New York City

John M. Dionisio, AECOM

John M. Dionisio

Delivering Excellence

Editors’ Note

Prior to being appointed Chairman, John Dionisio served as CEO and President for AECOM commencing in 2005. Before this, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and earlier as the Chief Executive Officer and President of AECOM legacy operating company, DMJM Harris.

Company Brief

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water, and government. With approximately 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM (www.aecom.com) provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance, and sustain the world’s built, natural, and social environments. Since 2005, it has welcomed more than 30 firms into the AECOM family including Tishman Construction and Davis Langdon in 2010 and Spectral Services from India this year. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in approximately 125 countries and had revenue of $7.7 billion during the 12 months ended June 30, 2011.

The company’s positioning statement is “To create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.” Would you characterize the company’s role in addressing global business, economic, and social concerns?

Our 45,000 employees around the world – including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists, and management and construction services professionals – are united by this common goal.

A great example of our ability to leverage AECOM’s full suite of service offerings to deliver on our purpose statement and impact societies on multiple levels would be our work to help transform communities and cities into world stages for international sporting events, such as the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in London and Rio de Janeiro, respectively. Beyond the complexities of the built and natural environments, our work provides a social environment legacy that will touch lives for generations.

We improve the quality of life for our employees, the clients we serve, and the communities in which we live. In short, we work to make the world a better place.


AECOM is deeply involved in the
development of the new World Trade Center.

The diversity of AECOM’s service offerings positions the company to participate in virtually every type of development effort around the world. Would you provide some examples?

We provide a unique blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence to clients on every continent and in approximately 125 countries around the world. Our projects vary from the World Trade Center site in New York City to the world’s largest cable-stayed bridge in China to the largest construction project underway in Europe – Crossrail, in London – to the world’s largest greenfield port project in Qatar. In each of these examples, as well as numerous others, we are leveraging an integrated team of AECOM experts working collaboratively to deliver excellence.

What opportunities are there for AECOM to expand its leading position in infrastructure development around the world?

We certainly have a global view of the market, as approximately half of our revenue is currently derived outside of the United States. In general, demand in the global infrastructure market has remained strong. In some parts of the world, such as the U.K., economic challenges have limited the ability for some projects to move forward; however, the demand for infrastructure remains. And we are seeing some parts of the world where demand and funding are both strong – Asia and Australia continue to be good markets and there are significant growth opportunities in India and in the Middle East.

In the United States, there is no shortage of potential projects, whether related to transportation networks, water systems, energy production or environmental improvements. The combination of increasing infrastructure needs and tightened budgets has necessitated states and cities to do more with less. We see an emerging emphasis on public/private partnerships – a proven, performance-based solution to deliver infrastructure faster, cheaper, and with improved accountability to taxpayers.

What distinquished AECOM from its peers in the industry?

AECOM’s greatest strength has always been our people. We have 45,000 people around the world who are committed to serving the best interests of our clients, and we have a culture based on mutual respect and trust, which we call MRT.

We are committed to conducting business with ethics and integrity. As a reflection of this commitment, in March, we were recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

What are the most important areas of focus for AECOM and why?

Our goal has always been to be the best – not simply to be the biggest. We are focused on people, innovation, excellence, and growth.

Understanding that our future starts with our people, we are focused on professional development, succession planning, diversity and inclusion, and employee engagement.

Innovation is an absolute requirement so that we can successfully meet the changes occurring in our industry as well as deliver the new services and technologies necessary to solve the world’s complex problems.

AECOM’s focus on excellence has been a key differentiator to our clients since our company was first established. This will be even more important going forward as client expectations grow and competition for key projects intensifies.

We will continue to pursue growth by expanding our global expertise through our existing operations and attracting new firms that complement AECOM’s service offerings and global footprint. This will benefit our clients and our staff, as our expertise grows and new opportunities become available for our employees.

AECOM is playing a large role in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. Would you tell us about the work and what it means to AECOM?

Immediately after 9/11, AECOM companies and our employees were asked to participate in recovery and rebuilding efforts.

We are tremendously proud to be part of the rising of the new World Trade Center, including our work at One World Trade Center, 3 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, and 7 World Trade Center as well as the site’s transportation hub, vehicle security center, retail component, and the comprehensive site and streetscape design for the World Trade Center district.

We are thankful for the opportunity to support 9/11 rebuilding efforts and we are proud of the contributions of AECOM’s people during the past decade and going forward.

For many of us involved in the project, New York City is our home; we can relate to the project on a personal level. After the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11, the rebirth of this historic site symbolizes New York City’s resilience and we are honored to be a part of the team restoring the lower Manhattan skyline.•