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McKissack & McKissack Taps Lisa Edmonds and Nijah Barley for Key Company Leadership Roles

Two seasoned IT and HR executives bring deep expertise to national design and construction management firm as it expands into new regions and industry sectors

By Girl Power News , in News , at December 2, 2022

“I am excited about Lisa and Nijah because they will apply deep expertise and fresh perspectives to two of the most important aspects of our company’s strategic growth—our supportive people-oriented culture and our robust information technology infrastructure,” said Deryl McKissack, president and CEO of McKissack & McKissack.

“We’ve been growing quickly at McKissack and expect to maintain that momentum because of the infrastructure act, so we need Lisa for her depth of knowledge and deep networking skills to help us recruit top-notch talent. McKissack is a great place to work, and Lisa has the skillset and strategic acumen bring that message to a new pool of talent and optimize our staffing process,” McKissack noted.

“I expect Nijah to make a major impact at our company too. He’s incredibly creative and always thinking out-of-the-box to find better ways to serve us and our clients. He approaches every challenge with such positivity. His mantra is always ‘I can figure it out, I can help you’—and he always does just that,” she added.

Lisa Edmonds: Combining HR and legal background to support talent acquisition strategies

Edmonds said, “So much of HR revolves around employment law, beginning with the recruitment process. And once someone is here, we need to make sure that we as a company are doing things the right way.”

With McKissack expanding into new sectors and growing the depth and breadth of its project portfolio, Edmonds noted, “Our main priority is recruitment and development of impressive and accomplished talent. And once we recruit that talent, we want them to stay. Retaining new talent and the great employees we already have is critical to our growth and ultimately the success of everything we do. So, we’re going to support all team members with training and development that will refine or deepen their skillsets. Our goal is to build on the culture that is already established at McKissack, which is humble, hungry and smart.”

Edmonds said, “I came to work with McKissack because I was impressed with the leadership, I was impressed with the growth, and I was really impressed with the history. I was impressed with how the company started and where it’s going. I had been with my previous employer for 10 years and I’m hoping to exceed that timeframe at McKissack. It’s a company that represents achievement, especially for women and minorities, and I hope to strengthen its reputation with great accomplishments while I’m here.”

Nijah Barley is bringing amplified tech experience back to the MWBE where he started

Barley is a seasoned IT expert with a track record of implementing new technologies and systems to improve company productivity and profit. His new position is a homecoming. He began his career at McKissack after graduating college, supporting the firm’s increasingly progressive IT systems to sustain cutting edge developments in program management and construction management, architecture and engineering.

After four years at McKissack, Barley moved to the Washington office of McKinsey & Co., where he spent three years working with teams around the world and learning largescale enterprise systems. His was there during the Covid-19 pandemic and helped transition 1,500 colleagues to virtual options for the shift to work-from-home. Throughout, he kept in touch with former colleagues and his mentor, McKissack’s former V.P. of IT Andrew Corn.

“McKissack was much more than just a job; the team and Deryl are my family. When I went to McKinsey, it was always with the intention that I would return someday to bring back what I learned,” he said. “I knew that I needed to learn, have exposure to other industries and develop a broader skillset to bring back different tools and a growth mindset.”

Now that he oversees McKissack’s IT department, he plans to build on the company’s existing cloud infrastructure to not only maximize productivity but also embrace vanguard technologies as they emerge. Priorities include innovation, cybersecurity and adhering to industry best practice. “I’m looking to increase the odds of our success for the work we try to win and make sure that the work we’re putting forward is gold-star standard and leaves a lasting impression with clients,” he said.

Barley, who’s originally from Brooklyn and now lives in Silver Spring, Md., graduated from Howard University in Washington with a bachelor’s degree. While a student, he worked on Howard’s IT support desk. He recalled, “I’ll never forget the day when I walked in for my first interview at McKissack & McKissack. I was just astounded by a fellow Howard University grad, Deryl McKissack, having an office in downtown D.C. and being the founder and CEO of such a thriving business with so much history. That has always stuck with me.”

About McKissack & McKissack:  Founded in 1990, McKissack is a national woman- and minority- owned architecture, engineering, program- and construction-management firm dedicated to delivering industry-leading expertise and best-in-class services to a diverse array of clients in all market sectors. McKissack strives to work with clients to envision and deliver building and infrastructure projects that enrich people’s lives and empower communities to flourish. Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles, McKissack’s three services areas are architecture and interiors, program and construction management and infrastructure. It is ranked by Engineering News-Record among the top 50 Program Management Firms and top 100 Construction Management For-Fee firms in the nation. Learn more at