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Cathy Bailey

Executive Director, Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Cathy Bernardino Bailey is the Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works and is the first woman and African American woman to lead the independent water utility since its formation over 205 years ago. Cathy leads 600 employees in providing drinking water and stormwater services to over 1.2 million customers in the region and is the leader behind Cincinnati’s nationally recognized lead service line replacement program. Cathy has distinguished herself as a leader throughout her career, focusing on communications, strategic thinking, innovation, outreach, and teamwork to bring forward solutions that positively impact the community. Cathy has served in many capacities in the industry, including as the Policy Committee Chair, Environmental Justice Committee co-chair, and a board member for AMWA and the Water Research Foundation Treasurer. Known to many in the industry as the First Lady of Water (or FLOW), Cathy’s knowledge, impact, and reach are great and because of her storytelling, drive, and goals to reduce lead in water. In 2022, Cathy was selected by the US Environmental Protection Agency for a temporary assignment as a Senior Advisor to assist with establishing the lead service line accelerator program to guide 40 communities in creating their replacement programs. Cathy holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and has been with Greater Cincinnati Water Works for over 31 years.