Chief Administrative Officer Recruitment

We are excited to announce the recruitment for our next Chief Administrative Officer. Details on the position, the recruitment process, and working for Tacoma Public Utilities can be found on this page.

Application Deadline and How to Apply

This position will be open until filled, and the first review of applications will take place on January 30, 2023.

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.

Apply Online Now

For questions or additional information on this position, please contact our Human Resources Department at 253-591-5400.

Tacoma Public Utilities Leadership

Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) 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.

Roles and Essential Functions of the 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.
Education and Experience

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. 

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
Compensation and Benefits

This salary range for this position is $173,264 – $243,963.20 annually.

The City offers a comprehensive total rewards package with one of the best pension packages in the market. For complete details, please explore the City of Tacoma Benefits Guide and Tacoma Employee’s Retirement System website.

About Tacoma

The City of Tacoma is nestled along the shore of Commencement Bay in Washington State and offers many community parks, miles of beautiful waterfront, hiking and biking trails, golf courses, museums, and a world-class zoo and aquarium. Tacoma also serves as a getaway to some of the most magnificent natural wonders in the world, such as Puget Sound, Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic Peninsula.

Working for a public utility is a rewarding opportunity to work with people who are passionate about making a real, tangible difference.

For more information about the Tacoma area, visit

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workforce. 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.