The United States Society on Dams (USSD) is dedicated to advancing the role of dam and levee systems and building the community of practice.  As the United States member of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), USSD provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences and is charged with leading the profession of dam and levee engineering.

USSD is led by a Board of Directors representing all sectors of the industry, including consultants, contractors, owners, and academia.  USSD members are encouraged to actively participate in committees which work to address current technical issues for dam and levee engineering.

President's Message

John WolfhopeMembers and Friends of USSD:

I am honored to serve USSD as President during our society’s important time of transition. Our leadership has focused for the past few years to craft a strategic plan that leverages our rich legacy of technical leadership, and positions USSD as a relevant organization serving the needs of the dam and levee safety and engineering community. The successful implementation of our four strategic imperatives is the key to being a relevant organization for the future generations of dam and levee professionals:

  • Advocate — Champion the role of dam and levee systems in society
  • Educate — Be the premier source for information about dam and levee systems.
  • Collaborate — Build networks and relationships to strengthen the community of practice.
  • Cultivate — Nurture the growth of the community of practice.

Advancing the Role of Dam and Levee Systems

Since long before the establishment of a National Dam Safety Program, USSD members have served as trusted technical advisors to our national, state, and local community leaders. Our organization served an instrumental role in the establishment of dam safety programs, standards and technologies for the United States and we continue our legacy of serving the National Dam Safety Program in many capacities. We are fortunate to have an experienced senior guard that has proudly grown our industry and established the respect and reputation of USSD within the United States and worldwide. The key to our future relevance lies in the effectiveness of USSDs technical committees and our ability to communicate our efforts, activities and accomplishments both within and outside our circle of colleagues.

Building a Community of Practice

Most of our members participate in our annual meetings and technical workshops. However the real work and stewardship of USSD occurs in our technical committees between our annual meetings and workshops. As we engage our technical committee chairs and members to effectively carry out our strategic mission, there will be many opportunities for our seasoned experts and young professionals to work side by side in building our community of practice.

During my term as President, I promise many rewarding opportunities for you. We have a full calendar of events scheduled over the next two years including our 2015 Technical Workshops Series and two International Symposiums in 2016. I hope you will prepare to join us in Denver for the 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference, where we will Celebrate the Value of Dams and Levees – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in the same city where our society’s first dedicated office has been location since it was opened in 1985.

We have an exciting future ahead and I am appreciate your trust in me to successfully lead USSD through our time of transition.


John S. Wolfhope
President, USSD