Employee-owned architecture and engineering firm HDR has officially appointed John Henderson as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Henderson, previously serving as President and Chief Operating Officer, steps into the role of CEO, succeeding Eric Keen, who will maintain his position as Chairman of the company’s board of directors. Simultaneously, Neil Graff, formerly the director of US and North America operations, takes over as the new President and COO.

This transition is aimed at sustaining HDR’s reputation for delivering multidisciplinary design services globally, benefiting both clients and communities. Reflecting on the change, Dick Bell, former Chairman, CEO, and current board member, acknowledged Eric Keen’s significant contributions and expressed confidence in John Henderson’s ability to lead the company forward.

“Eric’s deep commitment to employees, clients, and our industry has strengthened the company’s stature,” Bell stated. “And with John’s appointment, HDR has another leader who has the skills, experience, and personal qualities to keep our company a driving force to maintain HDR’s outstanding success.”

Erick Keen, who has worked for HDR for 30 years, served as its CEO for the past six years. He leaves a lasting legacy after overseeing eight acquisitions, continuous revenue growth and the addition of over 2600 employees

Henderson, now the ninth CEO in HDR’s 107-year history, expressed his honor in building on the company’s legacy: “While many companies say they are unique, our broad-based employee ownership structure is the foundation of HDR’s competitive advantage. Together, HDR will find solutions to our communities’ greatest challenges.”

Henderson brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having led programs for the US Department of Defense and previously serving in various command and staff positions in the US Army and the Army Corps of Engineers. His background includes a tenure as the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy. With nearly three decades of experience in operations, engineering, military construction, infrastructure investment, water resources management, and environmental programs, Henderson is well-equipped to guide HDR into its next chapter of success.

Prior to his role as COO, Henderson served as the company’s chief administrative officer. He holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and has also served as a National Security Studies Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.