Samantha Villegas, APR
Director of Strategic Communication Services

Samantha Villegas, APR

Education

Master of Science in Environmental Policy – Johns Hopkins University (1996) Bachelor of Science in Biology (Environmental Science) – Pennsylvania State University (1992)

About Samantha

Sam is an award-winning communications and outreach strategist, with more 25 years of experience conducting public outreach for public works, in the areas of water, energy and recycling. For more than 15 years Sam has assisted water utilities with branding, reputation and crisis management, as well as the execution of communications strategies to ensure positive positioning for rate increases, capital projects and change management. Sam played the lead communications role for 10 years at water and wastewater utility Loudoun Water, where she cultivated enterprise-wide understanding and support for a comprehensive and proactive public outreach program and she successfully designed and executed outreach and education campaigns that raised awareness of programs, changed behaviors and attitudes, and built trust in the organization. After Loudoun Water, Sam led external affairs for nine state subsidiaries of investor-owned American Water. As an independent consultant, Sam continued to advise water and wastewater utilities in all manner of strategic communication and outreach, including Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Arlington County’s Water Pollution Control Bureau, and Virginia and Maryland American Water. Sam also has served AWWA, WRF and ASDWA with key messaging around topics of growing public concern, such as lead and Legionella. Because of her extensive work in this field, Sam is a sought-after speaker, and has delivered presentations multiple times at Virginia’s combined AWWA/WEF “JAM” conference, as well as at AWWA’s Annual Conference and Expo on communications, outreach, branding and other topics. Sam has been actively involved in both the American Water Works Association (AWWA), where she served on the Public Affairs Council and the VA AWWA Public Information Committee, and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), where she has held several leadership roles, and currently serves on its Board of Directors.