Director, representing Coachella Valley Water District
Robert Cheng, PhD, PE
Robert Cheng is the Assistant General Manager at the Coachella Valley Water District (Coachella, CA), where he has served since 2013. In this role, Robert helps manage a staff of nearly 570 employees, and represents the organization on imported water contract discussions, including the California State Water Project and Colorado River negotiations.
Robert has worked in the public water sector for over three decades, where he has served in various technical and management positions at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Long Beach Water Department. He has a strong water quality and operations background, having conducted studies in support of a number of federal drinking water regulations and managing the largest federally funded seawater desalination research program in the US.
Robert is actively involved in various water-industry volunteer activities with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), including serving on their Board of Directors and as a member of the AWWA Journal Editorial Board. Robert also serves as an appointed member of the California Drinking Water Operator Certification Board.
Robert is a graduate from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering from UCLA. He is a California Registered Professional Engineer, Registered Professional Operator, and has California drinking water T5 and D5 certifications.