In this episode of Insights, the deputy executive director and general counsel of ASCE discusses the ethical standards and challenges facing civil engineers today. Thomas Smith III, CAE, M.ASCE, shares his views about what he sees as civil engineering’s obligation to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare, including pursuit of innovations and great application of sustainability. Discover who he says is the person he admires most, someone who had a profound impact on his life.
Tom Smith is a member of ASCE and serves as its Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel. His responsibilities as Deputy Executive Director include managing ASCE’s Corporate Division, which includes affinity programs, business development, customer service, educational activities, human resources, international affairs, member communities, professional activities and sustainability initiatives. His responsibilities as General Counsel include legal consultation in the areas of employment, tax, corporate, contract, antitrust, intellectual property, real estate, and construction law. Mr. Smith also oversees ASCE’s professional conduct and construction contract documents committees.
Prior to joining ASCE, Mr. Smith practiced law from 1990 to 1997 with the firm of Hazel & Thomas, P.C. in Northern Virginia. Mr. Smith’s experience at Hazel & Thomas, now merged with Reed Smith, LLP, included commercial, construction and land use litigation in federal and state courts, as well as the preparation and processing of land use permits, including rezonings, special exceptions, special permits and site plan applications for commercial, industrial and residential development.
Mr. Smith received his law degree from Washington & Lee University (1990), where he was an associate editor of the Washington & Lee Law Review. Mr. Smith received his Master of Engineering and Bachelors of Science degrees in civil engineering from the University of Virginia (1987 and 1986, respectively).
Mr. Smith is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia bars. He is a member of Chi Epsilon and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Engineering Ethics. He is a past chair of the Legal Section Council of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and continues to serve on its Association Law Symposium planning committee. Mr. Smith is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and has written publications on engineering ethics, construction site safety, local government law, and mechanics lien priority rights for design professionals. In addition to ASAE, Mr. Smith is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, has served as a member and chair of the Virginia Bar Association’s National Moot Court Committee, and is currently serving as a member of the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals.