Donald Basham named 2010 Distinguished Alumnus
Don is Federal Services Advisor with Stantec Consulting where he serves as a senior consultant and advisor on water resources related matters to include dams and levees. He retired in November 2006 after serving 38-1/2 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was a member of the Senior Executive Service. His last assignment was Chief, Engineering and Construction of the Corps located in Washington, D.C. where he was responsible for policy, program, and technical expertise in the execution of over $10 billion of Civil Works and Military design and construction work. He provided leadership and guidance to a field organization consisting of 8 divisions, 40 districts, and approximately 15,000 personnel. He provided leadership and oversight for Coastal Louisiana post-Katrina reconstruction and was responsible for the creation and oversight of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force forensic investigation into the performance of the New Orleans and vicinity Hurricane Protection System. Don served as the Corps Dam Safety Officer and served on the National Dam Safety Review Board. During his career with the Corps he served at the district level (Louisville), division level (Lakes and Rivers and Mississippi Valley) and Headquarters. He holds a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering (1970) and two M.S. Degrees in Civil Engineering (1970 and 1971), all from the University of Louisville. He is a member of USSD, NSPE, SAME (Fellow), and ASCE (Fellow). He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Kentucky.
During his career with the Corps he was directly involved with the design and construction of a variety of civil works and military infrastructure to include; dams, levees, roads, buildings, site work.
He has extensive levee design and construction experience predominately along the Ohio River and Mississippi River and their tributaries.
He was directly responsible for the reformulation of the Corps Levee Inspection Program based in large measure from the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. He worked closely with senior FEMA Leadership in revising the Corps and FEMA levee certification program to include moving towards a risk based strategy that looks both at risk and consequences in establishing an acceptable level of protection.
In the fall of 2008 he was appointed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to serve on the National Committee on Levee Safety established by Congress to develop recommendations and a strategic implementation plan for the establishment of a National Levee Safety Program to address the Nations critical levee infrastructure needs.
Mr. Basham has received numerous awards and decorations during his Federal service, most notably being named the Corps of Engineers Civilian of the Year in 1998, the 2002 recipient of the Professional Award in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisville, the 2006 Corps Dam Safety Community of Practice Award of Excellence, Department of the Army Decoration For Exceptional Civilian Service, and inducted into the Louisville District Hall of Fame.
He is a native Kentuckian. He and his wife, Vickie, have been married 36 years and have two daughters, Kathryn and Abbie, son-in-law Dave and two grandchildren Nick and Joe.