WSP USA recently announced that Thomas Sorel has been named area manager for the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota region of the engineering and professional services consultancy.
In his new role, Sorel will manage operations in the region, including project oversight, staff recruitment and other initiatives aimed at growing the firm’s transportation business.
Sorel retired in April as the director of transportation for the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT). During his tenure, he launched the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, an effort between NDDOT, North Dakota Highway Patrol and North Dakota Department of Health with a goal to work toward zero motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on state roads. In 2018, motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota decreased to their lowest level since 2008.
He previously served as chief operating officer of the Minnesota Trucking Association in 2016-2017, and from 2008-2012 was Minnesota’s transportation commissioner. Sorel had a 30-year career with the Federal Highway Administration, and served as administrator of its St. Paul division from 2005-2008.
Sorel is a graduate of State University of New York-Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and Thomas College with a master’s of business administration degree. He has earned multiple awards for his service, including the U.S. Presidential Honor for leading the federal transportation response, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis, which was rebuilt and reopened in 437 days.
Sorel also led the USDOT intermodal team in planning and building the public transportation infrastructure for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was the subject of a case study in the book Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership by James Sipe and Don Frick.
“Tom brings significant strategic transportation and infrastructure experience and understanding to WSP,” said Joseph G. Pulicare, President, U.S. Transportation and Infrastructure, WSP USA. “His DOT leadership and vision gives him a valuable perspective on the transportation issues that impact agencies at the national, regional and state levels. His understanding of these issues will be a valuable asset for our clients in this region.”