Meet Our: Amanda Heath

Published Oct. 5, 2018
Amanda Heath

Amanda Heath is the Charleston District's new chief, regulatory special projects branch.

Describe your job. 
As the chief of the Special Projects Branch in the Regulatory Division, I supervise a group of amazing folks whose role is slightly different than the rest of the regulatory staff. My staff are either assigned to evaluate proposed projects from a particular applicant, such as the South Carolina State Ports Authority or the South Carolina Department of Transportation, proposed projects that are more involved and may even require an environmental impact statement, or aspects of the Regulatory Program that require more specialization, such as mitigation banking and reviewing proposed projects for effects to historic properties. Brass tacks, I help the folks who make up the Regulatory Division’s Swiss army knife.

What is the most unique thing you bring to the District? 
A quirky sense of humor with a charming Yankee accent!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Being a public servant has always been the most rewarding part of my job, which started when I was a chemist with the Alaska District, and it’s still the most rewarding part of my job now that I am chief. When I first joined USACE, I thought that I would never want to a supervisor. In my role as a regulatory project manager, I worked with the public on a daily basis, which sometimes was trying, but I found that as a whole it was very rewarding. At that time, I thought that my supervisor was too detached from what I thought was a public servant, but then I had the opportunity to do a detail as the supervisor for my section. I spent those 60 days being a project manager responding to applicants, supervising my folks who were also my peers, and answering to upper management. It was crazy! Even crazier was that I eagerly signed up for a second and third supervisory detail. I realized that as a supervisor I had more responsibility to the public because I not only answered to them, but also to the folks within the Regulatory Division. It was amazing! I find it very rewarding being a part of something greater than myself. 

Highlight a notable milestone or memory in your career. 
Being selected for this new position is the highlight of my career. Coming from the Alaska District and only having regulatory experience from that District, I figured that I would have a difficult time convincing another District that I was capable of adjusting to the complexities of their Regulatory Division. It was an amazing feeling to get the call that I was selected! The journey to move back to the ”lower 48” was stressful and trying to get up to speed with the various projects of the Branch has been a challenge, but the Charleston District has been very welcoming and the Regulatory folks have been patient as I catch up. My folks seem happy that I’m on board and that makes me happy.

What goals do you hope to accomplish in your position?
To be a cornerstone for not just the folks in my Branch, but also to the folks of the Division is my main goal. The Regulatory Program is challenging since you have to manage the requirements of evolving regulations with the expectations of the public. I’ve gone through periods when I felt adrift and that I wasn’t supported by my supervisor. It’s an awful feeling! I don’t expect that my folks and I will always agree on every issue, but I want them to know and feel that they have been heard and that they are supported. If they are successful, then the Charleston District is successful.