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MWRA is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors who are appointed by the Governor or directly or indirectly by elected officials in MWRA customer communities.


The make-up of the MWRA Board of Directors was established in the MWRA enabling act, (Chapter 372 of the Acts of 1984), and amended in August, 2010:

Gubernatorial Appointees
Term: Co-terminus with Governor
Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Chair
Joel A. Barrera
Jennifer L. Wolowicz
Appointed by the Mayor of the City of Quincy John J. Walsh
Appointed by the Council President of the Town of Winthrop Paul E. Flanagan
Three representatives of Boston, appointed by the Mayor.
Term: Co-terminus with Mayor
Kevin L. Cotter
Henry F. Vitale
Brian R. Swett
Three representatives appointed by the MWRA Advisory Board John J. Carroll
Joseph C. Foti
Andrew M. Pappastergion


Maeve Vallely Bartlett, MWRA Board of Directors Chair

Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Chair
Appointed June 2014

Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett has over twenty six years of experience developing and implementing environmental law and policy in both the administrative and legislative arenas within federal and state government. She has previously held environmental positions within the Commonwealth including Director of the MEPA Office, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Planning, Assistant General Manager for Environmental Compliance at the MBTA and former General Counsel at EEA. She has also served as Senior Enforcement Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Most recently she served as the Undersecretary of the Environment until her appointment as the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs in June 2014. A resident of Newton, Vallely Bartlett earned an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Wheaton College, and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.


John J. Carroll, Vice-Chairman
Appointed February 1985

Mr. Carroll is the Town Manager of Norwood. He previously served as Superintendent of Public Works and Town Engineer for Lexington. From 1974 to 1978, Mr. Carroll was Commissioner of Public Works for Massachusetts. He graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Civil Engineering.


Joseph C. Foti, Secretary
Appointed August 2001

Mr. Foti is the Director of Public Works for the City of Chelsea. Prior to that, he was the Director of Operations for the City of Somerville's Department of Public Works for five years and Water Superintendent for nine years. He has been an active member of the MWRA Advisory Board since 1990, serving as Chairman from 1997 to 2001. Mr. Foti received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University while working in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Legislative Aide. He holds several state-regulated certifications, including a Grade 4 Operator's License for Drinking Water Supply Facilities.

Joel Barrera

Joel A. Barrera
Appointed December 2007

Mr. Barrera was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in November 2008. For the prior five years, he served at MAPC as legislative director and director of the Metro Mayors Coalition, led a high-level 25-year review of municipal finances, facilitated the work of the Municipal Health Insurance Working Group, and directed an effort to create an $11 million state program to support regional youth violence prevention programs. He organizes regional projects among twelve Boston area communities, and is responsible for all legislative advocacy on behalf of the MAPC and the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies. Mr. Barrera is also the founder and executive director of the Commonwealth Seminar, whose mission is to open the doors of state government to underrepresented groups.  A graduate of Oxford and Princeton Universities, his previous positions include director of the Massachusetts Senate's Post Audit and Oversight Bureau, market analyst and regional marketing coordinator for the Railroad Commission of Texas, and community organizer for the Industrial Areas Foundation in San Antonio and Brownsfield, Texas.


Kevin L. Cotter
Appointed August 2002

Mr. Cotter is retired, after serving as the Business Manager and Financial Secretary-Treasurer for the Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 12, Boston from 1997 to 2014. He joined the Local 12 in 1966 and has continued to be an active Union member, holding a variety of elected and appointed offices. Mr. Cotter currently serves as Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, and the Vice President of the Boston Building Trades Council. Mr. Cotter also has experience in the financial field. He was a Vice President at State Street Bank and served on the Board of the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency.

Paul J. Flanagan

Paul E. Flanagan
Appointed September 2012

Mr. Flanagan is the Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Winthrop. Prior to his appointment as Fire Chief in 2008, Mr. Flanagan served as Captain and Operations Officer for 21 years and has been a member of the Winthrop Fire Department since 1978. Mr. Flanagan serves as Winthrop’s jurisdictional point of contact (JPOC) for Boston’s Urban Areas Security Initiative and continues to be an active participant in metropolitan Boston’s emergency planning community. Mr. Flanagan studied electrical science at the Franklin Institute of Technology and Fire Science at North Shore Community College.


Andrew M. Pappastergion
Appointed June 1997

Mr. Pappastergion is the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works for the Town of Brookline. Prior to that he was Director of the Water and Sewer Division for 25 years, and previously served as a project engineer for design and construction of improvements to the utility infrastructure. He has served as an active member of the MWRA Advisory Board since 1985, and was Chairman for five years. Mr. Pappastergion is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, is licensed as a Registered Professional Engineer and holds a Grade 4 Operator's License for Drinking Water Supply Facilities in Massachusetts.

Brian R. Swett

Brian R. Swett
Appointed August, 2012

Brian Swett was appointed Chief of Environment and Energy for the City of Boston in August 2012, responsible for environmental and energy policy. The Environmental and Energy Services Cabinet is comprised of the Inspectional Services Department, the Environment Department, the Parks and Recreational Department’s Open Space Planning, and Boston’s Recycling Program. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Swett was employed at Boston Properties overseeing LEED and sustainability initiatives and at the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Environmental Innovation. Mr. Swett received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and International Relations from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan.

Henry F. Vitale Henry F. Vitale
Appointed January 2013

Mr. Vitale is the Executive Director of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Vitale served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for 18 years and has been with the Commission since 1992.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Boston College and is a certified public accountant.  Mr. Vitale has many years’ experience in the field of accounting and finance and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Society of Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a member of the Government Finance Officers Association, the American Water Works Association and several other community and professional organizations.

John J. "Jack" Walsh

John J. Walsh
Appointed June 2009

Mr. Walsh is a retired manufacturing engineer. A lifelong Quincy resident and environmental community activist, he has been Chairman of the Nut Island Citizens Advisory Committee since 1980, and also served on the Braintree-Weymouth, Neponset and Hingham Citizen Advisory Committees.

Jennifer L. Wolowicz Jennifer L. Wolowicz
Appointed March 2013

Ms. Wolowicz is the Assistant Town Administrator for the Town of South Hadley. Prior to that she was the Personnel Officer/Chief Procurement Officer for seven years. She serves on both the Water and Golf Commissions for the City of Chicopee and also is a member of the Chicopee Municipal Employees Credit Union Board of Directors. Ms. Wolowicz received an Associate's Degree in Business Management from Holyoke Community College and Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Elms College, along with a double major in marketing.

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Excerpted from the Enabling Act, Chapter 372, Acts of 1984:

"Each member of the board of directors shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified and each appointed member of the board of directors shall be eligible for reappointment. Each member of the board of directors appointed to fill a vacancy on the board shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the vacant position."

"Six members of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of six members shall be necessary and shall suffice for any action taken by the board of directors." ... "No vacancy in the membership of the board of directors shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise the powers of the board of directors. The members of the board of directors shall serve without compensation but each member shall be reimbursed for all reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of his duties."

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Updated November 18, 2014

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