Randa Chichakli, PE, BCEE, LEED AP, PMP
Environmental and civil engineer Randa Chichakli has dedicated her career to environmental programs and development assistance programs in various parts of the world. She has led hazardous waste investigations and remediation, environmental assessments and other environmental programs in the U.S. and Asia. As delivery leader for CDM Smith's development assistance projects in the Asia Pacific region, Randa is responsible for overseeing the work of multi-discipline technical teams to meet the needs of her clients on a variety of environmental investigation, remediation and regulatory compliance programs and reconstruction projects. Randa’s work on global projects like Agent Orange remediation at Vietnam’s Danang Airport, the Green Prosperity Project for MCA Indonesia, and post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal have worked to reduce health risks, promote environmentally sustainable economic growth, and provide safe schools and health clinics for developing countries.
How have you evolved at CDM Smith? The diverse opportunities I’ve had at CDM Smith is a big part of why I have been with the firm as long as I have and why CDM Smith is a career for me, not just a job. My technical experience in environmental engineering has evolved from underground storage tank investigations, to explosive ordnance disposal sites, to complex multi-treatment groundwater remediation, to Agent Orange cleanup. My career took a turn midway through my CDM Smith career from environmental engineering to program management for our development assistance portfolio. This afforded me a whole new kind of career evolution to work for different clients in different parts of the world and gave me the chance to expand my technical experience into program management, construction management, disaster response and reconstruction, and water/wastewater facilities. I feel very lucky to have found CDM Smith early in my career and am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to grow and evolve with the firm.
How might clients describe you? Clients positively respond to my communication style; I ensure that we have regular project discussions with our clients and stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle to make sure we are all on the same page. I’ve found that clients think my meetings are efficient, informative and provide a forum for quick problem resolution.
What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you? After I graduated from college with my civil engineering bachelor’s degree, I wasn’t too excited about being a “real engineer.” So, I joined the Peace Corps and lived in Chad, Africa for 2 years working on basic drinking water and sanitation issues. After my service, I was introduced to the Superfund programme through the EPA, which got me excited about being an engineer again.
What are your 3 non-work passions? Traveling (I’ve been to 60 different countries so far!), scuba diving and living the principle of “work hard, play hard.”