Keith Hala


Associate Civil Engineer

LA County Public Works

Los Angeles, CA

Built Environment Queer Project

"I always recommend to say Yes to any events or opportunities presented to them. Join the work soccer league, go to the happy hours, participate in the local ASCE chapter, invite co-workers to sit with you at lunch, take on the extra assignments. It’s a great way to network early and also demonstrates initiative and an eagerness to learn."

Q&A with Participant:

  1. Describe your current position.
  2. I work as a civil engineer in the Dams Section of our Stormwater Engineering Division. Day to day operations include reviewing design plans for dam upgrades and modifications projects, analyzing dam monitoring data to ensure the facilities are functioning properly, and supervising a team of engineers.

  3. What is your educational background?
  4. I received my Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University.

  5. What do you love about your career?
  6. The diversity of projects within civil engineering is exciting, it keeps it interesting to work on big water, transportation, and environmental projects. It also feels good to know that the work being done is having a substantial impact to the quality of life of the public.

  7. Do you incorporate your queer identity in your career? How?
  8. Not as much as I would like to, but I am working to incorporate it more by being more visible and participating in groups and organizations that help foster positive and welcoming LGBTQ+ environments and also empowering and supporting other minority engineering groups.

  9. Have you ever had a negative experience in a professional environment that was related to your queer identity? How did you deal with it?
  10. Not in a direct way, but I have withheld talking about my partner in the past, or chose to refer to him as a roommate, particularly when engaging with my supervisors. It took some time to build up confidence and realize that the environment is a safe space and that my supervisors would not view me any differently. I am more open about it now.

  11. What role has mentorship played in your career? Do you have a queer mentor?
  12. I have a queer and a non-queer mentor and both have helped me develop as an engineer, a supervisor, and become more comfortable being myself in the work environment. It has been very rewarding to have the opportunity to be a mentor to young professionals as well and try to pass on the guidance that I received.

Follow our Participant in Social Media!

Instagram: @Haladay

LinkedIn: @Keith-Hala

Interesting in participating?

Please email us at and we will send you instructions within 48 hours.

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