After 29-year career, Tommy Esqueda heads to Fresno State

Fresno City Public Utilities director will continue his career at Fresno State where he will lead the University in becoming the “Water University.”

Fresno City Hall is losing Tommy Esqueda.

Fresno isn’t.


The city’s Public Utilities director is headed to Fresno State to become the university’s associate vice president in Water and Sustainability.

“Thomas Esqueda brings a wealth of water experience in private industries, local and state government and higher education,” said Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny in a written statement. “A high-energy leader, he is eager to champion our quest to be ‘the Water University.’”

Fresno State is home to the Center for Irrigation Technology, the International Center for Water Technology, and the Water and Energy Technology Center.

Esqueda was born in Sanger and raised in South San Francisco. He has an undergraduate degree in civil engineering (minor in humanities) from San Jose State.

Esqueda in the Fresno State statement said: “Throughout my 29-year career, I have worked with communities around the country to solve water challenges, and this opportunity to combine my experience with the commitment and passion of the Fresno State community is an ideal match.”

How do we judge Esqueda’s nearly four years at City Hall?

He was a blessing to Fresno.

The discolored water issue in Northeast Fresno was a classic example of the media making a mountain out of a molehill.

Where the rubber met the road for a Public Utilities director was the $1 billion Recharge Fresno project. Recharge Fresno was the vision of then-Mayor Ashley Swearengin. The goal: Make the city drought resilient throughout a future destined to be full of water challenges.

Somebody had to turn Swearengin’s vision into reality. Somebody had to make sure everything got built. That task fell to Esqueda. The job is essentially done. It’s been done successfully.

Congratulations on the new gig, Tommy.

Thank you for your service to the City of Fresno and its residents.

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