National Academy of Engineering Launches New Strategic Plan


Mon, October 04, 2021

Washington DC, October 04, 2021 —

nae-strategic-plan-cover-imageThe National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has announced its strategic priorities and action plan for the next five years to guide its role in providing engineering advice and leadership to the nation on some of the largest issues facing society.

The themes of people, systems, and culture guide the new 2021-2026 strategic plan, which outlines the following programmatic priorities for NAE:

  • Increase engineering talent in the U.S. through a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Instill a culture of ethical and environmental responsibility in engineering.
  • Identify and inform the frontiers of engineering theory, practice, and policy.
  • Improve capabilities and competencies for complex systems engineering.

“The NAE has shaped its new strategic direction to be proactive about contemporary engineering and societal challenges,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “As engineering affects more and more of daily life, we are also prioritizing public awareness of issues that affect them on which engineering can have an impact.”

Among the new plans are two major NAE Presidential Initiatives. The Racial Justice and Equity Committee will recommend strategies to increase diversity among engineering graduates and NAE leadership, and explore ways to use technology to improve racial justice. The NAE President’s Business Advisory Committee will engage engineering and R&D leaders in industry with NAE programs and activities, the NAE’s planning, and achieving stronger industry representation among NAE’s elected membership, which is one of the profession’s highest honors.

“Looking ahead, we identified a greater need to prioritize the people, systems, and culture of the engineering profession and educational process, as well as the field’s impact on the public,” said NAE Council Chair Donald C. Winter. “These are the broad spheres of engineering’s influence, which is much more expansive than most people realize.”

The plan also outlines four new priority-focused NAE programs and aligning development initiatives around them:

  • Practices for Engineering Education and Research (PEER) will assess and guide positive change in inclusive and equitable engineering education and research, considering the educational system’s contextual influences and how its elements interact.
  • Cultural, Ethical, Social, and Environmental Responsibility in Engineering (CESER) will study how cultural, ethical, social circumstances, and the natural environment affect the practice of engineering.
  • Inclusive, Diverse, and Equitable Engineering for All (IDEEA) will encourage greater diversity among youth, families, and educators who engage with engineering—for example, building on the success of the NAE’s EngineerGirl program, now in its 20th year, which introduces middle- and high-school girls to engineering’s exciting opportunities and inspiring role models.
  • The Forum on Complex Unifiable Systems (FOCUS) will work internationally to better manage ongoing and emerging complexities in health, security, democracy, urbanization, infrastructure, research and education, the economy, transportation, the environment, modern work, and civic life.

“These programs and all of our collaborative initiatives laid out in our new strategic plan will strengthen NAE’s industrial and international engagement with the intent of cultivating a more welcoming educational and professional path for a broader range of people,” said NAE Executive Officer Alton D. Romig, Jr., who chaired the Strategic Planning Committee.

The strategic planning process was seeded with NAE members’ priorities for the near future. A high-level strategic planning committee then engaged members, NAE staff, NASEM leadership, and key engineering stakeholders in an eight-month process to shape and produce the plan itself.

The NAE’s principal strength is its ability to engage the senior leaders in business, academia, and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers. The NAE is thus uniquely poised to address issues of national and global concern, and to communicate its findings and recommendations to policymakers, industry, academia and the public.

About the National Academy of Engineering

Founded in 1964, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Its mission is to advance the welfare and prosperity of the nation by providing independent advice on matters involving engineering and technology, and by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and public appreciation of engineering.

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