Aument to step down from AECOM leadership role
Transportation exec and cancer survivor plans to focus on board work
Jennifer Aument, AECOM’s transportation chief executive, plans to step down from her job this spring, a decision she reached after surviving breast cancer.
Based in Arlington County, Aument said in an interview this week with Virginia Business that she is now healthy, while adding, “It it hard to fully recover and get back your strength when you’re on an airplane every week.”
In her position with the Dallas-headquartered Fortune 500 infrastructure engineering, planning and consulting firm, Aument leads a team of more than 14,000 employees worldwide who work in highway, transit, aviation, port and freight sectors. This month, she told her global transportation leadership team about her plans to resign from AECOM, which she joined in April 2021 after serving as president of Transurban’s North American operations. About a month into her new job at AECOM, Aument was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After stepping down, Aument plans to devote more time to serving on corporate boards, as well as teaching a class, she said. But her corporate career isn’t over, she said, adding that she has many ideas for improving workplace diversity and supply-chain and labor issues. “I certainly expect to return to an executive role” after about a yearlong break, she said.
Before joining AECOM, Aument oversaw significant transportation projects for Transurban, such as a 52-mile network of toll roads in the greater Washington, D.C., area, including 31 miles of Interstate 95. She previously worked for Bechtel Infrastructure to develop the Washington Metro’s Silver Line, and also served as a Virginia Port Authority commissioner for about a decade.
Aument said that the constant international travel required for her AECOM job — including in-person visits with teams on five continents — was the main reason for her decision to step down. “It’s an opportunity to catch my breath,” she said.
At AECOM, “I was really pleased to have a unique vantage point during the pandemic,” Aument said, especially observing “how industry and government were handling COVID all around the globe.” She also noted her colleagues’ “openness for new technological solutions.” Flexibility in the workplace was paramount, including a hybrid workweek that allows room for younger engineers to have time with more experienced coworkers and learn from them. “In a company our size, you have a lot of employees who are just coming out of college.”
Aument said she’ll be leaving AECOM this spring and “at that time, I’ll be able to talk more about the board roles.”
AECOM has not yet named Aument’s successor, according to a company spokesperson.
This story has been updated with a clarification since publication.