PASADENA, Calif.—Interim City Manager Cynthia Kurtz has named Jeffrey Kightlinger as acting general manager of Pasadena Water and Power. Gurcharan Bawa retires from the role next week after serving the City of Pasadena for nearly 30 years.
Kightlinger was the chief executive officer of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) from 2006 to 2021. MWD is the largest municipal water provider in the nation, delivering an average of over 2 billion gallons of water a day to 19 million residents in Southern California. MWD also funds local conservation and recycled water projects to ensure the region’s water reliability.
Kightlinger was the longest-serving CEO in the history of MWD. As CEO, he oversaw MWD’s $1.8 billion annual budget and 1,800 employees. He was also responsible for MWD’s daily water and power operations, and negotiated strategic agreements on the Colorado River, the 50-year renewal of Hoover Dam hydroelectric power, and on the operations of the State Water Project. Prior to becoming CEO, Kightlinger was MWD’s chief legal officer and a known expert on water law and the law of the Colorado River.
“We are fortunate to have Jeffrey assist us as we look at the recruitment process for a permanent general manager for Pasadena Water and Power. We are experiencing challenging times with the drought, water shortages, and the need for infrastructure investment. Jeffrey’s leadership and experience will be very beneficial, especially for our immediate priorities,” says Kurtz.
Kightlinger has an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Santa Clara University. He has served on a number of boards, including the Coro Foundation, the USC Price School of Public Policy, the UCLA Sustainability Advisory Board, the Climate Action Reserve, the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, the Los Angeles Economic Development Council, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Kightlinger is a resident of South Pasadena and, after retiring from MWD in July, has enjoyed hiking in the Sierras, taking trips with his kids, and attending baseball games in different cities.
About Pasadena Water and Power
Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) provides electricity to more than 65,000 customers within Pasadena. PWP delivers water to almost 38,000 households and businesses in Pasadena and adjacent communities in the San Gabriel Valley. As a community-owned utility, PWP is a not-for-profit public service owned and operated by the City of Pasadena for the benefit of its customers and the community. Its priorities are reliability, responsiveness to customers, reasonable rates and environmental stewardship.
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