ACEC 2017 Annual Conference

Featured Speakers

Monday, April 16


Brandye Hendrickson

Acting Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration


On July 24, 2017, Brandye Hendrickson was named Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) after having built a reputation as a strong leader while Commissioner of the Indiana DOT. As the FHWA's Acting Administrator, she puts her 20 years of business experience to work leading a 2,900-person federal agency and maximizing its $44 billion annual budget. She is only the second woman to head the FHWA, and has a deep appreciation for the strength of an organization filled with people of different backgrounds and perspectives.

She has a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and is a Professional in Human Resources.


Simon J. Santiago

Partner, Nossaman LLP, Head of Nossaman's Infrastructure Practice Group

Leader of East Coast operations for Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, Simon J. Santiago handles contractual, procurement, development and construction issues for the largest transportation, transit and multi-modal projects in the U.S.  Public sector clients seek his guidance in creating successful infrastructure projects through innovative procurement, financing and delivery methods including public-private partnerships (P3s).

Given his broad experience, he often advises industry leaders and policymakers on emerging federal legislative and policy issues involving transportation.  At the state level, Mr. Santiago helped develop P3-enabling legislation, procedures and programs in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.  He also counseled the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority and t Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on state and federal law governing all-electronic toll systems.

Before joining Nossaman in 2006, Mr. Santiago was a litigator with a construction and government contract law firm in Northern Virginia, where he advised public- and private-sector clients on disputes involving large and complex infrastructure projects.  He also served as a judicial clerk with the General Services Board of Contract Appeals, assisting in legal analysis of contract claims and disputes.  This collective experience has helped him anticipate potential risks and adjust procurement and contracting strategies accordingly.


Russell McMurry

Commissioner, Georgia Department of Transportation


On Jan. 20, 2015, Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. was appointed by the State Transportation Board to lead the Georgia Department of Transportation – the $3 billion, 4000-employee state agency responsible for building, maintaining and operating the 10th largest transportation system in the country. Commissioner McMurry is certainly no stranger to transportation or Georgia DOT. He began his career with the Department in 1990, as an engineering trainee and has served in a variety of roles that include Construction Project Manager, District Engineer, Director of Engineering and Chief Engineer. McMurry was also appointed by Governor Deal as Planning Director before he began his role as Commissioner. He graduated Cum Laude from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia. Commissioner Russell McMurry currently serves as board member for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) and the State Depository Board. He also chairs the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Performance Management.


Bob Schillerstrom

Chairman, Illinois Tollway Board of Directors


In 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner appointed Bob Schillerstrom Chairman of the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors, which oversees the state's 294-mile Tollway system and the agency’s $1.45 billion annual budget.   As Tollway Board Chairman, Schillerstrom has championed economic growth and innovative ideas that provide a better experience for customers and all those who do business with the Tollway.  He has begun implementation toward an entirely cashless, all-electronic system that saves customers both time and money.  Schillerstrom has doubled down on increasing contracts and training for minority-, women- and veteran-owned firms with the Tollway awarding more than $1 billion in contracts to disadvantaged business enterprise firms. Schillerstrom has long advocated for improving infrastructure and planning for the future.  During his term, the Tollway has announced reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294), the I-490 Tollway, the Illinois Route 53/120 environmental impact study and numerous additional projects. This past year, Schillerstrom, alongside many coalition partners and Tollway leadership, announced the opening of the Illinois Route 390 Tollway from Lake Street to Illinois Route 83.  Chairman Schillerstrom is a partner in Ice Miller's Public Affairs and Public & Municipal Finance Groups.  Schillerstrom also represents governments in their relationships with other governments and further consults on public-private partnerships (P3) to help municipalities and governments achieve their initiatives. He previously served three terms as Chairman of the DuPage County Board.  As Chairman, Schillerstrom earned a reputation as a fiscal conservative for reducing property taxes nine times while maintaining a AAA bond rating for his entire tenure as Chairman.  He also earned a reputation as a builder, regularly investing in roads, flood control and drainage projects and in the DuPage Court System. He consistently did more for the citizens of DuPage County while spending less.


Beverley Swaim-Staley

President & CEO, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, Washington, D.C.


