The ASCE Board of Direction has selected Thomas W. Smith III, ENV SP, CAE, M.ASCE, as the next executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Smith, ASCE’s current deputy executive director and general counsel, will succeed Patrick J. Natale, P.E., F.ASCE, who has served in the position since 2002 and announced his end-of-year retirement last October.
With a master’s degree in structural engineering and a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Virginia, Smith has been a dedicated ASCE member for more than 25 years, and the association’s deputy executive director since 2010 and general counsel since 1997. Smith also holds a law degree, and before joining ASCE practiced law with a focus on land use issues.
“Under the leadership of current Executive Director Pat Natale, ASCE has truly become a leader in the association community, with a voice that gets national attention and highly dedicated volunteers and staff,” said ASCE Past President Greg DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S., F.ASCE, chair of the executive director search committee, following the ASCE Board’s Aug. 24 meeting in Denver. “In our search for a successor, we were looking for that rare combination of a highly accomplished executive and leader who intimately understands both the civil engineering profession and the association business. In Tom Smith, we have found that person.”
During his tenure at ASCE, Smith has provided leadership, direction and management oversight across a wide spectrum of ASCE’s programs, operations and strategic initiatives, working closely with ASCE geographic and technical organizations and affiliates worldwide.
In 2011, Smith received the William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award, which recognizes ASCE members for their continuing efforts to promote appreciation for the history, tradition, developments and technical and professional activities of the Society.
“Over the many years that I have worked with Tom, I know him to be a true blend of vision, leadership, intellect, and integrity,” said ASCE President Randall (Randy) S. Over, P.E., F.ASCE. “With his background, Tom is the perfect fit to take over the reins of ASCE and lead us to ever higher levels of success. He is a model professional with strong values and a longtime dedication to ASCE.”
Smith is also a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and an Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), and has been active in his community. He serves on the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals, and previously chaired bar association committees providing legal services to local homeless shelters as well as coordinating national moot court competitions.
Smith has published articles on engineering ethics and legal issues and is a frequent speaker on these subjects. In 2012, he penned the book “Infantry Rifleman, WWII Reflections of Thomas W. Smith,” a tribute to his father.
“It has been my privilege to work side-by-side with such a talented visionary who truly has an innate understanding of the needs of our members along with the acumen to advance the civil engineering profession and goals of ASCE,” said Natale. “Tom is unquestionably the right leader at the right time to take over from me at the end of the year.”