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MWRA's Organization and Management
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

MWRA Enabling Act

Amended August 9, 2010 (html)

Approved December 19, 1984 (PDF)
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MWRA Org Chart

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MWRA has the power to adopt budgets, enter into contracts, incur debt (subject to statutory debt limit) and assess total costs on customer communities.

Public Oversight

Federal and state regulations and other public oversight:

  • Environmental standards set by the U.S. Clean Water Act (wastewater) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (drinking water) are enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and others.
  • MWRA is accountable to numerous others ranging from the Federal Court (Boston Harbor Project court order), State Inspector General, State Auditor, the investment community, project neighbors and the public.

Critical Constituents

  • Ratepayers
  • Local Elected Officials
  • Local DPW Directors
  • Legislators
  • Governor


Current staff level is 1,205 employees.

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.


Executive Director Frederick A. Laskey is responsible for implementing MWRA programs, policies and procedures at the direction of the Board. Five divisions carry out the MWRA's mission.

Executive Director Frederick A. Laskey, Executive Director
Operations Division
David W. Coppes, Chief Operating Officer
Affirmative Action Patterson A. Riley, Special Assistant for Affirmative Action and Compliance
Finance Division Thomas J. Durkin, Director
Law Division
Administration Division Michele S. Gillen, Director
Tunnel Redundancy Program Kathleen Murtagh, Director

MWRA Senior Management

Executive Director Frederick A. Laskey is responsible for implementing MWRA programs, policies and procedures at the direction of the Board. Five divisions carry out the MWRA's mission.

Frederick A. Laskey, Executive Director
Appointed May 2001

Before joining MWRA in June 2001, Mr. Laskey served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue from 1991 to 2001, managing the Commonwealth's tax administration, child support enforcement and local services. He served as Secretary of Administration and Finance from 1998 to 1999. As Secretary, he was the Governor's chief financial advisor, with oversight of the state's $20 billion annual budget and managed the Cabinet Secretariat that oversees the entire state workforce. Before joining the Cabinet, Mr. Laskey served as Senior Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue from 1994 to 1998, and was designated by the Commissioner to serve as Assistant Secretary in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Mr. Laskey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

David W. Coppes, P.E., Chief Operating Officer
Appointed February 2018

The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for all waterworks and sewerage operations and service delivery; planning, design, construction and start-up of capital construction projects; leadership within the operating areas to achieve cost effectiveness; and support for MWRA's objectives of financial and program accountability. From 2014 to 2018, prior to his appointment to MWRA's Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Coppes served at MWRA’s Director of Waterworks responsible for all aspects of water operations. He also serves as the liaison to DCR's Department of Watershed Management, including operation of the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs. From 2002 to 2014 Mr. Coppes was the Director of Western Operations, which included the operation and maintenance of MWRA's transmission and treatment systems. Prior to that, Mr. Coppes held various engineering positions within the agency. Before coming to MWRA in 1993, Mr. Coppes worked for the engineering firm of Fay, Spofford & Thorndike as well as E.J. Flynn Engineers, Inc; he also served in the U.S. Peace Corps. Mr. Coppes is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is a Professional Engineer and holds a 4D Water Distribution license and a 2T Water Treatment license. Mr. Coppes has served and continues to serve on several local, state, and national committees.

Patterson A. Riley, Special Assistant for Affirmative Action and Compliance
Appointed May 2004

Mr. Riley was appointed Special Assistant for Affirmative Action and Compliance in May 2004. Prior to his appointment, he had served as the Associated Special Assistant of that Department since November, 1993. As Special Assistant, Mr. Riley is responsible for the development of policies and plans for affirmative action in employment, procurement and contracting in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. He also oversees the development of the MWRA’s annual Affirmative Action Plan as regards all aspects of employment as well as the MBE/WBE/DBR Program. Mr. Riley is the ADA Coordinator for the Authority and co-chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup. Mr.Riley holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science and History from UMASS Boston.

Thomas J. Durkin, Director of Finance
Appointed January 2015

Mr. Durkin was appointed Director of Finance in January 2015. Prior to his appointment, he had served as MWRA’s Treasurer since January 2008. Before joining MWRA, Mr. Durkin was the Deputy City Manager for the City of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Mr. Durkin also served as Finance Director for the Cities of Chelsea and Beverly, Massachusetts and as Treasurer for the City of Peabody, Massachusetts. Mr. Durkin holds a Master of Science in Corporate Finance from Bentley College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Carolyn Francisco Murphy, General Counsel
Appointed July 2018

Prior to her appointment in July 2018, Ms. Francisco Murphy had served as MWRA’s Director of Procurement since January 2016. She has over 20 years of contract law and litigation experience. Prior to joining the MWRA, Ms. Francisco Murphy was a partner at the law firm of Corwin and Corwin, a firm specializing in private and public construction law where she represented owners, contractors, subcontractors, sureties and suppliers in all aspects of construction law including litigation, mediation, arbitrations and appellate and administrative proceedings. In addition to litigation related matters Ms. Francisco Murphy drafted and negotiated complex construction contracts, analyzed and advised clients on documents governing real estate transactions, and advised clients on MBE/WBE, prevailing wage, licensing and labor issues.

Michele S. Gillen, Director of Administration
Appointed January 2015

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Gillen had served as the Deputy Director of Administration and Finance since 2009. She has been with the MWRA since 1993, serving in a number of roles. In her current role, Ms. Gillen is responsible for Human Resources, MIS, Procurement, Occupational Health and Safety, Real Property and Fleet Services. She also serves as the co-chair of the MWRA Diversity, Equity and  Inclusion Workgroup. Ms. Gillen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fordham University and a Master of Science degree in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Kathy Murtagh, Director, Tunnel Redundancy Program
Appointed April 2018

Ms. Murtagh is responsible for MWRA’s Metropolitan Tunnel Redundancy Program, which includes the planning, design and construction two new deep rock tunnels to provide redundancy to the existing City Tunnel, City Tunnel Extension and Dorchester Tunnel to ensure reliable water service. She has more than 28 years of geotechnical engineering experience overseeing a broad range of civil engineering projects. Prior to her appointment in April 2018, Ms. Murtagh served as a Vice President at CDM Smith. Earlier in her career she was a Geotechnical Engineer at Haley and Aldrich, Inc. Ms. Murtagh has extensive underground and tunneling experience, having worked on a wide range of tunneling projects of varying sizes and construction methods.

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Updated February 22, 2023