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Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Award - Individual

Nomination Deadline: January 15th

The ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Award recognizes individuals who have advanced civil engineering issues through promotion of the Key Contact Program and legislative advocacy with their members of Congress, state legislatures and external audiences.

Award Criteria

The Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year  program will recognize an individual Key Contact as well as an ASCE Section or Branch who has made strides in promoting ASCE legislative initiatives, engaging their member(s) of Congress and/or state legislators on ASCE's Priority Issues and/or actively promoting the Key Contact Program .

(If interested in the group level award, please visit  Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Award - Group .)

While all nominations will receive consideration, favorable consideration will be given to those that advance our strategic legislative goals, specifically focusing on:

1. Priority Issues :

While our membership has diverse civil engineering interests, there are certain issues that affect a larger portion of our members than others, or that have cascading effects on the future of civil engineering and public safety. ASCE members or teams who advocate on our priority issues will be given favorable consideration. 

2020 Federal Priority Issues 

  • Civil Engineering Education (Higher Education)
  • Clean Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Issues
  • Natural Hazards Mitigation & Infrastructure Security
  • Qualifications Based Selection for Engineering Services
  • Research and Development Funding
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education & Support (K-12)
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation Infrastructure

2020 State Priority Issues 

  • Continuing Education & Licensing
  • Natural Hazards Impact Mitigation & Infrastructure Security
  • Qualifications-Based Selection for Engineering Services
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education & support (K-12)
  • State Support for Civil Engineering (Higher Education)
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation Infrastructure Financing

For state legislators, check your state legislature's webpage to find lists of leaders for each chamber and committees that deal with issues similar to the federal committees listed above.

2. Priority Legislators Who Serve on Committees of Jurisdiction:

As you are aware, there are certain legislators who have a greater impact on the passage or defeat of our legislative priorities than others. Their leadership on civil engineering issues, as well as their influence among their colleagues, can affect our legislative outcomes more than other legislators. Therefore, engagement with these legislators has a bigger return on investment than with lawmakers who are not involved in civil engineering issues.   

Included in this group is any member of the House or Senate Leadership. You can find leadership lists on your State Legislature's website as well.   

At the federal level, members of the following House committees are especially important to our legislative goals:


In the Senate, lawmakers who serve on the following committees that deal with the Highway Trust Fund are especially important:

For state legislators, check your state legislature's webpage to find lists committees in each that deal with issues similar to the federal committees listed above.     

3. High Engagement Activities: 

"High engagement" refers to those activities that require more time. They are usually characterized by offline, or face-to-face interaction with the legislator. We know that legislators place a higher degree of influence and importance on face-to-face contact opportunities, such as constituent meetings and town hall events in the district (Congressional Management Foundation, 2011). High engagement communications convey more sincerity, effort and intensity----all components of relationship building. Included in this category are activities that seek to educate external audiences about how legislation affects civil engineering, such as media interviews, speeches to local business organizations, presentations to opinion leaders, etc. 

4. Key Contact Program Promotion:

Mobilizing ASCE members quickly in support of or against legislation is critical to the Society's ability to achieve its Strategic Priorities and Goals. The Key Contact Program is the foundation of that mobilization with its self-identified Key Contacts. Key Contacts are ASCE members who help influence public policy important to the Society and the stewardship of infrastructure and the environment by agreeing to receive and act-upon legislative action alerts. Increasing the number of Key Contacts that take action and establish relationships with their elected officials increases ASCE's political influence. 

5. Freshman Legislators:

Many new legislators have little understanding of civil engineering issues. Therefore, our ability to provide credible information early in their careers increases the possibility of their support during critical legislative debates. Outreach to freshman offices only comes around in the session immediately following an election cycle, odd years for most states and the federal level. While it can be challenging to land a meeting during the early days/months of their term, making a direct connection with new Members of Congress or State Legislators is an excellent way to establish yourself, or the Section or Branch, as a trusted advisor.




    Applications for the 2021 Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year are now available. View the 2021 guidelines and individual application.

    Award Recipients

    Tiffany Reed-Villareal

    All Recipients