Emerging Leader: Jamie Johnson, State Water Resources Control Board

Roni Gehlke, Emerging Leaders, Members in the News, Women in Water

2022 Emerging Leader Jamie JohnsonFor several years in a row, Jamie Johnson ran for chair of the San Francisco Bay Section’s (SFBS) Students and Young Professionals (SYP) committee with little success. It was a position she thought would be exciting and inspiring, but she never thought she would take on that role amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges she would face.

“It was a weird time. We’d lost many of our key members, and a pandemic was happening,” Johnson said. “We basically had to create a new committee and recruit new members.”

By 2020 many committees were changing in-person meetings and happy hours to Zoom meetings. Johnson said that was the easy part of keeping the committee going, but one of the biggest hurdles was how to continue hosting the committee’s popular Annual Career Fair.

“We didn’t want to just cancel the event. Everyone was still graduating and needed jobs and internships, and this is the place they went to find them,” she said.

During the pandemic, it has been nothing if not innovative. With the help of the new committee members, Johnson found a company that had created a way to host virtual conferences. Finding this company allowed them to plan and implement a virtual career fair in March 2021 to replace the SFBS’s annual in-person event.

The event was a great success for both employers and job seekers. It was so successful that the state CWEA used Johnson’s work as a template for a broader statewide virtual career fair in October 2021.

Johnson is a water resource control engineer for the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). She works with the Office of Enforcement, Special Investigations Unit. In her role, she does a little bit of everything, from inspections of collection systems and wastewater plants to investigating compliance issues. As a civil engineer, Johnson enjoys her role with the SWRCB and hopes to move up in the organization one day.