One thing is certain – in its leadership, ASCE will be breaking new ground over the next few years.
The official nominees for 2017 ASCE president-elect, as selected by the Society’s Board of Direction Nominating Committee, are Robin A. Kemper, P.E., LEED AP, F.SEI, F.ASCE, a senior risk engineering consultant for Zurich Services Corporation in New York, and Kristina L. Swallow, P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE, program manager for the city of Las Vegas.
Thus, come this fall, for the first time in its 164-year history, ASCE will have women in its two top leadership roles, after current President-elect Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, M.COPRI, F.ASCE, is inaugurated 2017 president, and the winning nominee succeeds her as president-elect. ASCE also will look ahead to the first time the Society’s presidential gavel will be handed over from one woman to another, in the fall of 2017.
Kemper, with Zurich, provides investigation of and technical support for major construction claims and develops best practices for consulting design processes for both the professional liability and construction properties risk engineering groups. Previously she was senior project director for Nelson Forensics, in Plano, TX.
Kemper is ASCE’s liaison with the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers and served as the past ASCE representative with Engineers Without Borders USA. She has served in several Society leadership positions including Region 1 Director and New Jersey Section President. She also has chaired several ASCE committees, including the Member Communities Committee, EWB Task Committee 3, and the Region 1 Formation Team.
In the official vision statement she submitted for her nomination, Kemper stressed a need to elevate the civil engineering profession as a whole: “We are professionals! It is our obligation to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the public. To differentiate ourselves from others who claim to be qualified to perform our work, we need to continually increase our education, knowledge, and expertise which is the foundation of our organization.”
Her career honors include receiving the New Jersey Section’s 2015 ASCE Civil Engineer of the Year Award, and the William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award in 2013.
Swallow oversees a team of engineers responsible for delivering Las Vegas public-works projects and sanitary sewer collection system planning. Previously, she worked in the office of Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), from 2009-2012, and served as president of AVP Consulting Inc., from 2004-2009.
Active in ASCE for more than two decades, Swallow serves as the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute’s first Board-appointed Governor and is a member of the Transportation Policy Committee. Among many past roles, she served as Region 8 Director from 2012-2015 and Region 8 Governor from 2005-2008.
In her vision statement, Swallow emphasized how ASCE needs to continue taking a big-picture approach to achieving the tenets of Vision 2025: “To be leaders shaping public policy and our communities, we need to regain our position as technical advisers and key influencers. What will it take to achieve our vision and be the global leaders we aspire to? We need to be aligned in our purpose, work together, and change the conversation.”
Swallow earned the ASCE Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement in 2008, the ASCE Young Engineer of the Year Award for the Western Region in 2000, and the ASCE Young Engineer of the Year for Southern Nevada in 1998.
ASCE’s election will be conducted from May 1 through June 1 via online balloting. All members in good standing at the grade of associate or above as of March 15, 2016, will be eligible to vote. The election includes in some cases contests for Region Directors and Governors, depending on the Section or Branch a member calls home.
The 2017 ASCE President-elect will succeed Mattei in October at the 2016 ASCE Convention in Portland, OR, then will advance to 2018 President the following year. Get to know nominees Robin Kemper and Kristina Swallow via the extended biographies and vision statements each submitted.