As USRC President and CEO, Beverley manages Washington Union Station, one of the busiest transportation centers in the country, serving over 37 million visitors and passengers each year. During her tenure she has led the efforts to restore the historic Main Hall to its early 20th Century splendor. Currently she is overseeing the ongoing rehabilitation of the station in keeping with its historic standards and managing the latest redevelopment and expansion of Washington Union Station.  Prior to joining USRC, Beverley was the first woman to serve as Maryland Transportation Secretary. As Secretary, she oversaw the only state department of transportation with direct supervision over all aspects of transportation, including the transit and rail networks, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and the Port of Baltimore.  Beverley has a deep knowledge of transportation management and finance. She oversaw negotiations to execute one of the largest public-private partnership agreements in the nation resulting in the construction of a new 50-foot berth at the Port of Baltimore.  Previously, as Deputy Secretary, Beverley also served as Executive Director of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport during the period which encompassed the terrorist strike on 9/11 and the subsequent revolution in airport security. She has also worked for the state legislature in Maryland and for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA).  Currently Beverley serves as a Board Member of the Mineta Transportation Institute and the Greater Washington Board of Trade.


Steve Schmidt

Political Analyst, MSNBC and Renowned Political Strategist


As vice-chairman of Public Affairs at Edelman, Stephen Schmidt is a strategic counselor to chief executive officers and senior decision makers at global corporations, professional sports franchises, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. Recognized as one of the top public affairs and political strategists in the country, he has provided counsel on a wide range of issues, including telecommunications, technology, financial services, energy, health care, entertainment and gaming. He has been described by national media as a “damage control master.”

Earlier in his career, Schmidt served as a top strategist to President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. As a member of the senior planning group that led the campaign, he was responsible for directing and implementing the campaign's communications operations, including serving as chief spokesperson.

Following the President’s successful re-election, Schmidt joined the Administration as Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President. As a member of the senior staff, he worked on a wide range of issues at the intersection of communications, policy development, legislative advocacy and political strategy. During his tenure at the White House, Schmidt played a leading role in the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. In 2005, at the behest of the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Schmidt traveled to Iraq to assess and improve communications in the war zone.

In January 2006, Schmidt departed the White House to lead the re-election of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger's landslide victory was described by The New York Times as "particularly remarkable given that the Governor appeared to be all but finished just six months ago." The Los Angeles Times commended Schmidt as having "ran a nearly flawless campaign" and overseen a re-election that "ran against a political tide that swamped other Republicans across the nation.” This victory earned Schmidt “GOP Campaign Manager of the Year” from the American Association of Political Consultants.

In 2007, Schmidt served as a senior advisor to John McCain’s presidential bid helping him re-build his campaign and secure the Republican nomination for President of the United States. In the General election, Schmidt was vested with day-to-day control of operations, which, according to The Washington Post, brought “new life” to the campaign. The New York Times reported that under Schmidt’s leadership the McCain organization became “a campaign transformed: an elbows-out, risk-taking, disciplined machine.”

Following the 2008 Presidential election, Schmidt became a partner in Mercury Public Affairs. While leading the firm’s operations in California, he helped build one of the West Coast’s largest, bi-partisan public affairs practices.


Tucker Carlson

Conservative Commentator and host of Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News Channel


Tucker Carlson is the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, airing on primetime on FOX, and founder of The Daily Caller, one of the largest and fastest growing news sites in the country. Carlson was previously the co-host of Fox and Friends Weekend. He joined FOX from MSNBC, where he hosted several nightly programs. Previously, he was also the co-host of Crossfire on CNN, as well the host of a weekly public affairs program on PBS.

A longtime newspaper and magazine writer, Carlson has reported from around the world, including dispatches from Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon and Vietnam. He has been a columnist for New York magazine and Reader's Digest. Carlson began his journalism career at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper in Little Rock. His most recent book is entitled, Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News. He appeared on the third season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.


Tuesday, April 17


Mike Allen

Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Axios, Former POLITICO Chief White House Correspondent


Mike Allen is one of Washington’s most influential and well-connected journalists. He is the co-founder and executive editor of Axios, a new company delivering news and insights on politics, business, media, and tech. The company, whose name means “worthy” in Greek, specializes in high-quality news and analysis easily shared among the country’s influential readers and across social platforms.

In addition to starting Axios, Allen was a co-founder at POLITICO, the digital media company that upended and revolutionized political and policy journalism in Washington, New York, and Europe. He not only reported on but also drove the day’s conversations in and around the Beltway. His sharp journalistic experience and coveted insider status make him an ideal choice to discuss the latest political happenings. In presentations, he offers his non-partisan, energetic and up-to-the-minute insider perspective on the political issues of the day, the Trump administration, the Republican Congress, and building a business in an unsteady economy. He has been praised for his dedication, passion, and unmatched ability to give a political story dimension and context.

In 2006, Allen joined POLITICO and sought to carve out a niche in the marketplace by focusing on giving readers one solid take-away from select stories. He served as the chief White House correspondent and was the founding father of the successful daily email tip-sheet Playbook. It quickly became the early-morning must read source for movers and shakers in politics and media. The New York Times called Allen “The Man the White House Wakes Up To,” and Vanity Fair said, “Reading Playbook is as close as you can come on a Washington morning to knowing everything.”

