Building a Better World is both a professional and a personal mission for Alan Krause, chairman and chief executive officer of MWH Global, headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. Committed to protecting and developing the world’s natural resources in a responsible and appropriate way, he embraces the vision that technology offers to provide better solutions. At the same time, he shares a father’s hope that the environmental legacy he leaves for his children and for future generations will be of immeasurable benefit.
Closely connected to each project undertaken by MWH, Alan is known to travel to many of the company’s projects sites, eager to face the challenges first hand with our clients and our MWH teams. His strong personal interest in client success is matched only by his perspective as a global leader in water and a distinguished geotechnical engineer. It is here that his ability to advance the organization’s commitment to providing customized engineering, management and construction services through world-class projects across the globe is most readily seen.
According to Alan, what challenges him most are goals that some would say are unachievable. “I get no greater satisfaction than moving myself and MWH through great step changes instead of more gradual linear improvements. Our work on the Third Set of Locks Project at the Panama Canal is an example of a project that was a reach for many giants in the engineering industry including MWH. I marveled at how our integrated team took up the challenge of this iconic project, and applied our unique sustainable solutions to a work of such global importance.”
Alan’s leadership acuity also extends to the successful completion of other major global initiatives, such as the Tekeze Hydropower Project in Ethiopia that increased power stability and provided reliable access to light, heat and water for 80 million people.
His ability to advance the organization’s position as the global leader in the wet infrastructure sector comes from his conviction that to be a sustainable, growing company, “is a series of intelligent and successful moves that advance to a specific outcome. Each move forward teaches us how to improve over time, as we gain more knowledge and achieve greater success.”
With more than 35 years of industry and market experience, he will readily acknowledge, “I learned very early on in my career working with outstanding engineers the value of quality, diligence and effort. These qualities are paramount to sustainable excellence. I would add integrity, intelligence and energy as the other essential qualities.”
Alan’s peers agree that he embodies these qualities and that he seeks these same qualities in the employees at MWH. There, winning the most valued, visible and challenging projects around the globe is a key component in successfully engaging employees at every level. Those who have worked closely with him through the years cite his informal style and innate ability to instill a sense of community and common mission as hallmarks of his leadership. Alan will tell you it’s about the MWH promise to its people.
“Our promise is Building a Better World through the extraordinary power of human potential. I am honored to lead MWH today largely because of the caliber of our staff and our mission. My responsibility as CEO is simple: to create the conditions in which talented, passionate people thrive. ”
Since merging his natural resources business TerraMatrix with Montgomery Watson in 1997, Alan has continued to successfully grow the business. He played a significant role in the integration of Harza and Montgomery Watson in 2001, which led to the formation of MWH. He has held numerous executive positions within the organization including president of the natural resources, industry and infrastructure section. He became president and chief operating officer in 2008, and was named president and CEO in November 2011, adding chairman to his title in December 2012.
Alan holds a master’s degree in geological engineering from the University of Nevada Mackay School of Mines. He has completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School, and is a member and distinguished engineer for the Pan American Academy of Engineering.
The latest news featuring Alan: Quenching Water’s Thirst for Value, an essay featured in “The Value of Water: A Compendium of Essays by Smart CEOs”