Walter W. Haase, P.E.

General Manager
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

Walter W. Haase, P.E., is the General Manager of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. In 2008, he took over the helm of the multi-utility owned and operated by the Navajo Nation, the largest land-based Native American tribe in the United States. The NTUA service territory is 27 thousand square miles, spreading across northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and a small portion of southeastern Utah (roughly equal to the size of the state of West Virginia). In 2010 NTUA was notified that the “Navajo Nation Middle/Last Mile Project: Quality Broadband for the Navajo People” will receive a $32 million grant awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administrated by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). At the time, it was the largest Broadband grant awarded throughout the United States. Upon notification, NTUA went to work to build a massive fiber optic network communications and microwave infrastructure that runs through the core of the Navajo Nation.

NTUA, along with co-grant partner Commnet Wireless, completed the project in three years. The communication infrastructure extends over 550 miles and provides fixed, mobile, and 4G LTE access to 30,000 households (approximately 135,000 people) and 1,000 businesses in 15 of the largest communities on the Navajo Nation. Before the project, the Navajo Nation, like most rural areas, faced considerable challenges regarding wireless communications services. While a number of initiatives aimed to provide broadband on the Navajo Nation, access to the service was almost universally absent until now.

The public power career of Walter Haase started in 1997, upon graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management located in Chicago, Illinois. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, with certification in Illinois and North Carolina. In 2011, he received the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) prestigious James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award. The award recognizes people who have made substantial contributions to the electric utility industry with a special commitment to public power. In 2012, Haase was selected Chief Executive Officer of the Year by Electric Light & Power magazine in its small utility division, with fewer than 400,000 electric customers. NTUA has less than 40,000.

 

April 8-11, 2019

Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas

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