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Halifax Water Board Appoints New General Manager

Tareq Al-Zabet is the successful candidate for the position of GM and CEO
Published: 2:43 PM | May 23, 2023
Updated: 3:19 PM | May 23, 2023

Halifax Water’s Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce that Tareq Al-Zabet has been appointed as the successful candidate for the position of General Manager and CEO at the utility. His selection results from a rigorous recruitment process conducted nationally, which attracted more than 130 applicants.  

Mr. Al-Zabet brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, with more than twenty years of leadership roles in water resource management, nuclear waste management, infrastructure and environment and climate change. The Board has recognized his proven ability to listen, be thoughtful, build relationships and be an effective communicator.  

“We are excited that Tareq will be the next General Manager of Halifax Water. He has a proven track record and is the ideal person to lead Halifax Water’s ongoing transformation to meet the challenges of growth, customer service and climate change. He will be a great addition to a team continually committed to delivering for its customers and the community it serves,” says Colleen Rollings, Chair of the Halifax Water Board of Commissioners.

Mr. Al-Zabet will officially start his new role on July 24, 2023. 

“I’m excited and honoured with the opportunity to be the next General Manager and CEO of Halifax Water. With a strong reputation for providing high-quality services and a focus on its customers, I’m looking forward to working with the entire team,” says Mr. Al-Zabet.

The search for a new General Manager follows Cathie O’Toole accepting the Chief Administrative Officer position for the Halifax Regional Municipality in late 2022. 

“On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank everyone at Halifax Water for their ongoing commitment to customers throughout this transition period,” says Rollings, “the Board would especially like to thank Louis de Montbrun for stepping in as Acting General Manager – he did an exceptional job. He demonstrated what an incredible organization Halifax Water continues to be.”

About Halifax Water
Halifax Water’s purpose is to supply and safeguard sustainable, high-quality water services. As an integrated water, wastewater and stormwater utility, it serves more than 106,000 customers on a cost-of-service basis across the Halifax Regional Municipality. Owned by the municipality and regulated by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, it employs approximately 580 dedicated people. Halifax Water owns and manages more than $1.4B in assets and invests approximately $130 million into capital projects annually.

Photo of Dr. Tareq Al-Zabet

Dr. Tareq Al-Zabet (Ph.D.) 

A proven leader with over 20 years of experience in executive management, strategic planning, and health, safety, and environmental protection, regulation, compliance, and enforcement, Dr. Tareq Al-Zabet (Ph.D.) will join Halifax Water as its General Manager and CEO on July 24, 2023.

Most recently, he has been the Regional Site Director of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). In this role, he serves as the lead representative for NWMO in the South Bruce community in Ontario. He is responsible for supporting the development of a multi-billion dollar deep geological repository, overseeing the operations, and collaborating with critical representatives within the community, including municipal government, industry, and other community groups. 

Previously, Tareq held leadership roles with the Government of Manitoba as the Deputy Minister of Manitoba Infrastructure and executive senior project lead of the $650 Million Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels flood mitigation infrastructure. Before this, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister Environmental Sciences and Standards Division with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. He has also worked at the Ministry of Environment in Saskatchewan, where he was the Executive Director at the Ministry of Labour and Workplace Safety and as the Director of the Environmental Assessment Branch. 

Dr. Al-Zabet holds Executive Public-Administration Leadership Certificate, Ph.D. in Water Resources Management with a specific interest in the interaction between natural and man-made systems, a Master of Science in Hydrology and a Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences and Industrial Business Administration. He is a sessional lecturer, a keynote speaker, and a registered professional serving on the national Boards of the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and Canada Lands Company Corporation.

Halifax Water