The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the voice of America’s engineering industry. Council members – numbering more than 5,000 firms representing more than 500,000 employees throughout the country – are engaged in a wide range of engineering works that propel the nation’s economy, and enhance and safeguard America’s quality of life. The Council’s mission is to contribute to America’s prosperity and welfare by advancing the business interests of member firms.
David A. Raymond has been President of ACEC for the past 16 years, joining the Council in March 1999. He came to the Council after 20 years in the engineering industry in executive positions with Raytheon in Massachusetts, Ebasco in New York, ENSERCH Corporation in Dallas, Texas, and TAMS in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has named him a member of their Committee of 100. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Feeling the Effects of Our Third-world Infrastructure
…we’ve fallen further behind in our transportation systems and even farther than what some people think is the damage we’ve done to our environment through climate change, and the man-made contribution to climate change. The point of no return, I think, in infrastructure is already reflected in a relatively weak economy, and our inability to really lead the world anymore.
A Unique Generational Opportunity & Responsibility
The generational opportunity comes in kind of a strange way, as a result of the fact that the weakened economy has given us interest rates that are so low that you could almost borrow money free in order to invest in infrastructure development…We’ve got to get our kids to understand the role of infrastructure development in our society, and not to be satisfied with the poorly performing infrastructure that they have.
We Desperately Need Leadership
There is a complete lack of leadership in Washington for anything that has to do with our infrastructure, and quite frankly there’s a lack of leadership in many other areas as well. It starts at the top with the President; it goes right through the leadership in the Congress…They’re not dealing with the big issues that are confronting the country, and this has been going on for some time.
Engineers Are the Voice of Reason, But We Don’t Hear Them
Engineers have a lot to say. They’re very truthful in the expression of what our society needs to do in order to perform better. The fact is that engineers, because of their technical knowledge and background, are not well versed in how to deal with the politics of our society.
Educated Public and Engaged Leadership
Americans are very resilient people; they put up with a lot, their country is becoming more of a third-world country, and it’s very unfortunate and I hate to say, the only time Americans are really going to wake up to this is when stuff absolutely disappears…So we need leaders who can point to the areas where we need to make much greater progress and we don’t have those leaders. We need a public that is much better educated about infrastructure and other areas, and we don’t have that.