Two Key Hires Strengthen HDR’s Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice Team
HDR has added two new regional leaders to its transportation equity and environmental justice team. Lee Caragiale will lead the firm’s Canadian transportation equity work, and Mike Washington will head the U.S. Central region equity and environmental justice activities.
“With the recent U.S. federal executive orders on Equity and Environmental Justice, the objectives set forth in the USDOT Equity Action Plan, and the focus on Environmental Justice in Canada, HDR is well poised with the addition of Mike and Lee to continue to lead the industry in North America in this critical area,” said HDR Transportation Equity Director Cathy LaFata.
Washington is an equity and government affairs expert who brings a wealth of knowledge in equity public policy, transit planning, government relations, environmental justice, public engagement and communication strategies. Working in HDR’s Denver office, he will help clients develop actionable equity policies that provide real-world benefits to their communities.
“I’m excited to work with a broad range of clients in bringing their equity policies to life,” Washington said. “I enjoy helping people know where they can be the most effective in promoting equity and achieving their transportation vision for their community.”
Washington comes to HDR from the office of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, where he was the deputy state director and director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Washington developed a framework to incorporate equity into all of the senator’s policies — a first for the U.S. Senate. Previously, Washington served as the transit equity manager for the Regional Transportation District in Denver.
Caragiale will be a transportation equity lead based in the Toronto office, where she will expand HDR’s transportation equity practice in Canada. With expertise in transportation planning and project evaluation, she will help clients incorporate equity in all stages of a project, including community consultation and navigating equity-driven funding requirements.
“Our clients across Canada are advancing equity through their transportation projects, and I’m eager to assist,” Caragiale said. “I’m excited to shift the focus of transportation planning and delivery to prioritize lowering barriers to economic and society participation for historically marginalized communities. More transportation choices mean more freedom.”
She comes to HDR from Metrolinx, where she was, most recently, manager of project planning. Caragiale played an integral role in advancing equity in the organization’s projects, spearheading the expansion of project evaluation and public outreach. She wrote the initial business case for the 15-km Ontario Line subway, the provincial organization’s first to include an assessment of accessibility and travel time saving benefits for low-income households in Toronto.
For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit www.hdrinc.com.