Katie Koester, Engineering & Public Works Director

Denise Koch to serve as next CBJ Engineering and Public Works Director

September 12, 2023

The City and Borough of Juneau is pleased to announce that Denise Koch will serve as the next Director of Engineering and Public Works. Koch succeeds outgoing director Katie Koester, who assumes the role of City Manager this month.

Koch was previously CBJ Deputy Director of Engineering and Public Works, a position she has held since May 2021. Her appointment is effective immediately.

“Denise is a champion for our community,” said Koester. “Not only is she a devoted public servant, she is a skilled manager with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. I’m excited to be able to continue working with Denise as she takes on this important role, and grateful to leave the department in good hands.”

“Engineering & Public Works is a diverse department filled with talented staff who do work that is critical to residents’ everyday lives—but that is sometimes invisible,” said Koch. “This is the department that provides your drinking water, disposes of what you put into the sewer, plows and fills potholes on roads that most of us drive every day, and builds and maintains the city’s critical infrastructure. In over twenty years living in this community I’ve seen firsthand just what an important role this department plays, and I look forward to working with the Assembly, staff, and the public to keep moving Juneau forward.”

As Deputy Director, Koch supervised the CBJ Utility, Capital Transit, and waste programs. She has served in CBJ’s Emergency Operations Center for the COVID pandemic and the recent Mendenhall River flood event. She is also a member of the EPA Small Community Advisory Subcommittee, where she represents CBJ and small Alaskan communities.

Prior to joining CBJ, Koch spent several years with the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, including six years at director level as Director of Air Quality and Director of Spill Prevention and Response.

Koch holds an M.S. in Public Health from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.

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