Mayor Walsh Announces Search for New Commissioner of Water

Published on June 28, 2024

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the City of Syracuse is launching a search for a new Commissioner of Water. The current commissioner, Joseph Awald, will leave his role effective July 12 for a position with a private sector engineering and design firm. Mayor Walsh appointed Robert Brandt, Deputy Commissioner of Water, to serve as Interim Commissioner.


The City is seeking a Commissioner of Water with outstanding professional leadership ability to manage the department. The Commissioner is responsible for maintaining and upgrading the city's water infrastructure and overseeing direction of activities undertaken by the Department of Water, as well as duties related to budgeting, operations, maintenance, and capital improvement. The complete job posting is


“After years of dedicated service ensuring our community’s access to clean and reliable water, we are grateful to Joseph Awald for his commitment and leadership,” said Mayor Walsh. “Under his direction, the Department of Water upgraded critical parts of our water infrastructure. Commissioner Awald leaves the department positioned for continued progress and quality service to our constituents.”


Awald joined the City in 2016 as a water system manager in the Department of Water. Mayor Walsh named him Commissioner in January 2018. During Awald’s tenure, the department secured $23 million in grants for capital projects to aid in the reconstruction and upgrades of the water infrastructure, including an expansive new program to replace water services that contain lead components.


The Syracuse Water Department is responsible for constructing, maintaining, and operating facilities for the supply and distribution of a safe, potable water supply for the City of Syracuse.