ASCE Board Takes Big-Picture Approach

April 3, 2019

The Board of Direction continues to take a big-picture approach to leadership.

Last year, that meant developing a new strategic plan for ASCE. At its quarterly meeting in Arlington, VA, March 10, the Board moved from strategy into implementation, highlighted by the approval of a future-focused reorganization of the Society’s Committee on Advancing the Profession.

“I’m very excited, because in essence what happened with CAP was taking a step back to look forward,” said ASCE President Robin Kemper, P.E., LEED AP, F.SEI, F.ASCE.

“And people were willing to look at the bigger picture and say maybe there’s a better way. We were willing to take that chance, to take those steps to be more efficient and have everything fit better.”

Members of CAP worked for a year to prepare a reorganization plan that better aligns its activities and objectives with ASCE’s new strategic plan.

The changes will see CAP focusing on four areas:

Engineer Tomorrow

developing talent and leadership

professional career growth

sustainability

“I’m excited about the new volunteer experience,” said CAP Chair Joshua Shippy, P.E., M.ASCE. “I think we’ll be able to really reinvigorate some people and get things done more quickly. We will be able to identify a task or product that is needed, assign it to people who are excited about it, and make it happen.”

Among the restructuring, the Board approved creating MOSAIC, an advisory council focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. Members Of Society Advancing Inclusion Council – replaces the previous Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

“The whole conversation about diversity and inclusion needs to be in everything we do,” said Marsha D. Anderson Bomar, AICP, F.ASCE, technical region director on the Board.

“I think it’s great. A lot of times when you say diversity, everybody just thinks, ‘OK, the color of my skin is different.’ But there are so many dimensions to diversity, and we need to really think about all of them in what we do as an organization and in our day-to-day jobs.”

Sustainability Certification

The Board received an update on the Sustainable Infrastructure Certification Program from Cris Liban and Liv Hasselbach, who talked about the potential development of a new Academy for Leadership in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering.

The presentation generated discussion among Board members, as they continue to determine how best to maximize such a program within the strategic plan and ASCE’s bigger picture.

Does a sustainability certification provide vital validation for civil engineers as they move through their careers? Should sustainability expertise be more of an assumed aspect of professional licensure or ASCE’s existing certification programs or membership requirements?

The Board approved continued exploration of these questions, with plans to further discuss the program at the July meeting.

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