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November 10, 2020

Portland-based engineering firm Woodard & Curran to change CEOs

Doug McKeown, CEO of one of Maine’s top environmental engineering firms, Woodard & Curran, will step down from his role at the end of the year.

The firm’s board has named Alyson Watson, currently business unit leader in the Woodard & Curran San Francisco office, to succeed McKeown on Jan. 1, 2021, according to a news release Monday.

Courtesy / Woodard & Curran
Alyson Watson will become CEO of Woodard & Curran in 2021, succeeding Doug McKeown.

She will become the third CEO in the company’s 41-year history, and the first woman to hold the role.

McKeown, 59, will continue to serve as board chairman of the privately held company, which provides a variety of engineering, scientific and operational services for environmental and water-related projects in the fields of government, industry, energy and more. In addition to its Portland headquarters, Woodard & Curran operates 27 offices and has over 1,100 employees.

McKeown joined the firm in 1992 to head its Operations and Maintenance Business Unit, and later served as director of marketing. In 2007 he became CEO, taking over the helm from co-founder Al Curran.

Under McKeown’s leadership, the firm said, revenue has tripled while the number of staff has more than doubled. In 2015, Mainebiz named McKeown a Business Leader of the Year, after Woodard & Curran’s annual revenues had risen 16% to $167 million. The firm also rose to No. 74 on Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list during McKeown's tenure.

Watson, chosen for her new role after a three-year transition planning process, has 20 years of experience as an executive leader, environmental consultant and project manager focused on water resources planning and water quality analysis.

A graduate of Stanford University and a licensed professional engineer, Watson joined Woodard & Curran in 2016, following the acquisition of RMC Water and Environment, where she had served as president and CEO. At Woodard & Curran, she has led the Municipal West Business Unit and was elected to the firm’s board in 2018. She currently is chair of the board's Governance & Nomination Committee.

“I am truly honored to lead this incredible company as its next CEO,” Watson said. “I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to lead this excellent team as we transition into our next phase of growth.”

McKeown added, “I couldn’t be more excited handing the reins to Alyson … Her strategic mindset and resilient attitude will serve us well as we head into the next chapter in a rapidly changing landscape.” 

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