Carlos Swonke, former director of environmental affairs for the Texas Department of Transportation, has joined HNTB Corporation as a national practice consultant.
Amassing more than 34 years in the field, Swonke is regarded as an expert in natural resources/environmental planning, National Environmental Policy Act compliance, project management, program management and policy development.
“Carlos’ experience planning and managing environmental projects and programs, his knowledge of NEPA requirements, procedures and related laws will be invaluable as our clients endeavor to clear the way for transformative transportation projects,” said Mike Inabinet, PE, HNTB Central Region president.
Working from HNTB’s Austin office, Swonke will serve transportation agencies in the region and across the country. He is responsible for providing support and technical assistance to the environmental planning team and lending his expertise in project pursuits and client interaction.
“Carlos led TxDOT through environmental review process improvements, facilitated the environmental clearance of some of the largest projects in the DOT’s history and was instrumental in Texas becoming only the second state to receive NEPA assignment,” said Chris Price, PE, HNTB Central Division president. “He is among the leading environmental experts in the region if not the country.”
Swonke’s career includes experience in the private sector as a consultant for a variety of clients, including the Department of Defense, the National Park Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which led him to an assignment in New York City after 9/11.
Swonke’s counsel is sought by top industry trade organizations, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board. He actively participates in their meetings and discussions and has presented on a variety of projects and issues.
“Carlos is known throughout the country for his leadership and expertise in successfully advancing complex projects through the environmental review process” said John Barton, PE, HNTB professional services chair. “This experience and expertise will be of great value to communities and public agencies across the country as they develop and deliver transportation projects to provide equitable and safe mobility solutions that also enhance their citizens’ quality of life.”
Swonke earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Sul Ross State University and a master’s degree in geography/environmental resources from Texas State University.
HNTB has been involved in some of the Central region’s most high-profile, complex environmental planning projects, including the Dallas Horseshoe Project, the KCATA East Village Transit Center and the award-winning Champ Clark Bridge Replacement and Carlos will serve as an expert advisor to similar projects across the country.