Bill Panos smiling in a white collared pullover in front of a marina.

Bill Panos

Bill Panos


Bill Panos


“For over 100 years, Gannett Fleming has partnered with clients to grow economies, deploy precedent-setting innovation, and solve their most challenging problems. I am grateful for the opportunity to join and contribute to this storied company.”

Integrated Systems Thinker. Former Department of Transportation Director. Industry Professional. Association Leader. Bill Panos is a knowledgeable leader with more than four decades of experience in the engineering industry. His curiosity and problem-solving provide creative solutions for a more secure world.

Bill is returning to his home state of California to be close to his family and support Gannett Fleming’s efforts in integrated risk management (IRM). He is eager to provide IRM solutions to our clients.

We asked Bill a few questions. Get to know him here:

Why Gannett Fleming?

The company’s leadership understands the intrinsic value of innovation and integrated systems thinking. Our deep partnerships with clients provide a solid knowledge base to improve risk mitigation efforts and help them flourish in a risk-aware culture. Gannett Fleming also has a storied history, and it’s a privilege to join this fantastic team.

Tell us about your experience in the industry.

I was recruited out of high school by an aerospace and defense company. Because of great mentors, I never looked back. I worked in the national safety and security space and world-class automotive manufacturing.

The second half of my career was in government, transforming infrastructure programs and organizations, most recently as the North Dakota Department of Transportation director. I’ve helped ports, universities, and transportation and environmental agencies change how they do business and serve citizens.

Wearing a gray suit with a red tie, Bill Panos speaks into a microphone.
Bill provides testimony to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

What types of projects do you find most rewarding?

Organizational transformation, complex infrastructure programs, and projects that improve people’s daily lives.

Tell me about a project that was significant to you.

I helped to establish groundbreaking environmental affairs programs for one of the largest technology companies and the nation’s largest university system.

How does your work contribute to our firm's vision of creating a better future, together?

My work involves integrated systems thinking, applied in complex physical planning and development organizations.

These system-based approaches are a set of concepts, a toolkit that enables us to organize complexity, focus on outcomes, and manage risks. I will serve our clients and the firm’s vision by collaborating with our teams and using systems thinking to find sustainable solutions to our most challenging problems.

What do you see for the next generation of employees at Gannett Fleming?

Change is with us, and organizations that can learn the fastest will adapt and grow. I see a future for Gannett Fleming where team members will move toward deeper employee engagement and learning organization characteristics. Employees will see new initiatives to prioritize, measure, and optimize engagement, and we will continue to acquire, retain, and exchange advanced knowledge with clients.

What's a professional achievement of which you're especially proud?

At the TRW Automotive Group, I was fortunate to be nominated and receive the Chairman’s Award for Innovation for my efforts to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons. My work in Massachusetts was nominated for and won the Harvard University/Ford Foundation Award for Excellence in American Government. I am a Henry Toll Fellow with the Council of State Governments and was president of the Western Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials. Most of all, I am proud of the countless colleagues, clients, and communities I have served.

What leadership characteristics do you rely on the most for success in your job and life?

Gratitude, integrity, empathy, courage, and respect.

Why are diverse project teams important?

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), authoring its first national DEI resolution and founding the first national DEI task force.

At Gannett Fleming, we solve our clients’ most complex problems, and there must be diverse opinions, backgrounds, and approaches from different people to develop the best solutions and achieve true success as trusted advisors.

Describe the mindset that has gotten you to where you are today.

I trust my intuition and have always worked to develop self-awareness and self-acceptance. I look for work that I am passionate about, set long-term goals, and live with clear intentions. I love to learn and seek knowledge in both challenges and failures. I am curious, enthusiastic, courageous, focused, and positive, and I believe there are unlimited opportunities available to me.

Are you involved in any volunteer activities?

My wife, Michelle, and I are committed to supporting local, national, and international organizations dedicated to providing community services, improving education, and supporting veterans. As I start a new journey with Gannett Fleming, I plan to spend more time volunteering with Ashoka, an international organization that supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

Bill Panos and his wife smile with the ocean in the background.
Bill and Michelle in Portofino, Italy.

What's your favorite family tradition?

For many years, my family camped in the Sierras of California. These annual vacations formed the basis of a deep and lifelong appreciation of the natural world. Today, this family tradition still resonates in my work and personal life.

Bill Panos and his father and brother take a group photo in a stadium in Athens, Greece.
Bill with his father and brother in Athens, Greece.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?

Minor League Baseball, supporting the arts, boating, fishing, and international travel.

If you could live in any city, where would it be and why?

After a 20-year absence, we’re making a move to California to be near my father in his twilight years and reconnect with my family and friends.


Ready to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our communities? Join the team that’s leading the charge.

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