/ News / AWWA Names GLWA COO Cheryl Porter President – First Black President in 143-Year History

AWWA Names GLWA COO Cheryl Porter President – First Black President in 143-Year History

Parul Dubey on June 18, 2024 - in News, People



  • Porter is the first African American and first woman of color to hold AWWA’s top board position in its 143-year history.


DETROIT— Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Chief Operating Officer of Water and Field Services Cheryl Porter officially began her one-year term as President of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) at the association’s recent annual conference in Anaheim, CA.

Porter is the first woman of color and the first African American to be elected to the top board position at the AWWA in its 143-year history. The AWWA is the water sector’s largest and oldest professional association.

“My focus will be on working with the passionate and committed individuals at AWWA to tackle the most pressing water issues and help ensure our communities are better protected in the face of climate change,” said Porter. “It is a tremendous honor having been elected President of the AWWA. As a product of Detroit Public Schools and the first Black person to serve in this role, the historical significance of this post is not lost on me.”

Porter’s AWWA background includes service as a member of the AWWA Finance Committee and as a Vice President and Director-at-Large of the AWWA Board. She is one of seven new officers elected by AWWA’s Board of Directors. Porter also has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Michigan Section of the AWWA.

“Cheryl brings to AWWA a wide range of experience, having superlative knowledge and skills from a technical, managerial and business perspective,” said Joe Jacangelo, AWWA Immediate Past President, in an article published by AWWA. “Her foresight and vision will be instrumental in guiding our Association’s Water 2050 initiative and assuring success in meeting future water community challenges.”

As GLWA’s COO of Water and Field Services, Cheryl oversees five water treatment plants and their supporting water transmission infrastructure, which delivers treated drinking water to GLWA’s 88 member partners across 115 communities in southeast Michigan.

Porter earned her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Michigan, an MBA with a concentration in human resources management from Madonna University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Law. She maintains State of Michigan operation certifications for both water distribution (S-3) and Complete Treatment (F-1).


About the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is the provider-of-choice for drinking water services to nearly 40 percent, and efficient and effective wastewater services to nearly 30 percent, of Michigan’s population. With the Great Lakes as source water, GLWA is uniquely positioned to provide those it serves with water of unquestionable quality. GLWA also has the capacity to extend its services beyond its 88 member partner communities. As part of its commitment to water affordability, the Authority offers a Water Residential Assistance Program to assist low-income households in participating member communities throughout the system. GLWA’s board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties, two representatives from the city of Detroit, and one appointed by the Michigan governor to represent member partner communities outside of the tri-county area.


Comments are disabled