Black History Month Spotlight: Angela Charles

In honor of Black History Month, we recognize our Charlotte Water Director, Angela Charles, who is the first African-American woman to serve as our Director. Angela has been a City of Charlotte employee since 1988 and served as the chief of operations and division manager for Charlotte Water before stepping into her role as Director in January 2018. She transitioned to the dual role of Assistant City Manager and General Services Interim Director in July 2019, before returning to her passion of serving as the Charlotte Water Director in October 2020.

“Angela is a valuable leader in Charlotte Water. She has been instrumental in affecting change and improving processes for nearly 1 million customers throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones.

As director, Angela is responsible for the countywide water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and collection, utilities planning, and most recently the city’s storm water system along with management activities. She leads a staff of approximately 1,200 with an operating budget of over $546 million, and a five-year Community Investment Program budget of approximately $2.46 billion. Charlotte Water maintains more than 11,000 miles of water, sewer and storm water pipelines, with nearly 300,000 active water connections countywide.

Angela holds a Master of Public Administration degree from UNC Charlotte and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University. She was the 2017 chair of the North Carolina American Water Works Association and North Carolina Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA) and is a Grade A water distribution operator. Angela has received many water industry awards, including the prestigious Warren G. Fuller Award and the Arthur Sidney Bedell Award.

Charlotte Water Directors, from left to right: Doug Bean, Barry Gullet, Joe Stowe, and Angela Charles (photo taken in 2019)