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Kevin Edwards, global manager of the diversity and inclusion program at Bechtel, has been named a recipient of the National Society of Black Engineers' (NSBE) Golden Torch Award. Edwards is being recognized for his leadership of the company's efforts to strengthen its hiring, retention, and advancement of minorities and women. He was presented the Golden Torch Award at the NSBE annual convention's gala on March 30 in Detroit.
Edwards also delivered the keynote address on March 28 at the general session of the NSBE's 45th annual convention before an audience of roughly 15,000. The NSBE has more than 20,000 professional members and 15,000 student members worldwide.
"Kevin has been a wonderful partner and consummate advocate for diversity for over a decade," said NSBE Executive Director Karl Reid. "He's been named an NSBE Champion of Champion multiple times over the course of a decade, which speaks to his advocacy for facilitating a progressively deepening strategic partnership between Bechtel and NSBE."
Bechtel is among the companies and universities working with the NSBE in support of the organization's goal to increase the number of African Americans graduating with bachelor's degrees in engineering to 10,000 per year by 2025. Currently, about 3,620 black engineers graduate per year, according to the NSBE.
"I'm honored to receive a Golden Torch Award," said Edwards. "We deeply appreciate the enormous value of our partnership with NSBE because diversifying our workplace depends on increasing the number of students enrolling in engineering at the university level, and then supporting them through graduation. Bechtel's continued growth as a leading global engineering, construction, and procurement company greatly depends on our ability to develop these talented students and propel them to rewarding careers."
At Bechtel, Edwards is responsible for the development and execution of the corporation's diversity and inclusion program. Since assuming the role in 2018, he has successfully guided the company to achieving its strategic goals in recruitment, relationships with key universities and organizations such as the NSBE, employee training, talent management and promotions, and the support of employee resource groups.
Edwards has held a variety of managerial and project engineering roles since joining Bechtel in 2000, including manager of the Quality and Six Sigma function for Bechtel's Infrastructure business unit and field engineering manager of the Washington, D.C. area's Metrorail Dulles corridor project.
Edwards earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Rutgers University and a master's degree in environmental engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. He holds a Six Sigma master black belt certification.