Monica Watkins is a career professional in the fields of engineering, energy, finance and construction. In addition to a BSME from the University of Maryland College Park and an MBA-Finance from Loyola (College) University, she holds certifications in energy management, verification, and technology. Monica is also a 1989 graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and has over 18 years of local utility experience in the areas of gas engineering & construction, energy accounting & billing and electric policy, rates & regulations.
In 2006, Monica joined the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and successfully established the first ever Energy Department within the agency. The Energy Department was charged with managing HABC’s energy platform, reducing utility and energy consumption, and upgrading public housing units with Energy Star appliances and new utility systems. At that time, her projects comprised over $100 million Energy Performance Contracting initiatives for five developments. Subsequently, Monica led the Engineering, Energy and Capital Improvements Division as Senior Vice President from 2015-2020. Her responsibilities grew to five departments/units and over 75 employees. She managed and oversaw a range of rehabilitation, new construction, deconstruction and facilities improvements totaling $15-$20 million annually for the residents and staff of public housing.
Ms. Watkins was promoted to Acting Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer in March 2021 and permanently assumed the role in June 2021. She is tasked with strategizing, planning, and expanding the operational efficiency of several divisions to include Public Housing, Private Management, Admissions & Leasing, Resident Services, Homeownership, Engineering and overall Housing Operations, Administration & Training. She now leads over 400 team members in the daily execution of HABC’s mission to create and provide quality affordable housing opportunities in sustainable neighborhoods for the people HABC serves. To accomplish this, Monica believes it starts with the leaders. Thus, she is passionate about the development of thoughtful, intentional, and impactful leaders within HABC and regularly invests resources in leadership development and support.
In addition to leading professionally, Monica has been successfully leading in her public service, organizational and personal life. Monica is a past chapter president for the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, a past board member of Suited to Succeed/Dress for Success and a past board member of the Council for Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership (CWEEL). Through these organizations Monica has sought resources, support, and advocacy in various ways to include aiding women seeking gainful employment, soliciting donations for food drives, holding workshops on interviewing techniques/job readiness, facilitating clothes and shoes drives, as well as mentoring and promoting voter education and advocacy. She was appointed and served on a statewide redistricting committee sponsored by her sorority, and she is regularly involved with issues and matters affecting the community and especially women. Her latest project is to lead a team to establish BAC’s Centennial Capstone initiative dedicated to providing resources, support, and connections to formerly incarcerated Baltimore area women re-entering society. Monica also loves to dance, travel, exercise, and practice yoga. She is member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Baltimore City and resides in Pikesville, MD with her daughter and her American Staffordshire.
She was appointed to the Maryland Commission for Women in July 2022.