Samara Barend

Senior Vice President and PPP Director for North America


Samara Barend

Samara “Sam” Barend serves a dual role in AECOM as both Vice President and PPP Director for North America and as Development Director in AECOM Capital. In these roles, she provides leadership in AECOM’s PPP work across all business lines, including energy, water, transportation, and buildings and facilities. In addition, she identifies and develops PPP project investments and is responsible for helping create the strongest private sector consortium to bid on them. Sam also supports project bids after teaming has been established through the entire procurement process.

Ms. Barend also provides considerable assistance to states in the development of PPP policy frameworks, potential projects, and legislation. She recently served as Deputy Project Manager for the PPP study commissioned by the Washington State Joint Transportation Committee to investigate the suitability of PPP delivery to major transportation projects.
Prior to her position at AECOM, Ms. Barend served as Executive Director of the New York State Commission on Asset Maximization. The SAM Commission, was charged with exploring public-private opportunities in New York State. The Commission released a final report which identified 26 specific public-private opportunities and proposed a transparent process for undertaking those ventures.

Ms. Barend has served as Vice President and Government Affairs Director for STV, and was responsible for overseeing, and often leading, industry-wide policy initiatives. In 2004, she ran as the Democratic candidate in New York’s 29th U.S. Congressional district race, holding her opponent to 50.8% of the vote and becoming one of the youngest women to run for federal office. She has also worked as the Statewide Neighborhood Program Director for Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign and as Upstate Director for the New York Democratic State Committee.

Further, from 1996–2000 Ms. Barend spearheaded the successful effort to convert New York State’s Route 17 into Interstate 86. This interstate campaign resulted in the passage of the Interstate 86 Act, a bill which she drafted for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan that was included in the 1998 Federal Transportation Reauthorization.