Metropolitan Names First Chief Equal Employment Opportunity Officer to Support, Strengthen Workforce Culture

Former Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority Deputy Chief Jonaura Wisdom to begin April 18

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has hired its first Chief Equal Employment Opportunity officer to help implement a suite of changes that builds and reaffirms a workplace culture of inclusion, respect, safety and accountability, the agency announced today.

Jonaura Wisdom, deputy chief of civil rights, racial equity and inclusion for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), will begin leading Metropolitan’s EEO Office, reporting to General Manager Adel Hagekhalil, on April 18.

“Since Metropolitan was founded nearly a century ago, we have become a leader in the water industry, but we also must be a leader in establishing best-in-class EEO policies and systems to safeguard our workforce,” Hagekhalil said. “With more than two decades of experience, I am confident Jonaura will help us achieve the best practices that strengthen our agency so that we can better serve our employees and our communities.”

Wisdom joined Metro in 2014 as a senior EEO program investigator. She advanced to serve as director of EEO and civil rights and interim chief ethics officer and chief civil rights and inclusion officer until she was appointed to her most-recent deputy chief position. Prior to her tenure at Metro, she led EEO programs at Florida International University in Miami and at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Metropolitan’s EEO Office is responsible for ensuring a work environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for both Metropolitan employees and job applicants. As chief EEO officer, Wisdom will develop a strategic and organizational plan to establish a new EEO Office and investigator unit. She will direct the EEO Office’s activities, including development and maintenance of its operational policies and programs and training programs, and oversee the office as it investigates EEO complaints, ensuring they are conducted in a timely, impartial, and independent manner.

The chief EEO officer is one of three new positions created by Hagekhalil. The district recently announced its selection of Chief Sustainability, Resiliency and Innovation Officer Liz Crosson and is finalizing a search for a new diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

Note to editors: Photo of Chief EEO Officer Jonaura Wisdom is available.


Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile

Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, mobile