Parsons Fellows Program

Lead with Solutions

Science. Engineering. Technology. Established in 2017, the Parsons Fellows Program recognizes the corporation’s top technical talent; fosters engagement, mentorship, and retention; and promotes innovation in solving our customers’ most difficult technical challenges.

The criteria for appointment to the Parsons Fellows Program are stringent and take several factors into account, including expertise in a scientific, engineering, or technology discipline; industry recognition and awards; and demonstrated contributions to the success of Parsons projects and programs—among other benchmarks. The first group of Parsons Fellows will be selected in March 2018 and inducted in June 2018. The group will serve as a think tank to solve technical challenges through either strategic research and development or the development of long-term policies and procedures.

The program’s board—chaired by Virginia Grebbien, Chief of Staff—has been established and consists of six other members who will be inducted in January 2018.

About the Board

Virginia Grebbien

Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff

Ms. Grebbien oversees the corporation’s corporate strategy, government relations, investment and development, and marketing and communications functions. She joined Parsons in 2008 and most recently served as the President of one of Parsons’ business units. Ms. Grebbien is a recognized expert in the water sector. She also has considerable experience in government relations, public policy, strategic customer development, business development, project development and finance, and project management. She was one of four women inducted into the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2014, and she also received the 2012 Outstanding Corporate Woman Award as part of the Thirteenth Annual Women in Business Legislative Update & Awards Luncheon. She currently serves on the boards of Liberty Utilities, the California Science Center, the California Foundation on the Environment and Economy, the Los Angeles Business Council, and the Los Angeles Sports Council. She is a registered professional engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she was one of just a half-dozen women in her graduating class and previously served as a member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Board.

Tom Burns

Senior Vice President, Salt Waste Processing Facility Deputy Project Manager and Director of Engineering

Dr. Burns joined Parsons in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the oversight, design, and construction of complex nuclear material processing and waste disposition facilities. He currently serves as the Deputy Project Manager and Director of Engineering for the Savannah River Site’s (SRS’s) Salt Waste Processing Facility Project in Aiken, SC, which declared construction completion in May 2016—8 months ahead of the target schedule and more than $60 million under the target for construction activities. He leads the project’s multidisciplinary engineering, construction support, and nuclear safety team, which is now focused on testing and training in preparation for the start of operations. In addition to serving on several boards and committees, he is an active participant in Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, a nonprofit, grassroots organization that provides information about the benefits and risks of nuclear technologies and the SRS. He has also authored numerous publications in the areas of nuclear safety and engineering and risk analysis. He is a registered professional engineer and holds his doctorate degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Virginia where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Mohamed El-Basyouny

Project Manager/Pavement Specialist

Dr. El-Basyouny joined Parsons in 2013 and has nearly 25 years of experience in pavement design using a mechanistic empirical approach, linear elastic and finite element analysis of pavement systems, applied statistical approaches for pavement performance reliability methodologies, and site experience in roads construction. He has served as both a research specialist and assistant professor at Arizona State University (ASU), his alma mater. In addition, he has authored, contributed to, and reviewed numerous journal articles and reports over the course of his career, including Transportation Research Board (TRB) reports and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide. He sits on two TRB committees and is also a member of, and contributor to, numerous other professional organizations. He is also a seasoned lecturer, adept at sharing his knowledge of new technologies and long-lasting design practices. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cairo University, as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in civil engineering from ASU. He is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Elie Homsi

Senior Vice President, Construction

Mr. Homsi joined Parsons in 2013, has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, and is one of North America’s outstanding bridge constructors. He currently provides constructibility, construction engineering, and means and methods support to all of Parsons’ business units. He has developed innovative solutions that have garnered numerous professional awards and have been granted U.S. and international patents. In addition to being an active member of several committees dealing with bridge and transportation technologies, he also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building footbridges over impassible rivers so that isolated communities across the globe can access healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. He is a registered professional engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a bachelor’s degree in applied science, math/physics/chemistry from Lebanese American University. Mr. Homsi is based in Colorado and travels extensively to offer his engineering-construction expertise to Parsons’ growing construction practice.

Hamid Iravani

Transportation Planning Director

Mr. Iravani joined Parsons in 2013 and has more than 30 years of experience designing, managing, and executing a wide variety of transportation projects. As a transportation planner, he specializes in state-of-the-art strategic multimodal travel demand forecast model development, microsimulation, traffic engineering, routing, logistics, database management, the linkage between land use and transportation, and geographic information systems. He has developed innovative solutions such as an intersection delay function algorithm that is part of TransCAD Transportation Planning Software under his name. In addition, he has authored numerous publications on subjects such as the concept of New Urbanism, intersection operation, public transit, and the linkage between land use and transportation in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of the Transportation Research Board and The Journal of Transport and Land Use. During his undergraduate career, he double majored in psychology and urban studies, ultimately receiving a bachelor’s degree and a certificate, respectively. He also holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Portland State University with a specialty in urban design. He is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Venkat Rao

Program Director, Health Market Lead

Dr. Rao joined Parsons in 2013 and has nearly 30 years of industry experience. He is a nationally known subject matter expert in the fields of biomedical toxicology, pharmacology, and toxic informatics with proven experience in the understanding and integration of complex biomedical technologies with information systems-based tools for applications in chemical-biological risk analysis, clinical intelligence, public health, and homeland security. He currently leads all of Parsons’ pursuits in chem-bio related areas, ongoing biomedical research and development (R&D), George Mason University’s collaboration with the Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, and the outreach Parsons performs within the chem-bio arena in industry and academia. Dr. Rao was formerly a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences under the Young Investigators Program, Science and Technology Policy Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Fellowship Program, AAAS Robert C. Barnard Environmental Scholar, Visiting Scholar of The Hastings Center, and Senior Fellow, CSC Defense Group. He has hands-on experience in international collaborative global health R&D projects leading to joint funding from U.S. agencies and scientific publications with the international science partners. He has authored more than 100 technical publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He is board certified by the American Board of Toxicology and holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, two master’s degrees in pharmacology and toxicology, and a doctorate degree in biochemistry.

Tom Spoth

Vice President, National Bridge Practice Lead

Mr. Spoth joined Parsons in 1984 and has nearly 35 years of experience in bridge design, fabrication, inspection, condition evaluation, and rehabilitation, as well as the management of major bridge projects. His accomplishments include award-winning work on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington, the Autoroute 25 bridge in Montreal, the new Carquinez Bridge in California, and ongoing work on the new Goethals Bridge in New York. He is a member of numerous professional societies and sits on the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association’s Engineering and Design committee. He has also authored numerous publications and presented at major conferences across the globe. In addition, he has actively participated in activities with New Jersey’s Roebling Museum, including lecturing about design and construction of the new Goethals Bridge and manufacturing of bridge cables, as well as leading their annual STEAM Camp, a week-long camp that includes engaging youth in building suspension bridges. He is a registered professional engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University (ODU), where he has remained active as an alumnus and shares his knowledge and expertise with current students. In 2014, he was honored by ODU’s College of Engineering and Technology with an Outstanding Alumni & Friends Humanitarian Award. Mr. Spoth is based in New York City.

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