Veteran Houston engineer Karun Sreerama is Mayor Sylvester Turner’s pick to head the Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering (PWE). Sreerama is a highly respected engineer with 28 years of experience managing multi-million dollar capital projects across the U.S. and abroad. He is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a doctorate in civil engineering as well as a Master’s degree in business administration. He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Dale Rudick, who has led PWE since 2014. Pending council approval, the new appointment is to be effective April 3. In the interim, PWE’s Deputy Director for Engineering and Construction Carol Haddock will manage the department.
“Karun has developed an impressive 100-day transition plan,” said Mayor Turner. “He is focused on the organization’s culture and spending as well as collaboration with City Council, neighborhoods and the engineering community. He definitely understands the important role the city plays in boosting the quality of life for all Houstonians. He will be able to build upon the excellent progress made during Dale Rudick’s tenure. I want to thank Dale for his service and wish him well in this next chapter of his life.”
Sreerama comes to the city from ESPA Corporation where he served as president and CEO. Under his leadership, the firm secured contracts with the Harris County Hospital District, Harris County Toll Road Authority, the City of Houston, Pearland, Missouri City, Rice University, University of Houston, Houston Independent School District, Aldine Independent School District and the Texas Department of Transportation. Prior to joining ESPA, Sreerama was senior vice president and chief engineer for Professional Service Industries, Inc.
Sreerama serves on the boards of the Houston Downtown Management District, Houston Community College Foundation, American Council of Engineering Companies of Houston and the Indo-American Political Action Committee of Greater Houston.
Mayor Turner also announced the appointment of Lisa Johnson as interim director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Johnson has worked for 31 years exclusively in the public section as a Parks and Recreation professional. She has been employed by the city of Houston since 2002, most recently serving as division manager in the General Services Department with oversight of parks department’s multi-million dollar capital program. She has been involved in the renovations of Bethel Park, Gragg Park, Emancipation Park and Lake Wilderness Park and numerous other neighborhood park projects including the construction of the Memorial Park Living Bridge, Bayou Greenways and hike and bike trail connections.
Johnson is a graduate of Texas A & M University and has completed post-graduate training programs at Southwest Texas State University, the National Park Planning and Maintenance Safety School and the National Playground Safety Institute. She will replace Joe Turner, who is retiring, effective April 30, 2017.