DDOT Program Manager Diyar Bozkurt Joins McKissack & McKissack as V.P. of Infrastructure
McKissack & McKissack, one of the nation’s leading Black- and woman-owned architecture, engineering and construction companies, announced today Diyar Bozkurt, Ph.D., will head its national infrastructure practice. He comes to McKissack from the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., where he led some of the city’s most significant infrastructure projects. His more than 20 years of civil engineering experience make him a strategic addition to McKissack’s leadership team at a time when at least $19 billion from President Biden’s historic $1.2 trillion infrastructure act is earmarked for the Washington metro area.
Among the most significant and indispensable construction projects Bozkurt worked on at the DDOT were the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, a design-build project, and the construction of the improved Interstate295/Malcolm X Avenue interchange. Among his other critical assignments were program manager for the DC Streetcar, including construction of its Car Barn Training Center (CBTC)facility and deputy program manager for the DC Power Line Undergrounding (DCPLUG) program.
“As the nation turns its attention to improving infrastructure, we plan to expand our work with transportation departments, including DDOT,” said Deryl McKissack, president and CEO of McKissack. “The barriers to entry in that sector are high, especially for minority and woman-owned businesses. Breaking through those barriers calls for a talented and highly specialized team. Diyar is just the person to lead that team. He ran major programs at DDOT and understands how to navigate their system.”
The federal infrastructure act provides for $1.2 trillion in spending over 10 years, money that will be used to repair aging infrastructure and to build needed new public works. McKissack estimated that about $9 billion of that could go to bridges alone in the Washington area.
“Diyar knows not only how to win big projects, but also what it takes to complete them with excellence, on time and in budget,” McKissack said. “That’s key to McKissack taking the lead in majority-minority teams to build these much-needed roads, bridges and more. Transportation departments like DDOT must move beyond seeing skilled, experienced MWBE firms such as ours as just a way to fulfill set-asides.
“Many mid-sized minority firms are accomplished and successful. The have exceeded the limiting revenue caps stipulated by the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. But they are a fraction of the size of majority firms, which compromises them in the proposal process. Breaking into this kind of work is complex and weighted towards large majority firms,” McKissack explained.
McKissack is already active with infrastructure projects in the D.C. area. The company’s contracts include work on electricity and water improvements to increase the safety and resilience of those services.
Infrastructure act opens new business development opportunities for AEC industry
As vice president for infrastructure at McKissack, Bozkurt is responsible for business development, profit and loss, and managing growth and oversight of the company’s infrastructure portfolio in Washington and nationally. He said his priorities align with those of the federal infrastructure act. “Infrastructure all over the country needs attention right now, especially roads, bridges, railroads, utilities and water. There will be a lot of investment there. We will focus on those contracts, but at the same time, we want to get ready for future investments,” Bozkurt said.
Expanded opportunities in the future will come from infrastructure that undergirds sustainable development, he said. That includes transit, renewable energy and charging stations for electric vehicles.
“We can use our program management and construction management expertise to support owners who must meet emerging demand for such projects. For instance, we aren’t designing charging stations now, but we can help owners work with the public sector to get permits and install those stations without issues. But we are also building on our PMCM expertise and expanding our infrastructure team with hand-picked people who have the skills to manage these increasingly important projects,” Bozkurt said. “As these opportunities grow, we are getting ready to have the right kind of talent on our team to design and build the infrastructure of the future.”
Diyar Bozkurt blends public sector and private sector expertise to lead infrastructure practice
“After we successfully wrapped up the big I-295/Malcolm X assignment at DDOT, I started thinking about a change that would let me explore other kinds of projects,” Bozkurt said. “I heard that McKissack was looking for a vice president for infrastructure. It sounded like a great opportunity and a perfect match for me. When I saw the team that Deryl has built, how diverse and talented they are, I felt working at McKissack would be meaningful because it reflects the future of our workforce. And I liked the idea of working for a woman-owned company—I have two daughters.”
Bozkurt was born in Turkey and received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Istanbul Technical University. He came to the United States to study at the University of Illinois, where he earned both his master’s and his doctorate in civil engineering. From Illinois, he moved to the Washington area, where for more than 20 years he held engineering positions in both the private and public sectors. He worked at DDOT for nine years over two tenures. He most recently was a program manager in the Mega and Special Projects Branch.
Bozkurt’s numerous professional certifications and registrations include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Construction Manager (CCM) and registered Professional Engineer (PE) in D.C., Maryland, Michigan and Virginia. He lives in Alexandria, Va., with his wife and two young daughters.
About McKissack & McKissack: Founded in 1990, McKissack is a national woman- and minority- owned architecture, engineering, program- and construction-management firm dedicated to delivering industry-leading expertise and best-in-class services to a diverse array of clients in all market sectors. McKissack strives to work with clients to envision and deliver building and infrastructure projects that enrich people’s lives and empower communities to flourish. Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles, McKissack’s three services areas are architecture and interiors, program and construction management and infrastructure. It is ranked by Engineering News-Record among the top 50 Program Management Firms and top 100Construction Management For-Fee firms in the nation. Learn more at mckinc.com.