James A. Rispoli, P.E., F.ASCE, is an Executive Advisor to Booz Allen Hamilton and Chair of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council. A licensed professional engineer in Virginia and Hawaii, he recently completed over three years of service as the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management. He was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on July 29, 2005, and was appointed to that position by President George W. Bush on August 2, 2005. He was responsible for the cleanup of waste and environmental contamination from the nation’s nuclear-related research and production activities. The cleanup program under his tenure had an annual budget of $6 billion with operations occurring in over a dozen states. Previously, Mr. Rispoli was Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Engineering and Construction Management. The Office of Engineering and Construction
Management is responsible for management policy, assessment and oversight of the Department’s facilities, infrastructure and capital projects. The value of the department’s facilities and infrastructure is over $80 billion with a portfolio of 125 capital construction projects valued at $38 billion, ranging from one of a kind nuclear facilities and laboratories to standard office buildings and utilities. Mr. Rispoli has served as the Department’s Senior Real Property Officer and was a member of the Federal Energy Management Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Mr. Rispoli was Vice President and Managing Principal of Dames & Moore’s Pacific-Ocean area operations, and President of M&E Pacific, responsible for Metcalf and Eddy’s Hawaii offices. In both firms, he led major engineering and construction projects for private clients, state and federal governmental agencies. He served in the United States Navy, retiring at the rank of Captain from the Civil Engineer Corps where he held executive level environmental and construction management positions.
A Fellow of ASCE, he is the current Chair of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, past Chair of the Construction Division, and has served in several local section officer positions. He is also a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers for which he has held several officer positions at the local post level, and served as the national society’s Vice President for Environmental Affairs. Mr. Rispoli is an active member of the Project Management Institute for whom he has served on its Corporate Council, and a number of panels and study efforts. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College, and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in business from Central Michigan University. Mr. Rispoli was awarded the ASCE Civil Government Award for 2006 and the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award in 2008.
In this episode, Jim talks about threats facing the civil engineering profession and the current opportunities with respect to infrastructure investment. He also discusses the importance of leadership as a key attribute for individual success and reflects on his own accomplishments and the role that ASCE has played throughout his career.