Woodard & Curran Announces Alyson Watson as New CEO

Industry-leading water & environmental firm Woodard & Curran has announced that its Board of Directors selected Alyson Watson, PE to succeed Doug McKeown as CEO effective January 1, 2021, making her the firm’s third CEO in its 41-year history. This is the culmination of a 3-year process to transition CEO leadership proactively and seamlessly. The Board selected Watson from an exceptional list of internal and external candidates, as the firm prepares to wrap up another successful fiscal year despite the social, economic, and public health challenges that 2020 presented.

“I am truly honored to lead this incredible company as its next CEO,” Watson said. “Woodard & Curran is a different kind of firm. Focused on our people, our clients, and the community, we bring a complete range of capabilities to meet the most critical water- and environment-related challenges. But the thing that makes us special, and the thing that really sets us apart, is the level of professionalism and commitment our talented people bring to every client and project. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to lead this excellent team as we transition into our next phase of growth.”

Alyson Watson, CEO, Woodard & Curran

Watson is a Stanford University graduate and accomplished triathlete with 20 years of experience as an executive leader, environmental consultant, and project manager focused on water resources planning and water quality analysis. She joined Woodard & Curran in 2016, following the acquisition of RMC Water and Environment where she had served as President and CEO. Since then, Watson has successfully led the Municipal West strategic business unit for Woodard & Curran. She was elected to the firm’s Board of Directors in 2018 and is currently serving as the Chair of the Governance & Nomination Committee. She is also a Director and ESOP Trustee for Mark Thomas & Co., a California-based transportation engineering firm.

“I couldn’t be more excited handing the reins to Alyson,” McKeown said. “She represents the next generation of leadership for our firm and will guide us forward with a commitment to the same values that our founders, Frank Woodard and Al Curran, built this firm on and that I have been a steward of since 2007. Her strategic mindset and resilient attitude will serve us well as we head into the next chapter in a rapidly changing landscape.”

McKeown joined Woodard & Curran in 1992 to start-up and lead the firm’s Operations & Maintenance business unit, and he later served as Director of Marketing. In 2007 he became Woodard & Curran’s second CEO, taking the helm from co-founder Al Curran. Under McKeown’s leadership, the firm’s revenue tripled, employee count grew from 450 to more than 1,100 people serving clients across the U.S., and private ownership expanded to more than a third of the employees. Other noteworthy accomplishments under McKeown’s tenure include climbing to #74 on Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design firms list, the formation of the Woodard & Curran Foundation, publication of the firm’s first Corporate Social Responsibility Report, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a culture of health and safety.

Woodard & Curran is a privately held company known for handling a wide range of water and environmental issues, solving complex problems with creativity and tenacity. The firm celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020, and remains committed to its mission to: develop and perpetuate a safe, enjoyable, gratifying, and fulfilling place to work with the important objectives of growth, freedom, challenge, recognition, and reward; deliver to clients and the community a continually expanding range of high-quality consulting engineering, science, and operations services; and in all endeavors of the company to act in a character of good faith and fairness, and at all times, hold protection of the environment in a regard superior to that of all other interests.