WSP, a leading engineering, environment and professional services consultancy, hired Shawn Wilson, PhD, who served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) from 2016 to 2023, as the national agency coordination leader for transportation and infrastructure.
Wilson, based in Baton Rouge, will expand WSP’s network within the transportation and infrastructure industry; identify strategic growth opportunities; and support communication efforts with state and federal governments across the U.S.
“I’ve long admired Shawn’s leadership in the transportation industry,” said Sofia Berger, U.S. transportation and infrastructure national business line executive at WSP. “His legacy at LaDOTD is impressive, with a track record of innovative thinking and commitment to project delivery across multiple administrations.”
As head of the state DOTD, he oversaw more than $5.2 billion in construction projects, including the state’s first five discretionary grants that exceeded $250 million.
Wilson established the state’s Office of Innovative Procurement, advancing innovative finance and accelerating design-build. He also developed and implemented the state’s first GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) Bond issuance valued at $675 million to include the DOTD’s first two Construction Manager at Risk projects, and successfully delivered the state’s first infrastructure public-private partnership (P3) and ushered the state’s second P3 to near completion, a $2.1 billion bridge P3 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
He also served as then Governor John Bel Edwards’ policy leader and helped develop the framework for the state’s recurring vehicle sales tax initiative, valued at nearly $236 million annually.
Wilson was elected as the first African American president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for 2021-2022. He also served on the executive committee as chairman for the Transportation Research Board.
“Under his term as president of AASHTO, he brought our industry’s crucial role in creating more equitable and inclusive communities to the forefront,” Berger said. “His reputation in the industry is unmatched and WSP clients and partners will benefit from his expertise and his leadership.”
Wilson is a graduate of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning. He is a member of the First College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council.
He also earned a master’s degree in public administration and a doctoral degree in public policy from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University in Baton Rouge.