In The News › Kazem Alikhani, Jefferson Parish public works director, retiring

Kazem Alikhani, Jefferson Parish public works director, retiring

By Drew Broach | The Times-Picayune

July 14, 2016
Kazem Alikhani, the Jefferson Parish public works director responsible for drainage, roads, sewerage and major construction, is retiring in late August, Parish President Mike Yenni said Thursday (July 14). Alikhani is revered in political circles for his command of construction, budgets, inter-agency work and balancing competing political interests.

“His institutional knowledge, skill and dedication have proven invaluable throughout his three years of service to Jefferson Parish, and he will be missed by all,” Yenni said in a memo. “Please join me in expressing our tremendous appreciation for his countless contributions to the betterment of Jefferson Parish.”

Jefferson hired Alikhani as a drainage engineer in 1982. He moved to the Water Department in the 1990s before returning as drainage director in 2004. After Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, flooding vast parts of East Jefferson, it fell to Alikhani to mitigate the damage and stabilize the drainage system.

In 2010, he was promoted to public works director. In giving him one of its Excellence in Govermment awards in 2012, the Bureau of Governmental Research said Alikhani had guided the construction of more than 70 major drainage projects, overseen the armoring of pumping stations and the installation of safe rooms to shelter pump personnel during major storms, developed Jefferson’s first master plan for drainage and begun implementing a 20-year, $1 billion program to expand drainage capacity in Jefferson’s neighborhoods.

As public works director, Alikhani supervised major construction, drainage, floodplain management, sewerage, engineering, environmental affairs, streets, water, street lighting and parkways. Yenni said his administration is seeking a successor.

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