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Rebecca Nolan Assumes Chief Development Officer Role at WSP USA

Parul Dubey on January 9, 2023 - in News, People

Nolan, who previously served as Central region president, replaces retiring David McAlister in the national leadership position.


CHICAGO — Rebecca Nolan has been promoted to chief development officer at WSP USA, a leading engineering, environment and professional services consultancy USA. Nolan succeeds David McAlister, who is retiring after working at WSP for more than 30 years.

As chief development officer, Nolan oversees strategic growth of the firm’s national business lines and leads a national team focused on deepening client relationships, developing client strategies and delivering client service excellence by aligning the firm’s cross-sector capabilities; thought leadership and technical excellence to meet evolving client needs.

Nolan previously served as Central region president, collaborating with fellow regional presidents and national business line leaders. Joseph Willhite, WSP USA senior vice president, succeeds Nolan as president for the Central region.

“I’m eager for Rebecca to introduce her extensive and proven leadership talent to this position,” said Lou Cornell, WSP USA president and CEO. Reflecting on McAlister, he added, “Dave has been instrumental to our success and an influential leader for more than three decades at WSP, both at the U.S. and global levels. I’m grateful to have served with him.”

“I have been with WSP for more than 35 years, and I am proud of the solutions and projects we have delivered to our clients,” McAlister said. “I look forward to continue supporting Rebecca as she assumes this position.”

Nolan brings more than 35 years of strategic planning, design and management experience to her new leadership role, along with a commitment to practice excellence and operational performance. Prior to WSP USA, she served as an executive vice president leading strategic growth for another international engineering firm.  

Throughout her career, Nolan has developed practices and people around a shared vision and common purpose to build high-performance teams across a broad range of business lines, including transportation, buildings, water, energy and environmental services, and providing consulting, planning, design and program management services for public sector and corporate clients, as well as the federal government.

Nolan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. She holds membership in the Urban Land Institute, WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar), the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials and the American Institute of Architects. She holds a LEED AP certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. She is based in the firm’s downtown Chicago office.


WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering, environment and professional services firms. Recognized on Fast Company’s Brands that Matter List for 2022 as a top Community-Minded Business, WSP USA brings together engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals who are dedicated to collaborate in the best interests of serving local communities. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With more than 15,500 employees in 300 offices across the U.S., WSP partners with its clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com

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