Equity in Infrastructure Project names HNTB’s Diana Mendes to chair Advisory Council

EIP works to secure commitments from public agencies to increase the number, size and scope of contracts going to HUBs

ARLINGTON, Va. (Sept. 12, 2022) – HNTB’s Diana Mendes, AICP, has been named chair of the Advisory Council for the Equity in Infrastructure Project. EIP exists to improve public contracting practices by creating more opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses to build generational wealth and reduce the racial wealth gap by creating more prime, joint venture and equity contracting opportunities for these firms.

Mendes serves HNTB’s clients as corporate president of infrastructure and mobility equity. She is responsible for shaping transportation and mobility equity policy through collaboration with federal, state and local agency leaders.

“It’s an honor to work with the Equity in Infrastructure Project and its Advisory Council to drive action and continue advancing inclusive infrastructure,” said Mendes. “I’m confident that this group of dedicated leaders will be successful in answering President Biden’s call to leverage infrastructure spending to build wealth in underserved communities and accelerate growth opportunities for diverse business enterprises.”

Founded in 2022, through its Pledge, EIP works to secure commitments from public agencies to increase the number, size and scope of contracts going to HUBs by facilitating access and reducing barriers to compete for business. Starting from the baseline of their current actions and initiatives, by December 2025, Pledge signers will work to increase the number, size and percentage of HUBs growing to prime contractors, participating in joint ventures or as equity participants.

Mendes has a long history of commitment to social justice and equity issues associated with infrastructure investment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Mount Holyoke College, and a master’s in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She received a Certificate of Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

For several years, Mendes has been an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, teaching the National Transit Institute’s Advanced Environmental Justice seminar. She also regularly speaks at a wide variety of conferences, including Women’s Transportation Seminar, Transportation Research Board, American Public Transportation Association, Rail~Volution and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. She advocates changing the conversation around diversity and inclusion from a requirement to a competitive advantage, emphasizing the linkages between diversity and innovation.

Throughout her career Mendes has been appointed to many professional association boards and committee leadership positions. Her notable achievements include serving as chair of APTA’s Legislative Committee to develop Federal Transportation Bill Reauthorization recommendations; receiving the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s Ethel S. Birchland Lifetime Achievement Award; and being recognized as COMTO’s Executive of the Year.

Mendes is based in the firm’s Arlington office.