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Guest on The Infra Blog: Anthony B. Bouchard, PE, North America Unit President, CDM Smith

Posted by Steve Anderson on Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Mr. Anthony B. Bouchard, also known as Tony, has been North America Unit President at CDM Smith Inc. since September 2015. Mr. Bouchard served as an Executive Vice President and Central Region Executive at AECOM Technology Corporation. He has 30 years of experience in the consulting industry, serving in progressive levels of management at AECOM. Most recently, he was the Executive Vice President of AECOM’s Americas Water business, driving sales growth and project delivery excellence. Prior to this, he served in successive regional management roles within AECOM, and directed all business lines within several regions of the Americas. He serves as a Director of World Business Chicago. He is a Founding Member of the Clarkson University School of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Council. He is a registered professional engineer in eight states and a board certified environmental engineer in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Mr. Bouchard earned a BS in civil engineering from Clarkson University, an MS in environmental engineering from Loyola Marymount University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

The Lifecycle Reality of Our Infrastructure
Greater infrastructure investment is critical to our public health and safety and, essentially, our economy’s competitiveness…Right now, I believe, is the most significant time to invest in our infrastructure. Our nation has been building its existing infrastructure for the last 50-75 years, and we’ve essentially reached the lifecycle reality of having not only to continue to expand our core networks but to anticipate further population growth, and at the same time having to begin the rebuilding of our assets since they have come to the end of their useful life.

Funding Options at Our Fingertips
We’re at a critical juncture and the needs are substantial, and they certainly outstretch our traditional funding sources. What I believe we have to do is look at the portfolio of funding opportunities that are out there and provide a customized solution for the major projects that our nation needs. There’s no single funding mechanism that we should view as a silver bullet or a magic wand that’s going to solve every single problem. Our infrastructure leaders need to consider the full complement of options to fit a specific project’s needs and opportunities, as well as what works best for their individual organizations.

Building Public Engagement Is Critical
We’re seeing, over the course of my career, the last 30-plus years, a significant improvement in the public’s understanding of the state of our infrastructure. Does it accelerate that understanding when we have some significant, real and perceived, failures of systems? I think it does. It’s unfortunate that that has to occur to help educate, but when that does happen we’re offered a unique opportunity to expand on the work that’s done…My opinion is continued education and communication on the importance and value of infrastructure is critically important, and we can do that by engaging more people in the infrastructure discussion.

Awareness Boosts Innovation
I think the awareness is increasing significantly over what it was 15, 20 years ago. An example of that is the willingness of the public to look at the reuse of highly treated wastewater for various needs, whether it be industrial reuse, whether it be wetlands enhancement, whether it be indirect, or even direct potable reuse is, perhaps, a signal that we’ve reached that tipping point to look at innovative solutions to solve our complex needs. It’s interesting to note that there are some excellent examples of innovation, both in terms of the technology—in terms of forward-looking planning—as well as innovative financing.

CDM Smith: Integrated Infrastructure Solutions
CDM Smith provides integrated infrastructure solutions in the markets of water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities. We serve both public and private clients worldwide. We serve public-sector clients in local, state and federal government, and private industry from about 125 offices around the world…We have about 5,000 employees and we are employee-owned, which while not unique in our space, is a differentiator for us in that we can provide focus on what we want to accomplish in the long term, given that our shareholders are our employees.


Download full transcript (PDF): Tony Bouchard on The Infra Blog

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