Director of State Operations will govern both water and wastewater operations, serve as a liason between the water company and the community, and be a direct contact for the local union. 


Pay Information

Base Salary Range: $144K-$230K


The base salary range represents a good faith salary range for this position. This position is eligible for annual incentive pay and has the opportunity for continued salary growth. If you are hired at American Water your base salary compensation will be determined based on factors such as market, geography, skills, education and/or experience. At American Water, we are committed to pay equity. 


In addition to compensation, you will be offered a comprehensive benefits package including 401(k), Defined Contribution Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage, plus disability, paid time off, life insurance, voluntary benefits, health and wellness programs and much more!


American Water is also proud to offer employees learning opportunities and work experiences to grow professionally!

Primary Role

To lead the operational functional areas (including water quality, field operations, production, and maintenance) within the state and direct cost-effective, high-quality customer service and operational integrity.

Key Accountabilities

  • Develop operations strategies, and direct and manage the water quality, field operations, production and maintenance for water and wastewater operations within California American Water’s Coastal Division. 
  • Implement best operating practices to promote continuous improvement, innovation, and excellent customer service. 
  • Ensure that operational integrity is maintained, including regulatory compliance in all facilities. 
  • Provide strategic and operational input to annual business plans, control budgets for responsible areas, and ensure that operational and financial targets are met or exceeded. 
  • Lead, motivate and develop staff in assigned operations areas. 
  • Build shared commitment to improving business performance and develop both individual and team capabilities. 
  • Drive performance by linking business units' objectives to company goals and values. 
  • Communicate a shared vision, energize, and empower staff, and champion diversity. 
  • Work with the state president and vice president and engineering staff to develop the strategy and priorities for capital investment programs and drive the effective implementation of such programs. 
  • Support the business development function within the state. 
  • Assist in due diligence and operational analysis and ensure effective integration and performance of acquisitions and contract operations. 
  • Establish relationships with and serve as operational contact for political and civic leaders and other key external stakeholders. 
  • Support and assist the state president and vice president in maintaining and enhancing such relationships state-wide. 


  • Strong management skills (planning, organizing, analysis, problem solving, team working, employee development). 
  • Strong influencing skills and proven ability to operate in a complex matrix organization. Excellent leadership skills, presence, and the ability to deal effectively with and maintain productive relationships with employees at all levels (including represented employees), senior management and various external stakeholders. 
  • Ability to lead, motivate and empower employees. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communications, as well as interpersonal skills (persuasion, listening, cooperation, diplomacy).
  • Extensive knowledge of the regulated water and wastewater utility business and its operations. 
  • Knowledge of the applicable regulations, requirements and trends impacting the water and wastewater business, both regulated and nonregulated, as it exists throughout American Water locations and areas of new business opportunities. 
  • Knowledge of the assessment of operating practices and the establishment of best practices.


  • Minimum of 10 years experience successfully managing operational areas in multiple locations with represented employees. 
  • Bachelor's degree in operational discipline, management or related discipline preferred. 


  • Full-time
  • Monday-Friday


Prioritizes & Role Models Safety
Develops Talent
Plans, Aligns, & Directs
Drives Engagement
Decision Quality



Join American Water...We Keep Life Flowing


American Water is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and prohibits employment discrimination for employees and applicants based on his or her age, race, color, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, or because they are an individual with a disability, protected veteran or other status protected by federal, state, and local laws.

Nearest Major Market: Salinas