TIME named Allen one of its top 140 Twitter feeds, calling him “the Virgil of the beltway, leading the rest of us hapless Dantes through the inferno of America’s political universe.” In 2017, Vanity Fair named Allen to its “New Establishment List,” an annual compilation of industry titans. The magazine previously named him to its 2011 (#39) and 2012 (#19) “Top 50 New Establishment and Powers That Be” lists, and Allen also won the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Merriman Smith Memorial Award for “Outstanding presidential coverage on deadline” in 2004.

Allen is also the creator of the daily newsletter, Morning Money, which gives readers insight into the intersection of Washington and Wall Street. He is the co-author of two e-books focusing on the 2012 presidential campaign– Politico Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back and Inside the Circus: Romney, Santorum and the GOP Race.


Paul Dabbar

Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy


The Honorable Paul M. Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science, serves as the Department’s principal advisor on fundamental energy research, energy technologies, and science, driving this mission through programs including nuclear and high energy particle physics, basic energy, advanced computing, fusion, and biological and environmental research, and direct management over a majority of the Department’s national labs and their world-leading user facilities. In addition, Mr. Dabbar manages the environmental and legacy management missions of the Department, addressing the U.S. legacy of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

Prior to confirmation as Under Secretary for Science, Mr. Dabbar worked in operations, finance, and strategy roles in the energy sector. As a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan, leading various energy business areas, he has over $400 billion in investment experience across all energy sectors including solar, wind, geothermal, distributed-generation, utility, LNG, pipeline, oil & gas, trading, and energy technologies, and has also led the majority of all nuclear transactions. In addition, he had a senior leadership role for the company’s commodity trading business, including power, oil and gas.

Before joining J.P. Morgan, Mr. Dabbar served as a nuclear submarine officer in Mare Island, California, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, including deploying to the North Pole where he conducted environmental research. He also served on the Department of Energy Environmental Management Advisory Board. He has been a lecturer at the U.S. Naval Academy Economics Department, and conducted research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Mr. Dabbar received a B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University. Mr. Dabbar and his wife, Andrea, are the parents of two children.


Steve Edwards

Chairman & CEO, Black & Veatch


Steve Edwards is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Black & Veatch. Edwards assumed this position in November 2013 and has overall responsibility for the company's engineering, consulting, construction and related infrastructure businesses in the power, oil and gas, water, telecommunications, and security markets worldwide. With revenues of $3 billion, Black & Veatch is consistently ranked in the Top 10 categories for power generation, power delivery, water infrastructure development and telecommunications in Engineering News-Record magazine and is ranked in the Top 150 of the Forbes list of Largest Private Companies. The company is the 12th largest employee-owned corporation in the United States, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.  Since joining Black & Veatch in 1978, Edwards has been responsible for a variety of global projects and business lines. He was named Chief Operating Officer in March 2013 in a transition role before becoming Chairman and CEO. He was appointed to the Black & Veatch Board of Directors in 2012. Edwards is a registered professional engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri.


Jack Hand

Chairman, POWER Engineers


Jack Hand, Chairman of POWER Engineers, Inc. joined POWER in 1992 as a project engineer and rose through the ranks to become POWER’s President and CEO in 1997. As President and CEO, he was instrumental in guiding the company’s growth from a small, regional engineering company to a large multidiscipline engineering firm with offices across the U.S. and around the world.  In 2016, he moved into the role of Chairman, where his focus is on shareholder outreach, government relations, business development for mega energy projects and POWER’s international business.  Jack has been appointed to the position of Chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Environment & Energy Committee.


Dan Lumma

President, Kiewit Engineering


Dan Lumma is president of Kiewit Engineering, responsible for engineering and design across power, oil, gas and chemical, and infrastructure markets. He brings strong vision, a comprehensive EPC background, and a best-for-project approach to contract negotiations. He is respected in the industry for his market knowledge and ability to form tactical partnerships with owners and technology partners.  Dan began his career in 1990 as an engineer at Bibb and Associates, working on design for power projects in the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, and South America. He became a member of the Kiewit team in 1998 when Bibb was acquired by Kiewit. After being promoted to engineering project manager and eventually manager of projects, Dan transitioned from the power market to the oil, gas and chemical markets in 2003. He served as EPC project manager for the offshore and oil sands markets, including managing Kiewit’s first major project in the Alberta oil sands. Dan was promoted to area manager in 2008, senior vice president in 2011, and president of Kiewit Engineering in 2017.

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