Debra James Named One of The 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia Engineering

4 / May / 2023

We are proud to announce that Debra M. James has been selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia Engineering” by Engineering Georgia magazine. This publication, produced by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Georgia, annually dedicates an issue to recognizing the many incredible women whose work impacts Georgia’s built environment through not only architecture/engineering/construction (A/E/C) but also tangential work.

As a non-technical professional in the A/E/C industry, Debra brings a unique perspective to her role. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations, Debra was 20 years into a marketing/business development career when she decided to accept a public affairs position with an engineering firm. She went on to spend two decades learning the engineering industry and successfully delivering both water and transportation contracts as a client service leader (CSL) for international engineering consulting firms. Debra joined Barge’s Atlanta office in July 2021 as a vice president and CSL. She excels at developing client-specific strategies and is especially adept at building relationships across the industry.

Debra places a high value on mentoring others in the A/E/C industry, especially women, and she especially enjoys helping people connect. As such, she belongs to WTS (an organization focused on promoting the advancement of women in the transportation industry) and is a member of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ inaugural Women Making Waves Mentoring Program.

This award also highlights the increasing importance of diversity in the A/E/C industry. According to the Society of Women Engineers, only 16.1% percent of professional engineers and architects are women, which is an increase of 39% over the last 20 years. As the number of young women enrolling in STEM-based programs increases, talented female leaders like Debra serve as an inspiration and role model for the next generation.

“…sometimes it’s difficult to imagine achieving something if you’ve never seen someone who looks like you in a similar position. Many of the women in this issue had to blaze their own trails… It’s really gratifying to know that the women on these lists are providing young women who are starting out in the engineering industry with ample evidence that there is no limit to what they can achieve in their futures,” said Michael L. “Sully” Sullivan, President/CEO of ACEC Georgia & Publisher of Engineering Georgia.

This well-deserved recognition represents Debra’s dedication and contributions to Barge, the community, and Georgia’s built environment.

Congratulations, Debra! We are proud to have you as a member of Team Barge.