Clifford C. Chan to be named EBMUD General Manager

OAKLAND - The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Board of Directors has selected Clifford C. Chan as the District’s next general manager, succeeding Alexander R. Coate who served in the role for nearly ten years. Chan, a 23-year employee of EBMUD, has served most recently as the water utility’s Director of Operations and Maintenance.

The Board will officially appoint Chan during its regular June 9, 2020 meeting.

“The EBMUD Board of Directors is pleased to select Clifford Chan for this important position leading one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the western U.S.,” said Board President Marguerite Young. “Clifford has a proven track record of working effectively with internal and external stakeholders, upholding the mission of EBMUD as a vital service provider, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, and successfully navigating the challenges posed by climate change, power shutoffs, COVID-19, and other emerging issues.”

Chan, 49, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined EBMUD in 1997 as a Junior Engineer. In February 2018, Chan was appointed to lead EBMUD’s Operations and Maintenance Department, which accounts for roughly half of EBMUD’s 2,000 water and wastewater employees. Chan takes the helm as EBMUD prepares to step into its second century of operations.

“It is an honor to be chosen to lead EBMUD during this critical time in our history,” said Chan. “We face many challenges and changes as we near our centennial, but I am confident that with the support of our dedicated staff, management, and Board of Directors, we will continue to serve and support our diverse East Bay community, grow our local economy and protect our natural resources.”

As Operations and Maintenance Department Director, Chan implemented the District’s plan to significantly increase the number of miles of pipes replaced each year, putting EBMUD on track to reach 17.5 miles this year, up from around 8 miles in 2010. Chan managed a $180 million annual operating budget and a five-year, $170 million capital improvement plan. He also led the District’s response during the public safety power shutoffs last fall and during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Chan is a strong advocate for using new technology to reduce water loss, create operational efficiencies and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and new regulations. Under Chan’s direction, EBMUD has significantly expanded its water loss reduction efforts including the use of many new innovative technologies such as satellite leak detection, led the District’s climate change and energy management strategy development, and materials investments and environmental compliance.

During his EBMUD tenure, Chan also has served as Manager of Maintenance and Construction and Manager of Water Treatment and Distribution. Prior to joining EBMUD, Chan served as an engineering consultant. He is a certified California Professional Engineer and serves on committees for the American Water Works Association and the California Urban Water Agencies.

Chan, a lifelong Bay Area resident, lives in the East Bay with his wife. They are the parents of two grown sons.

Audio of the June 9, 2020 Board meeting will be streamed live at To participate via telephone, call 1-855-369-0450. Enter participant pin 49-281-364# when prompted. Please mute your phone when not speaking.

Founded in 1923, EBMUD is a not-for-profit public agency. Learn more.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District has a proud history of providing high-quality drinking 
water for 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. EBMUD’s 
wastewater treatment serves 685,000 customers and protects the San Francisco Bay.

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