The Dublin San Ramon Services District is set to be under new leadership next month, with the agency's current general manager poised for retirement after seven years on the job.
The DSRSD Board of Directors voted unanimously on Nov. 7 to appoint assistant general manager Jan Lee as the successor of current General Manager Dan McIntyre, with the change set to go into effect in late December.
"It has been my great pleasure to work with Dan McIntyre over the last several years as he has navigated the agency through several challenges, including the district office flood, droughts and a pandemic," Lee said in a statement Nov. 9. "As I step into the role of general manager, I look forward to working closely with the board to serve our community and protect the environment."
Lee, a longtime resident of the Tri-Valley who currently lives in Pleasanton with her husband and two daughters, will become the first woman to lead the water and sewer agency in its 70-year history.
She has been second in command to McIntyre for more than three years, having been appointed as DSRSD's assistant general manager in 2020. She came into the position with nearly 25 years of relevant experience, including positions with the city of Hayward as assistant director of public works and utilities and water resources manager after a tenure at the East Bay Municipal Utility District as a supervising engineer and project manager of the Richmond Advanced Recycled Water Project.
Her interest in water and public utilities extends even further back, stemming from a fascination with the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding water systems that came to be at the forefront of her research as an undergraduate student in civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis.
"The past three and a half years have been fantastic," Lee told the Weekly in an interview Monday. "This is really an outstanding organization. I have really benefited from the leadership and mentorship of Dan McIntyre."
Lee hit the ground running at the district in March 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns coming right as she stepped into her current role.
"It's been a very interesting time for DSRSD," Lee said. "We've gone from drought, to wildfire, to the pandemic."
While she's been in the thick of the increasing number of challenges facing the agency and other utilities agencies throughout the state, Lee emphasized that she also sees opportunities for change and evolution in the current era.
"I'm hopeful that the pandemic is mostly in the rearview mirror," Lee said. "Over the last couple of years, my efforts have really focused on increasing the district's resiliency in terms of water supply and working within the organization to cultivate the next generation of talent."
One aspect of this will be looking toward a replacement for her current assistant GM position, which she said is on her mind but won't be happening in the immediate future.
"I'm a very collaborative leader," Lee said. "I'm very inclusive. I definitely believe in teamwork. As I progress in my career I've been both confident with what I know but humbled in what I don't know, and I need to have a strong team that surrounds me."
Fostering a collaborative environment will be part of carrying on McIntyre's legacy, she said, as well as something that his mentorship over the past several years has prepared her for.
"I both worked for him and I felt that we worked in partnership as well, and that's something I think I bring to this organization, is partnership not just externally but with our staff as well," Lee said.
Lee is set to take over on Dec. 23 as general manager of DSRSD, which provides water and wastewater service in Dublin and parts of San Ramon as well as sewer service in Pleasanton by contract.
"With the retirement of an excellent leader like Dan, we could not have picked a more suitable candidate for this position," DSRSD Director Dinesh Govindarao said in a statement. "I am impressed by Jan's technical expertise and the strong relationships she has built with our regional partners."