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Kicklighter to Lead WSP USA Coast Guard Maritime Practice

Kicklighter to Lead WSP USA Coast Guard Maritime Practice

Brings over a decade of maritime project and program management experience from advanced leadership roles with the U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineering program.

 POMPANO BEACH, FL — To helm the expansion of its maritime practice, WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, has tapped former U.S. Coast Guard Commanding Officer, Michael Kicklighter.

In his position as senior lead consultant, Kicklighter will be responsible for client relationship management, staff development, management and delivery of multifaceted marine and port projects, and overall growth of the Coast Guard maritime practice across the U.S., and the growth of the maritime practice in South Florida.

“Michael’s demonstrated ability to successfully guide large teams and deliver major, multi-billion-dollar maritime programs speaks to his management prowess,” said Kosal Krishnan, national maritime market sector lead for WSP. “He also understands the trends and needs of the market, and our team will greatly benefit from his knowledge and experience.”

Kicklighter specializes in construction project and program management, facilities operations management and executive leadership innovation. He has directed wide-ranging capital projects, led cross-functional teams in rapid delivery of construction solutions under abbreviated schedules, and established facilities management best practices to develop business, protect assets, reduce operating costs and increase productivity.

Over the past 12 years, Kicklighter has assumed leadership roles of increasing responsibility with the U.S. Coast Guard, including chief of planning and real property, head of the facilities engineering department, and executive officer, culminating in his appointment as commanding officer of the Civil Engineering Unit in Miami.

Kicklighter’s experience also includes steering life-cycle management of high-profile reconstruction and maintenance programs with budgets of $30 million and $70 million; development of a $50 million depot level maintenance and construction program across two Coast Guard districts; and planning and design of a $14 million electrical resiliency project serving 150 housing units in post-Hurricane Maria-damaged Puerto Rico.

“To manage teams with the level of success Michael has had, one must be adept at recognizing individual talent, targeting areas of improvement, and initiating change to create productive workplace results,” Krishnan said. “It’s clear Michael is a focused leader, able to lead project teams and remove barriers to optimal performance.”

Kicklighter earned a master’s degree in business administration and in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He is a certified professional engineer, project management professional and certified energy manager. During his tenure with the U.S. Coast Guard, he received the meritorious service medal, two commendation medals, and three achievement medals.


WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering and professional services firms. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With more than 10,000 employees in 170 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com