NAE Receives $2 Million Investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to Expand EngineerGirl


Mon, July 01, 2019

Washington, District of Columbia, United States, July 01, 2019 —

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today that it is receiving a $2 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to support and expand EngineerGirl, NAE’s premier program that brings national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.  The gift was made under an agreement signed on June 28.

“We are grateful to the Clark Foundation for this generous investment, which will empower EngineerGirl to expand its reach and spark interest in engineering among even more young people at a time when the profession greatly needs more diversity and inclusion,” said outgoing NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr.  “Private philanthropy provides the essential financial support that many of the NAE’s programs depend on to grow and advance engineering. This grant is particularly meaningful because my friend Jim Clark set a powerful example to us all with his leadership in engineering and his passion for getting young people involved, especially young women.”

The NAE launched EngineerGirl to help address the underrepresentation of women in engineering fields. Although women represent more than 50% of the U.S. university population, they make up a mere 20% of engineering undergraduates and even fewer become engineering professionals. Many middle school girls do not consider engineering as a possible career choice simply because they have little exposure to engineering and limited access to mentors and role models.

EngineerGirl provides a wealth of information to inspire girls’ interest in engineering, including career descriptions, biographical sketches of working women engineers, and interactive tools for girls, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors. EngineerGirl also sponsors an annual essay competition for students in grades three-12. In 2018, the EngineerGirl Ambassadors Program was launched to connect high school girls who were former EngineerGirl participants to serve as peer mentors to middle and elementary school girls and share their enthusiasm for engineering. 

Elected to the NAE in 2005, A. James Clark was the president of Clark Construction Group, which transformed the landscape of Washington, D.C. with its many projects. Through the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, Mr. Clark committed to investing in helping hard workers with a drive to achieve.  

“We are honored to support the leadership of President Mote, while also helping to increase the number of young people exposed to engineering,” said Clark Foundation President and CEO Joe Del Guercio. “Mr. Clark’s greatest ambition was to help others achieve. Our investment in the National Academy of Engineering and the EngineerGirl program helps foster the growth and development of tomorrow’s engineering leaders.”

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The National Academy of Engineering

The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.

The A. James & Alice. B Clark Foundation expands opportunities for those who demonstrate the drive and determination to better themselves and their communities. The Foundation supports organizations with strong leadership and values that reflect those of its founder, A. James Clark. The Foundation's focus is on educating engineers to solve society’s toughest problems, supporting veterans and their families and providing members of the DC community the best opportunity to thrive.

Simil  Raghavan
Contact Simil Raghavan
Director, Inclusive, Diverse, and Equitable Engineering for All (IDEEA) Program
National Academy of Engineering