William Cheaks

Managing Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Water Management
Past Speaker: AWS 2018


William Cheaks brings over 30 years of experience in the construction industry to the Department of Water Management. In his current position as the Managing Deputy Commissioner, he oversees three bureaus within the 2,100-employee department. With the Bureaus of Water Quality & Supply, Operations & Maintenance and Engineering Services under his management, Mr. Cheaks is largely responsible for ensuring that over 5.3 million Illinoisans have fresh drinking water on a daily basis.

As the former Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Infrastructure Management in the Chicago Department of Transportation, Cheaks created system-wide efficiencies by developing processes and procedures to streamline operations, increase revenue and enhance performance. Cheaks’ extensive infrastructure expertise allows him to tackle complex issues and his innovative leadership inspires both colleagues and new talent alike.