Former Washington Secretary of Transportation prepares to lead organization through challenging times.

NEW YORK — WTS International, a leading global transportation organization, is focusing on emerging stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic under leadership of its newly elected board of directors led by Paula Hammond, multimodal market leader for WSP USA, as its chair.

WTS membership voted in March for its board candidates, including Hammond. The new board began serving its two-year term at the close of the WTS annual business meeting in May.

In addition to Hammond, Barbara Arens, WSP senior vice president, was elected to serve on the WTS Foundation Board of Directors.

Hammond, in her opening remarks as chair, acknowledged the need for WTS to maintain its strong footing in the industry and emerge from the pandemic with a renewed vision for advancing women in transportation.

“We are in a place to re-imagine the future we want to see,” Hammond said. “How and where will we work? What transportation systems and services will be most effective and efficient? Where can we speed up the transition and integration of innovations? WTS is in a great place to contribute to that future.”

As its chair, Hammond will guide the board’s strategic direction and lead the all-volunteer 11-member board of directors and its executive director in providing national programs, services and support for 62 chapters and more than 8,000 members.

Hammond said the board will be focused on three major efforts during her time as chair: supporting members and chapters, leveraging partnerships with industry associations and sponsors who support the WTS mission, and strengthening its reputation as the go-to association for transportation industry on shaping a future workforce that is inclusive of women at all levels.

“WTS seeks a future that is rich in diversity and outfitted with the best minds to lead us to our transportation future – one that serves all communities and enriches their quality of life and economic vitality,” she said.

This fall, the board will begin updating the organization’s strategic plan, and Hammond will encourage all WTS members and partners to contribute in a “highly engaged process.”

Based in WSP’s Seattle office, Hammond previously served a two-year term as the WTS International board’s vice president. She joined WSP in 2013 after a 34 year-career in transportation, during which time she served as secretary of transportation for the State of Washington from 2007-13. She has been a member of the Puget Sound-Seattle chapter of WTS since 1994, served as a director on the WTS international board since 2014.

“I joined WTS 15 years into my career with the Washington State Department of Transportation,” Hammond said. “It was refreshing to meet other women working in all disciplines of transportation, and the support and friendships I gained were immeasurable. The kinship of WTS builds strong bonds between members, whether they are from the public or private sector.”

She is active in national transportation associations including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Transportation Research Board, and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Arens, who is based in the Detroit office, will serve on the WTS Foundation Board, which is committed to advancing women in transportation by providing scholarship opportunities, providing educational and career development opportunities, and sponsoring research related activities to women pursuing transportation related degrees.

She has been a member of WTS for nearly 25 years in California and Michigan, serving multiple leadership roles with the Michigan chapter, including president in 2008-10 and 2018-20, as well as serving at various times as vice president, treasurer, secretary, programs committee co-chair, scholarship committee and newsletter chair.

“WTS has allowed me to develop personally and professionally, as well as give back to help other young women interested in transportation achieve their goals,” Arens said. “WTS is important to make sure there is the opportunity for existing personal and professional growth, as well as provide scholarships and opportunities for the future women in the transportation profession.”

About WTS International

WTS International is dedicated to creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable transportation industry through the global advancement of women. WTS: Advancing women; advancing transportation. 

About WSP USA

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 9,500 employees in 150 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com

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