Sidney O. Dewberry, PE, LS
Chairman Emeritus and Founder
Sidney O. Dewberry has overseen the operations and growth of Dewberry since he co-founded the firm in 1956. As chairman emeritus and member of the board of directors, he continues to be involved in the day-to-day management of the organization, while also devoting much of his time to advancing the practice of the planning, engineering, and surveying professions. Mr. Dewberry is actively involved in a number of civic, charitable, and academic endeavors and is widely known as an industry leader in the greater Washington metropolitan area.
Long recognized for his commitment to professional leadership, Mr. Dewberry is a founding member and former chairman of the highly acclaimed Engineers & Surveyors Institute. This breakthrough organization was established to foster increased collaboration and cooperation between private-sector engineers and local review agencies, through joint training sessions and a rigorous certification program designed to enhance the plan preparation, review, and approval process. The program is a model for government-industry partnerships and has contributed extensively to projects for public benefit.
Mr. Dewberry is also a founding member of the George Mason University Urban Systems Engineering Institute, now known as the Civil Engineering Institute, which supports the university’s specialized programs in advanced urban systems planning and design. He currently serves as chairman-emeritus of the institute and continues to help guide the development of this unique educational program.
His commitment to higher education is also reflected in his position as Rector Emeritus of the George Mason University Board of Visitors and his past appointment to the Governor’s Commission for the Future of Higher Education in Virginia. Mr. Dewberry is also a member of the Virginia Business-Higher Education Council and previously served as a Trustee of the George Mason University Foundation.
Leadership activities also include having served on the board of The Greater Washington Board of Trade, as chairman of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Advisory Council for District 6 (Northern Virginia), as a director of the Air & Space Heritage Council, and as a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance. Mr. Dewberry is the former chairman of the Arlington County, Virginia, Planning Commission and the former chairman of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Engineering Standards Review Committee.
Mr. Dewberry’s interest in community development led him to co-author the Land Development Handbook—describing technical, legal, social, and regulatory requirements for community development. The first edition of this conventional and widely used handbook was published by McGraw-Hill in 1995, followed by the second in 2002 and the third, the “Green” edition, in 2008.
After attending two years at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Mr. Dewberry transferred to George Washington University, where he holds a BS in civil engineering. He was presented with GWU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1991 and was inducted into the university’s School of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2009. In May 2014 he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from Old Dominion University. Mr. Dewberry is the recipient of the Virginia Economic Bridge Initiative’s Leadership Award, both the Captain of Industry Award and the James Reese Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, the Founders Award from the Northern Virginia Community Foundation, and was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame in 2007. He was named “Northern Virginian of the Year” by New Dominion magazine and honored as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2011. He was presented with the Northern Virginia Family Service Legends of Northern Virginia Award in 2014. He considers one of his highest achievements to be a recipient of the George Mason University Mason Medal.