John Fisher and Omar Khan have been named senior managing directors for state and local government affairs at engineering and professional services consultancy WSP USA.
Fisher, who is based in San Francisco, has been a project manager for multiple transportation projects for WSP since joining the firm in 2008. Khan arrives at WSP after serving as a senior advisor and director of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Public Engagement Unit.
As part of the national government affairs team, Fisher and Khan will be responsible for engaging elected and appointed officials, and monitoring and shaping policies impacting WSP’s core business services.
“With their experience and background with government officials, John and Omar each bring a perspective that will be extremely valuable to WSP,” said Stuart Sunshine, national director of government affairs at WSP. “John has spent the past dozen years at WSP working with civic leaders to deliver some critical transit and highway projects in the Bay Area, while Omar’s work as a senior advisor for Mayor de Blasio provides him with an understanding of the issues and priorities that local officials face in their decision-making process. It is my tremendous honor to welcome them both to the WSP Government Affairs team!”
As district manager for Northern California, Fisher was responsible for profit and loss, operations, business development, sales and client satisfaction for the Transportation business in the region, including staff development and recruiting and project delivery in four offices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento. He previously served as area manager for the San Francisco office.
Last year, Fisher served as principal on a project that supported development of a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for the 27 transit operators in the Bay Area to address evolving safety requirements across multiple counties and operators. He also served as project manager for San Francisco County Transportation Authority’s peer review study of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s Downtown Rail Extension Project. He was project manager in a joint venture for the Presidio Parkway public-private partnership (P3) project, one of Caltrans and California’s first P3 transport projects.
Prior to joining WSP, he served as manager of government and community relations at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), managing state and federal government affairs for the regional transit operator in the Bay Area. He also previously served as legislative director in Washington D.C. for the late Bay Area U.S. Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, then a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“Much of my career has been spent advancing solutions in mobility and transportation, so I’m excited about learning more about all the other service lines within WSP and helping to engage communities to solve their most complex challenges,” Fisher said.
He is a graduate of the University of Texas-Austin with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and the Eno Center for Transit Leadership’s Executive Development Program. He is a board member of the International Partnering Institute and a member of WTS, Bay Area chapter.
Khan has served in senior roles in government, the private sector and political campaigns with significant management and budget authority, with a track record of achieving policy, business and electoral outcomes in these areas. He held senior roles in the Obama Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Trade Representative’s office at the White House, acquiring substantial experience building coalitions, managing large teams and executing engagement strategies for a diverse array of policy issues and campaigns.
While serving as the director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations for President Barack Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Khan worked with federal, state and local officials on the effort to rebuild the region impacted by Sandy. His team’s extensive efforts to secure buy-in from elected officials in the region resulted in 69 policy recommendations provided by the Task Force. Those recommendations have guided the Sandy rebuilding efforts, serving as a blueprint for geographies across the world.
In his most recent role with New York City, he worked closely on the City’s COVID-19 response outreach efforts. “State and local infrastructure investments will play a key role in America’s post pandemic economic recovery,” Khan said. “I am excited to help WSP and our clients navigate the political and public policy dynamics governing those investments across the country.”
He is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in political science.