The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognized Griselda Gonzales with the ASCE Texas Section as the 2021 Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year. Gonzales' efforts have promoted the civil engineering profession to state and local Texas lawmakers, advancing critical legislation within the Lone Star State. She met with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn to advocate for the passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 and for the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill.
Locally in Texas, she provided testimony to the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources regarding Hurricane Harvey in 2018; led the 2019 Texas Section Legislative Drive-In; and spearheaded two State Public Affairs Grants (SPAG) for the Section and the Houston Branch. Her involvement has continued with participation in the 2021 Legislative Drive-In and Fly-In.
"I am honored and humbled in receiving this award because I was nominated by my peers," said Gonzales. "That means a lot. Thank you ASCE Texas family for creating a safe space to learn, grow and further develop our professional skills."
Recently, Gonzales was a leader behind the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card (IRC) for Texas and serving as the Texas Section's vice president of Professional Affairs (2020-2021). As a key contact, she continues to engage in public policy and meet with local representatives and elected officials.
The Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Award was created to recognize the efforts of ASCE Key Contact advocates who consistently promote ASCE's legislative issues that advance the engineering profession and the public it serves. This can be done through meetings with policymakers, interactions with the media and spearheading advocacy tools such as pertinent reports to their state. Awardees can be nominated by another individual or group.
"Griselda has a long history of championing infrastructure to better serve her community and profession, and those efforts have only increased over the years," said Jean-Louis Briaud, president of American Society of Civil Engineers. "Griselda is the perfect example of what one person with great passion and sense of civic duty can accomplish, shedding light on critical issues and inspiring others to follow her lead. Her work advocating for infrastructure prioritization with members of Congress and advancing the 2021 Report Card for Texas' Infrastructure demonstrates her commitment to the field, and we are grateful to have her as a member of ASCE."
Gonzales established GRIS Engineering PLLC, a female-minority owned firm, in May 2021. She has a broad range of experience including planning, design, construction administration and management of public and private projects. Most recently she focused on planning and designing mobility infrastructure projects to assist local communities with leveraging federal funding opportunities for needed improvements.
Her passion extended to her professional career when she joined the ASCE Texas section in 2017 after attending the section's Legislative Drive-In. Her passion for sustainability and educating others on infrastructure and the civil engineering profession kept her active with the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) where she served as co-chair, chair and then vice president of Professional Affairs elect. She has remained committed to the organization by promoting ASCE and advancing civil engineers as trusted advisors.
For more information on ASCE's Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Awards, visit https://www.asce.org/career-growth/awards-and-honors/advocate-of-the-year-award.
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