Sami Soufi

Focus, Professionalism, and Lessons Learned: Sami Soufi Joins Hill’s Rail Sector Practice

“You learn almost as much from your successful projects as you do from your challenging projects,” says new Hill International Vice President Sami Soufi. “There’s a reason they’re called lessons learned.”

Sami Soufi

Sami has more than 30 years of experience providing program, project, and construction management and consulting services for high-profile rail and transit infrastructure projects, including the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) $9.4 billion-plus Purple Line Rail Extension and Phase 1 of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Dulles Metrorail Extension – Silver Line. “Building in the Capitol region always comes with certain constraints and opportunities,” he explains, adding that early third-party coordination and appreciating the public’s perception of the project are always key. “Help us to help you and expect the unexpected” says Sami. “That approach goes a long way to avoiding delays.”

On his projects, Sami has provided everything from strategic, high-level programming and program controls to design and construction management, day-to-day project reporting, and asset life cycle planning and been responsible for managing quality, schedule, cost, risk, key performance indicators, change, communications, and safety and security. Sami is also an expert in several alternative project delivery methods, including development partnering (DP), construction manager at-risk (CMAR), design-build (DB), and public-private partnerships (P3). For example, Sami was instrumental in helping Amtrak select DP as the best procurement method for the Frederick Douglas Tunnel (formerly the B&P Tunnel) Program in Baltimore and other packages along the Northeast Corridor.

“Delivery method selection sets up the entire project for success,” he says. “Create the right contract, with the right team, and you can handle anything.” Sami notes the Silver Line project was an example of the right method in action: “The project had an aggressive schedule but through the team’s professionalism and resourcefulness, we made it happen,” he says. “A great deal of that success was because we had the right delivery method—DB—in place.”

Focus, communication, and adaptability are also prominent characteristics in Sami’s approach. “On mega-projects, deviations are going to happen,” he says. “You have to be open-minded and ready to take on opportunities and innovations that can benefit the budget and schedule. But I expect the team to make their case. Making a change without backing evidence is just wishful thinking.”

Sami also brings strong relationships with many of the major stakeholders and clients in the Mid-Atlantic rail sector, such as the MTA, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), Amtrak, and WMATA, as well as the region’s many contractors, DBE partners, and utility companies.

At Hill, Sami will provide team leadership and hands-on technical support in the pursuit and execution of Hill’s largest, most high-profile rail assignments in Washington DC, Baltimore, and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic.

Vice President Sami Soufi holds a Master of Science, Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park; a Master of Engineering, Structural Engineering, from McGill University, in Montreal; and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. He is also registered Professional Engineer in Maryland and Virginia. Contact Sami at [email protected] or 703-627-3406.