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California Chapter
Board Members

Ghina Yamout


Dr. Yamout manages strategic growth and capture planning of water, environmental, and transportation service lines, monitors regulatory activities and identifies market trends, and creates and maintains active liaisons with involved stakeholders. She is highly active in professional organizations and committees, creatively working with colleagues and friends to proactively turn local and global communities challenges into opportunities. She gets to spend her days authentically advocating for our future generations, while helping fulfill the aspirations and missions of her clients, colleagues, and firm, ultimately, our local and global community. Maneuvering through the complexity of our social fabric to understand stakeholder’s motives and goals, identifying commonalities and the differences between their goals and their approaches, creating bridges and connecting viewpoints, actively participating in the dialogue through participation in work groups, professional associations, conference committees, and technical and policy councils, asking the client what they need and coming up with inspiring ideas, creative strategies and out-of-the-box tactics, to assist them in fulfilling their goals, coaching our younger coworkers to expose them to the business development unlimited universe, are just a few of the hats she get to wear.


Adel Hagekhalil, P.E., BCEE

Vice President

Appointed in 2018 by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director and General Manager with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA), Adel Hagekhalil leads one of the largest worldwide agencies in managing, maintaining and upgrading Los Angeles’ street network and urban forest with over 23,000 lane miles of streets, and 700,000 urban trees.  Adel is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board-Certified Environmental Engineer.

Dilara El-Assaad


I am half Lebanese and half Armenian. I was born in Lebanon, the most beautiful country in the world; and made my home as an American citizen in the greatest country in the world.

Born in Beirut – Lebanon. I received my first master’s degree- MSc Engineering in 1980, from the American University of Beirut. Immigrated to the USA in 1985 and pursued my second Master’s in Landscape Architecture – MLA from University of Southern California.

Dilara Bahjat El-Assaad Bio Picture

Haitham Aranki, P.E.

Section Treasurer

Basem Muallem

Board member at large

Mr. Basem Muallem has over 37 years of experience in the transportation  industry. He has five years of private industry executive management, five  years of experience as a senior transportation engineer, and over 16 years of  transportation and civil engineering experience.

Basem Muallem_lowres

Rick Hijazi

Board member at large – PMCS Group President

Mr. Rick Hijazi, PE, is a Senior Project Manager with over 30 years of experience managing public sector capital projects throughout the Los Angeles area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA and a master’s degree from USC. 

Mr. Hijazi has worked on several high-profile construction projects throughout Los Angeles County, including relocating 500 KV overhead transmission lines for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), new construction of the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center for LAUSD and advanced utilities relocation for LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Westside Purple Line Extension, Section III project, plus numerous other flagship school campus projects for LAUSD.

Mr. Hijazi firmly believes in partnering and maintaining open communications within project teams, which has led him to complete over $2 Billion of construction work without construction claims becoming lawsuits. His passion for construction and engineering comes through when managing all levels of professionals and especially the community stakeholders. Mr. Hijazi moves projects forward for the owners.

Mr. Hijazi has been an active member of the AAAEA Southern California Chapter since 2013, involved in the Southern California Rotary Club Chapter, supported human rights and food drives through multiple non-profit organizations, and he is founder and sponsor of “The Diversity Excellence Scholarship” at Los Alamitos High School.

Amjad Obeid, P.E.

Board member at large


Gus Nakhoul, P.E.

California Chapter Co-Founder