November 20, 2007

Contact:           Darlene Battle, (213) 367-1368
Carol Tucker, (213) 367-1815



Former LADWP Board President Brings Strong Environmental Record and Leadership Experience to the Job

 LOS ANGELES – H. David Nahai, the former President of the LADWP Board of Commissioners, has been appointed today as LADWP general manager by the Board of Commissioners, effective Dec. 1, 2007. He will begin work on Dec. 1, 2007 as the temporary general manager of the Department pending confirmation by the City Council and Mayor.

Nahai, who was nominated by Mayor Villaraigosa during an Oct. 29 press conference, is expected to lead LADWP on an ambitious path to modernize the utility’s infrastructure and reduce its contribution to global warming.

“During his two years on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, David has proven himself to be a visionary who is highly qualified to lead LADWP’s transition to becoming a much greener utility,” said Board President Nick Patsaourous. “I believe he has the necessary experience, knowledge of the Department, and personal convictions to carry out the environmental policies and fiscally responsible practices that will best serve the ratepayers of Los Angeles.”

Nahai was appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa to the Board in September 2005 and elected both Vice President and President by his fellow commissioners. As President, Nahai led the effort to increase the Department’s use of renewable energy sources. Since 2005, LADWP has nearly tripled its renewable energy portfolio from 3 percent to 8 percent, and the Department is on track to reach its ultimate goals of 20 percent by 2010 and 35 percent by 2020.

“I am very honored to receive this appointment and to serve the people of Los Angeles in leading the LADWP to become the cleanest and greenest big city in America,” Nahai said. “Along with making this the greenest utility in the nation, my goals are to increase the sustainability of our water and power supplies, modernize the utility’s aging infrastructure to ensure high-quality, reliable water and power services, and develop a fiscal accountability program to protect the ratepayers.”

While serving on the Board, Nahai led the effort to audit six divisions within the Department (including procurement, custodial, security, and equal employment opportunity) that resulted in the implementation of new and modern management practices. An overhaul of the LA DWP’s contracting practices is also underway to ensure no contract is awarded unless it is in the best interest of the ratepayers. Nahai also spearheaded efforts to expedite reviews of personnel complaints.

Nahai and the Board of Commissioners have also begun to cut wasteful spending from the Department’s budget. Hearings were held to cut spending from last year’s budget and redirect money this year to fund the top priority of modernization.

Nahai, an attorney, began his career in the private sector close to three decades ago working at some of the nation’s largest and most respected law firms. For twenty of those years, he served as a partner or president, allowing him to hone his legal and financial skills, and earning him a reputation as a tough fiscal manager.

Nahai is widely recognized throughout California as a leading expert in water issues. With over ten years on the state’s Regional Water Quality Control Board, Nahai has been charged with safeguarding the quality of surface, ground and coastal waters while covering a jurisdiction of 11 million residents in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

At the Water Quality Board, Nahai served under both Democratic and Republican administrations first being appointed by Governor Pete Wilson, then re-appointed by both Governor Gray Davis and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Nahai was elected by his peers to an unprecedented four terms as Chairman of the Board in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2006. Nahai expects to announce his resignation from the Regional Board shortly.

Nahai has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations. In 2003, he received the Environmental Champion Award from the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and was twice honored for community leadership.

The Board set Nahai’s salary at a rate of $310,000 annually.  His bio follows below.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility, provides reliable, low-cost water and power services to Los Angeles residents and businesses in an environmentally responsible manner. LADWP services about 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water customers in Los Angeles. 


 H. David Nahai

H. David Nahai was appointed to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on September 23, 2005.  Commissioner Nahai was elected President and Vice-President of the Board. He resigned from the Board on October 26.

Nahai was the President of Nahai Law Corporation, a Century City law firm, specializing in real estate, corporate, environmental and commercial law. He divested his interest in the firm on October 31. Nahai holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in law from the London School of Economics and the University of California (Berkeley) and was a Visiting Scholar at U.C. Berkeley.

Nahai serves as a member of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. He has served three terms on the board since his appointment in 1997. He was elected Chairman of the Commission in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2006, serving an unprecedented four terms as Chairman. During Nahai’s tenure as Chairman, the Regional Board was awarded the Environmental Leadership Award by Keep California Beautiful, in recognition of the Regional Board’s work in the area of urban run-off pollution. More recently, the UCLA Institute of the Environment awarded the Regional Board an “A” grade for its efforts in this area.

Nahai also serves on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, and is currently its Vice-Chairman.  Additionally, Nahai is Vice President of the Board of the California League of Conservation Voters.

Nahai has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations. In 2003, he received the Environmental Champion Award from the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He has been twice honored for community leadership. Nahai is Chairman of the Bnai Zion Foundation and sits on the Boards of numerous charities, including the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, the Iranian American Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Foundation, and the Magbit Foundation. He is also a member of the Major Donors Committee of the Jewish National Fund. Nahai is a Director of Security Pacific Bank and serves on its Executive Committee.