March 11, 2010
LAURA SPANJIAN TO BECOME HOUSTON SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR
Will end campaign for District 8 Supervisor and resign from SF DCCC
Laura Spanjian, Assistant General Manager for External Affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), has accepted an offer from Houston Mayor Annise Parker to become the Sustainability Director for Houston, Texas—the fourth largest city in the US—beginning next month.
“Laura Spanjian brings years of municipal experience in crafting innovative environmental policies that green our cities and save people money,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “Her knowledge of city government and her key role in creating and promoting major environmental projects will be invaluable assets as we strengthen our focus on making Houston one of the greenest cities in the nation.”
Spanjian will resign next month from the SFPUC, where she has served since 2004. She is responsible for the agency’s sustainability planning, legislative affairs at the local, state and federal level, communications and public education. She will begin work as Houston’s Sustainability Director in April.
“I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to work directly with Mayor Annise Parker and her staff and contribute to a cleaner environment which is, of course, not just a local issue,” said Spanjian. “Sadly, this also requires me to move from our wonderful city and end my campaign for District 8 Supervisor. I am deeply appreciative of the hard work of the many supporters, volunteers and donors who have contributed to my campaign.”
At the SFPUC, Spanjian oversees the legislative and public outreach efforts in support of some of the City’s most important environmental and economic projects. She oversees a nearly $6 million budget and more than 45 staff members. She played an instrumental role in securing environmental, project, financial and rate increase approvals for over 80 projects in a ten-year $4.3 billion Water System Improvement Program. She led final negotiations and approval for an urban 5 MW solar project, giving San Francisco the nation’s largest municipal solar installation. She launched innovative environmental initiatives that help residents and businesses go green and save money, including GoSolarSF, a $10 million solar incentive program, and SFGreasecycle, a program that recycles restaurant grease into biofuel. She also directed the passage of numerous state legislative bills, including the expansion of indoor and outdoor graywater use and ensuring replacement of inefficient water fixtures in residents and businesses.
Prior to joining the SFPUC in 2004, Spanjian coordinated government and community affairs for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, where she managed and secured approvals and community support for multiple multi-million dollar projects, including the Third Street Light Rail project, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program and numerous financial and development projects.
In addition, her local government experience includes serving as chief legislative aide to San Francisco Supervisor Leslie Katz.
Following a transition from the SFPUC, Spanjian will officially begin as Sustainability Director for Mayor Parker on April 19, 2010.