Todd Semonite, P.E., M.ASCE, Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been honored by ASCE as the 2019 Outstanding Projects And Leaders award-winner in government.
The ASCE OPAL awards honor outstanding civil engineering leaders for their lifetime accomplishments. This year’s OPAL winners will be recognized at the 2019 OPAL Gala, March 14, in Arlington, VA.
Semonite’s leadership is of the highest caliber, and he transmits his energy and enthusiasm to all around him, both military and civilian. As the USACE Commanding General, he is responsible for over 32,000 civilian employees and 700 military personnel who provide project management, construction support, and engineering expertise in more than 110 countries around the world.
Early in his command he set the conditions for success across the full spectrum of USACE operations, and has been a champion for positive change. This includes updating the Corps’ Campaign Plan and continues with a four-pointed priority focus: Supporting National Security, Delivering Integrated Water Resources Solutions, Reducing Disaster Risk, and Preparing for Tomorrow.
As Chief of Engineers, for which he holds a special passion, he is concerned with the 90,000 engineer soldiers within the Regular Army, Guard, and Reserve. The regiment priorities here – modernizing equipment, employing new technologies, improving technical competence by way of credentialing, etc. – are key to ensuring the readiness of the Total Engineer Force.
Semonite’s second year in command has been marked by his strong response to hurricanes affecting Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Louisiana, and Mississippi, in addition to wildfires and mudslides in Northern and Southern California. Increasing his pace has also meant traveling to eight foreign nations, engaging our partners and allies. Contributing to important events stateside, he connects effectively with our governmental leaders in every setting, as well as with stakeholders, agencies, and associations toward bettering the partnerships that protect the country and energize its economy.
Prior to this assignment, Semonite established the Army Talent Management Task Force and served as its first director, responsible for reforming the way the Army acquires, develops, employs, and retains a talented workforce. Before this he was in senior engineer leadership positions in Bosnia and Iraq, and building the Afghan Army and Police through management of a $13 billion budget to support a 352,000-individual force.
Among other awards, Semonite has received two Distinguished Service Medals, a Defense Superior Service Award, a Bronze Star, and five Legion of Merit awards. He was awarded the Silver De Fleury Medal for outstanding service to the Army Engineer Regiment and has spoken at West Point and ROTC events on leadership and the engineering profession.
Besides ASCE, he is a member of the Army Engineer Association, Society of Military Engineers, and the Association of the U.S. Army. He is a registered professional engineer in Virginia and Vermont.
Semonite holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and was commissioned into USACE in 1979. He also earned a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Vermont and a Master of Military Art and Science from Fort Leavenworth, KS.
Learn more about the 2019 OPAL Gala.