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MWRA's Board of Directors
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

MWRA's Board of Directors

MWRA is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors who are appointed by the Governor or directly or indirectly by elected officials in MWRA customer communities.

Statutory Make-up of the Board

The make-up of the MWRA Board of Directors was established in the MWRA enabling act, (Chapter 372 of the Acts of 1984), and amended in August, 2010:


Board Meeting Agendas and Vote Extracts
MWRA Board of Directors
Meeting Schedule
MWRA Organization & Management
By-Laws (PDF)
MWRA Board of Directors
MWRA Advisory Board
Federal Court Reports
MWRA's 5-Year Progress Report
Welcome to MWRA.COM
MWRA Board of Directors

Gubernatorial Appointees
Terms: Co-terminus with the Governor
Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Resident of the Merrimack River Basin Brian Peña
Resident of Connecticut River Basin

Appointed by the Mayor of the City of Quincy

Appointed by the Council President of the Town of Winthrop

Three representatives of Boston, appointed by the Mayor. Terms: Co-terminus with Mayor

Three representatives appointed by the MWRA Advisory Board

Biographies - MWRA Board of Directors

Kathleen A. Theoharides

Kathleen A. Theoharides, Chair
Appointed May 2019

Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides oversees the Commonwealth's six environmental, natural resource and energy regulatory agencies. Secretary Theoharides joined the Baker-Polito Administration in 2016 as Director of Climate and Global Warming Solutions in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. As Director and later Assistant Secretary, Secretary Theoharides guided the development and implementation of the Administration’s efforts to safeguard Massachusetts from the impacts of climate change. Secretary Theoharides was promoted to Undersecretary in 2019, and continued to lead the Commonwealth’s efforts on climate change. Secretary Theoharides received a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College and Masters of Science in Ecology and Environmental Biology from University of Massachusetts-Boston.


John J. Carroll, Vice-Chairman
Appointed February 1985

Mr. Carroll is retired after serving as the Town Manager of Norwood for 39 years. He previously served as Superintendent of Public Works and Town Engineer for Lexington. From 1974 to 1978, Mr. Carroll was Commissioner of Public Works for Massachusetts. He graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Civil Engineering.


Andrew M. Pappastergion, Secretary
Appointed June 1997

Mr. Pappastergion is the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works for the Town of Brookline. Prior to that he was Director of the Water and Sewer Division for 25 years, and previously served as a project engineer for design and construction of improvements to the utility infrastructure. He has served as an active member of the MWRA Advisory Board since 1985, and was Chairman for five years. Mr. Pappastergion is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, is licensed as a Registered Professional Engineer and holds a Grade 4 Operator's License for Drinking Water Supply Facilities in Massachusetts.


Christopher Cook
Appointed January 2019

Christopher Cook was appointed to Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston in June 2018. Mr. Cook is responsible for leading the Cabinet in achieving its mission of enhancing the quality of life in Boston by protecting air, water, climate, and land resources, and preserving and improving the integrity of Boston's architectural and historic resources. Mr. Cook received his Master’s in Public Administration from Suffolk University and a BA in English/Theatre from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He lives in West Roxbury with his wife and two daughters.


Kevin L. Cotter
Appointed August 2002

Mr. Cotter is retired after serving 25 years as Business Manager Financial Secretary Treasurer. He joined Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 12 in 1966 and was an active member, holding a variety of elected and appointed positions. While he was Business Manager Financial Secretary Treasurer, Mr. Cotter served as Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Vice President of the Boston Building Trades Council, and Executive Board member of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council. Mr. Cotter also has experience in the financial field; he was a Vice President at State Street Bank and served on the board of the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency. Mr. Cotter also served as a Commissioner of the Quincy Housing Authority.

Paul J. Flanagan

Paul E. Flanagan
Appointed September 2012

Mr. Flanagan is the Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Winthrop. Prior to his appointment as Fire Chief in 2008, Mr. Flanagan served as Captain and Operations Officer for 21 years and has been a member of the Winthrop Fire Department since 1978. Mr. Flanagan serves as Winthrop’s jurisdictional point of contact (JPOC) for Boston’s Urban Areas Security Initiative and continues to be an active participant in metropolitan Boston’s emergency planning community. Mr. Flanagan studied electrical science at the Franklin Institute of Technology and Fire Science at North Shore Community College.


Joseph C. Foti
Appointed April 2001

Mr. Foti is the Deputy Administrator and Chief of Operations at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division. Previously, he was the Director of Public Works for the City of Chelsea. Mr. Foti also spent fourteen years with the City of Somerville as the Water Superintendent and then as the Director of Operations for the Department of Public Works. He has been an active member of the MWRA Advisory Board since 1990, serving as Chairman from 1997 to 2001.  Mr. Foti received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University while working in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Legislative Aide.  He holds several state-regulated certifications, including a Grade 4 Operator's License for Drinking Water Supply Facilities.

MWRA Board Member Biran Pena Brian Peña
Appointed June 2015

Mr. Peña is the Commissioner of the Lawrence Water & Sewer Department. Prior to that, he was an engineer at Woodard & Curran.  Mr. Peña has earned both a Masters and Bachelors degree in civil engineering and an MBA in accounting and finance from UMass-Lowell. He holds a number of water and wastewater licenses and is a registered professional engineer.

Henry F. Vitale Henry F. Vitale
Appointed January 2013

Mr. Vitale is the Executive Director of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Vitale served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for 18 years and has been with the Commission since 1992.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Boston College and is a certified public accountant.  Mr. Vitale has many years’ experience in the field of accounting and finance and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Society of Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a member of the Government Finance Officers Association, the American Water Works Association and several other community and professional organizations.

John J. "Jack" Walsh

John J. Walsh
Appointed June 2009

Mr. Walsh is a retired manufacturing engineer. A lifelong Quincy resident and environmental community activist, he has been Chairman of the Nut Island Citizens Advisory Committee since 1980, and also served on the Braintree-Weymouth, Neponset and Hingham Citizen Advisory Committees.

Jennifer L. Wolowicz Jennifer L. Wolowicz
Appointed March 2013

Ms. Wolowicz is the Deputy Town Administrator for the Town of South Hadley. Prior to that she was the Personnel Officer/Chief Procurement Officer for seven years. Ms. Wolowicz received an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from Holyoke Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Elms College, along with a double major in marketing, and a Masters of Public Administration Degree from Westfield State.

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Excerpted from the Enabling Act, Chapter 372, Acts of 1984:

"Each member of the board of directors shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified and each appointed member of the board of directors shall be eligible for reappointment. Each member of the board of directors appointed to fill a vacancy on the board shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the vacant position."

"Six members of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of six members shall be necessary and shall suffice for any action taken by the board of directors." ... "No vacancy in the membership of the board of directors shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise the powers of the board of directors. The members of the board of directors shall serve without compensation but each member shall be reimbursed for all reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of his duties."

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Updated June 15, 2020

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