Chief Administrative Officer

Chief Administrative Officer
City of Tacoma Management Services
 Tacoma, Washington
Job Description

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Tacoma Public Utilities has been publicly owned since 1893 and operates entirely from revenues from the sale of services. The Utility is governed by the Public Utility Board, the members of which appoint the Director of Utilities. The five-member board oversees the operations of Tacoma’s electric and water utilities and industrial freight-switching railroad. The Tacoma City Council appoints the board members, and they serve five-year terms, unpaid.

The executive leadership team of Tacoma Public Utilities is lead by the Utility Director, Jackie Flowers supported by the Chief Administrative Officer, Superintendents of Water, Power, Rail, Customer Services Manager, and Safety Director.

Chief Administrative Officer

The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) serves as part of the executive leadership team of Tacoma Public Utilities. Under the direction of the Utility Director, the CAO oversees the Management Services Office function and staff. The CAO is responsible for directing, planning, organizing, and executing central administrative and other essential services supporting the mission and strategies of Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) and its major divisions Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water, Tacoma Rail, and Customer Services, etc.

The CAO is responsible for strategic management, analysis, planning and reporting processes, and the oversight, planning and direction of TPU budgets and analysis, enterprise-wide risk management, performance management and records management sections of the Management Services Office.

This role serves as the primary financial advisor at TPU, and also manages the city-wide Public Disclosure Office, TPU’s organizational change management, and the TPU Emergency Management function. The CAO is an advisor to the Utilities Director, Superintendents, and other senior leaders and, often serves as TPU's senior representative on committees, boards, and projects.


The Chief Administrative Officer will hit the ground running with the following initiatives:

  • Enhance and expand enterprise risk management program coordinated with organization-wide subject matter experts
  • Lead discussions related to service level agreement updates and key performance indicator tracking
  • Participate in Tacoma Public Utilities 10-year management review
  • Participate in Tacoma Public Utilities organization wide strategy refresh
  • Support Public Utility Board update to Strategic Directives including identifying key performance indicators

Essential Functions

  • Leads, directs, assigns, manages, performs, and oversee all aspects of Management Services Office including team leadership, budgeting, analysis, board and executive reporting, enterprise-wide risk management, service level agreements, and performance metrics.
  • Oversees the City-wide Public Disclosure Office and Tacoma Public Utilities Emergency Management function.
  • Participates, collaborates, and advises as a member of Tacoma Public Utilities executive team including working with the Public Utility Board and other senior leaders.
  • Provides executive level financial direction and consultation to the Utility Director, Executive Team, Public Utility Board, and division professionals.
  • Maps out and coordinates policy maker presentations related to budget and rates development.
  • Supports continued development of affordability indices to inform modifications to income assistance programs.
  • Coordinates organization-wide budget and rates development, monitoring, and reporting for all utility and support divisions. Coordinates with other City finance leaders.
  • Assists with developing and implementing policies and strategic objectives through leadership of operational areas.
  • Supports continued development of emergency management program under federated model for Tacoma Public Utilities businesses and facility locations.
  • Oversees development, monitoring and validation of annual business unit goals and related incentive programs.
  • Other Duties as assigned
  • May serve as Acting Utility Director in the Director’s absence.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


We are seeking candidates to serve as our next Chief Administrative Officer who possess a relevant combination of education, demonstrated experience, and skills in some or all the following areas*:

  • Bachelor's Degree in business or public administration, engineering or related field (preferably in Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, or Economics.
  • 10 years including prior supervisory, managerial and/or subject-matter expert experience. Preferably in planning, strategy, and/or business communication.
  • CPA or MBA preferred.

*Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet all of the qualifications listed. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one from a less traditional background. If you have transferable experience, please tell us about it.

Knowledge & Skills

The Ideal Candidate

We are looking for an experienced executive-level leader with demonstrated experience leading a team of leaders and professionals. Ideally the successful candidate will possess:

  • Experienced, resilient leader skilled at change management
  • Strong collaborator, experienced operating in a federated organizational model
  • A demonstrated commitment to anti-racist transformation in the workplace and delivery of services
  • Increasingly responsible experience in the management of shared services
  • Previous experience in a Chief Financial Officer role in the public sector and/or utility related finance
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing. Ability to communicate complex topics to a broad spectrum of audiences. Strong listening skills with appropriate follow-up both verbally and in writing
  • Proven experience overseeing the development of a budget and excellent financial acumen
  • Experience overseeing large, complex departments, especially shared services

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

This recruitment is being managed by Joanna Hambrick (; if you would like to be notified of similar opportunities or stay connected with things going on at Tacoma Public Utilities and the City of Tacoma, connect with me on LinkedIn!

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.


Interested individuals should apply online and attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position.

Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates and appointment is subject to passing a background check.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

If you have any additional questions regarding this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400 before 4pm on the closing date of this posting.