I currently lead WSP USA’s U.S. Advisory national business line (NBL), a consulting practice of more than 500 industry-leading professionals who provide research and development, planning, asset management, finance offerings and more to the nation’s infrastructure providers in transportation, energy, buildings, water and the environment.
I am the first woman, and the first African American woman, to lead a business line at WSP USA. I have been a trailblazer throughout my professional career, from the first woman appointed city manager in Greensboro to the youngest appointed administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA).
This is a great honor, and I am encouraged by the many women and people of color who have since joined our team, further demonstrating WSP leadership’s serious commitment to these equity efforts.
Extensive Leadership Experience
In my role at WSP, I bring extensive experience in technology transformation, public-private partnerships, property portfolio management, economic development, strategic planning, organizational transformation, risk management and public policy.
I have held many leadership positions on the federal, state and local government levels throughout my career of more than 25 years, and all with a focus on driving strong community development and economic and administrative changes.
I was appointed by former President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as administrator of the GSA, for which I led a workforce of 12,000 full-time employees and was responsible for a $27 billion budget that supported the agency’s public buildings, federal acquisitions and technology services programs. In this role, I championed key strategic initiatives to transform federal technology and instituted policy changes to engage local economic development priorities in GSA property placement decisions.
Prior to the GSA, I served as city manager for Greensboro, North Carolina, and paved the way for several new and creative management changes in the city. These included the reorganization of city departments and divisions to promote efficiency and improve service delivery and launching public-private initiatives that created more than $75 million in city enhancements.
I served as vice president for the Greensboro Chamber and economic development consortium, where I helped secure $60 million in state funds to establish the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, an academic collaboration of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
I also served as public space manager for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, where I implemented and oversaw a $36 million revenue stream and managed public space access for major utility and telecommunication companies.
Creating Quality Communities
I’ve committed my career to public service and creating quality communities. What excites me about working at WSP is that we have the reach, depth and – most importantly – strong reputation of delivering thoughtful and quality work by hiring experts who are highly committed in the public and private sector.
What drives my work is integrating the firm’s expertise with the strategic thinking that’s required by owners, developers and operators to successfully deliver infrastructure programs and projects. The depth of this work with my colleagues and our clients gives me the reach needed for the long-term positive impact I aspire to have in public service.
One of the things I’m most excited about, and what continues to motivate me, is WSP’s recent acquisitions that are expanding our team and bringing more talent and expertise to our client work.
Equity Center of Excellence
As the director of WSP’s Equity Center of Excellence (ECE), I’m also excited about the difference we are making in communities nationwide since the ECE launched one year ago on Feb. 4 – the day we also celebrate Transit in Equity Day and Rosa Parks’ birthday.
The ECE meets emerging demand for expertise in applying equity to organizational, program and project needs. The team and I work with clients and partners across the U.S. — and within all WSP’s business lines and regions — to create places, infrastructure and experiences that improve the quality of life for historically underserved, marginalized and disinvested communities. Having grown up in poverty, I know first-hand the importance of equity in infrastructure.
In addition, I am project director for WSP’s Blanket Purchase Agreement with the GSA to provide services related to planning, purchase, supply and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment to support charging of electric vehicles. Through this contract, WSP will help develop actionable fleet electrification rollout plans that account for the unique operating requirements of any government agency’s fleet, along with other factors that include commercially available technology options, facility constraints, capital and operating budget constraints, political/management concerns and equity issues.
Fleet electrification often requires significant changes to fleet operating and management practices to address both the limitations and opportunities of new technology. WSP will help identify those necessary changes, then develop detailed operating plans to ensure a successful transition.
Driving New Ideas Forward
In my career, I have been recognized with honors such as Outstanding Woman in Business by the Triad Business Journal in 2020, the Distinguished Alumni Award by George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government and International Affairs in 2016, and both Top 50 DC Women in Technology and the “Golden Gov” Federal Executive of the Year Award by FedScoop in 2015 and 2016.
With each experience, I have tried to honor my responsibility and leverage my authenticity to lead with intentionality and to drive positive change. This has allowed me to use my experience and positioning to create and drive new ideas forward, all with the goal of influencing and providing high-quality public service.
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