K. Jane Williams and Cheryl Walker are joining HNTB's Advisory Practices after careers in the Federal government.  -  Photo: HNTB/ METRO

K. Jane Williams and Cheryl Walker are joining HNTB's Advisory Practices after careers in the Federal government.

Photo: HNTB/METRO

Former Federal leaders K. Jane Williams and Cheryl Walker are joining HNTB Corporation as national practice consultants and VPs in the firm’s Advisory practice.

Based in HNTB’s Washington, D.C. office, Williams will serve clients nationwide as an advisor related to federal transportation funding and policy strategies, while Walker will be based in HNTB’s Arlington office and use her deep understanding of federal laws and programs governing infrastructure and their impact on the state and local agencies operating those assets to serve clients nationwide as a policy and program advisor.

Williams Bringing Experience

Williams brings more than two decades of experience in federal and state government along with work in the private sector in the areas of transportation and infrastructure.

Her work includes serving as sr. advisor to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and acting administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from August 2017 to January 2021.

As acting administrator, Williams managed some of the largest formula and competitive grant programs within the DOT representing more than $80 billion in economic investment in transportation infrastructure across the nation.

“I know Jane’s impact in transportation firsthand. She is a recognized leader in helping to shape funding and strategy initiatives that deliver improved transportation systems and enhanced mobility,” said Jim Ray, HNTB corporate president. “She also will provide exceptional value to our clients given her understanding and experience on public policy and the legislative process, both at the state and federal level.”

In addition to her time at the FTA, Williams previously served as director of the Washington Area Transit Office of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). In that role, she led and managed investments for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on behalf of MDOT and helped advise the MDOT secretary on a variety of issues, including policy, budget, safety, and service reliability.

During her tenure she was instrumental, along with her colleagues in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia, in establishing the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, an independent agency that oversees and enforces safety practices on the WMATA system. Prior to that, she served as a senior legislative advisor to Congressman Andy Harris, who serves as a member of the Appropriations Committee.

Williams has received numerous secretarial awards across her federal career and was recognized in 2018 by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials as a part of their annual Women Who Move the Nation for her leadership in advancing America’s transportation infrastructure.

Walker Goes From FHWA to HNTB

Walker comes to HNTB from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), where she most recently served as the associate administrator for FHWA’s Office of Safety.

“Cheryl’s insights and unique perspective of transportation policy and priorities at the federal level will bring extraordinary value to our work with clients across the country,” said Ray. “I have had the pleasure of working with Cheryl for a number of years and know her vast experience in leading policy and programmatic initiatives will provide us an enhanced ability to offer needed solutions on large-scale projects and programs.”

While at FHWA, Walker provided executive leadership and direction in the development and implementation of strategic national initiatives, programs, and policies to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the nation's public roads. She also oversaw the agency’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, which delivers funds to states to support projects focused on reducing fatalities and serious injuries.

Walker also served as director of FHWA’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications for more than six years, where she coordinated with agency leadership and Congressional committees on recommendations for statutory, regulatory, and guidance changes to help improve the delivery of transportation infrastructure.

HNTB's Advisory Practice

HNTB’s Advisory practice provides a holistic, strategic perspective to help clients develop and deliver their most complex programs.

Specializing in advising on large complex projects and programs, the firm works directly with clients’ executive-level management to provide strategic and commercial advice, drawing on legal, technical, management, and policy expertise.

The practice brings in-depth knowledge of innovative delivery models, along with substantial transactional experience and understanding of public and private sector perspectives, to drive innovation and facilitate informed decision-making across disciplines.

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