National Academy of Engineering Elects Leaders to the NAE Council


Wed, May 11, 2022

Washington D.C., May 11, 2022 —

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected a chair, vice president, and four members to its council, announced NAE President John L. Anderson today. The NAE Council is the governing body of the NAE with oversight for general policies and programs and all funds administered by the NAE.

The Honorable Donald C. Winter, Ph.D., former secretary of the Navy, has been reelected to a two-year term as NAE chair. He is a former corporate executive at TRW and Northrop Grumman, and a professor of practice at the University of Michigan. As NAE chair, Winter works with the NAE president to promote the NAE and its policies to the engineering community and the public. During his first term as chair, he was instrumental in efforts to develop the NAE 2021-2026 Strategic Plan and in the NAE’s work to support the country’s response to Covid-19. Winter was elected to the NAE in 2002.

Newly elected to serve a four-year term as NAE vice president is Wesley L. Harris, Ph.D., Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the founding director of the MIT Hypersonics Research Team and previously served as associate provost for faculty equity. Harris, who was elected to the NAE in 1995, succeeds Corale L. Brierley, Ph.D., who served two consecutive terms as vice president, the maximum tenure allowed by the NAE’s bylaws.

Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., U.S. Navy (retired) and the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and Robin K. McGuire, Ph.D., senior principal, Lettis Consultants International Inc., have been reelected to second three-year terms as councillors. Ellis is a retired 4-star admiral, former commander, United States Strategic Command, and former president and chief executive officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. He was elected to the NAE in 2013. McGuire, elected to the NAE in 2007, is a structural engineer with expertise in engineering applications of probabilistic risk assessment in earthquakes and other natural hazards.

Newly elected to three-year terms as councillors are Susan L. Graham, Ph.D., Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor Emerita in the computer science division (EECS) at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dianne Chong, Ph.D., vice president of materials, manufacturing structure and support (retired) at Boeing Research and Technology. José G. Santiesteban, Ph.D., ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (retired), was elected by the NAE Council for a two-year term as councillor to fill the seat vacated by Wes Harris.

Retiring councillors Josephine Cheng, Ph.D., entrepreneur and retired vice president of IBM, and Alan I. Taub, Ph.D., professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan and retired vice president of global R&D at General Motors Company, completed six continuous years of service as councillors, the maximum allowed under the Academy’s bylaws.

The NAE Council is composed of seven officers (chair, president, vice president, home secretary, international secretary, treasurer, and executive officer) and 12 members, known as councillors, all elected by the NAE membership.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer. NAE membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” or to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. 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 National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM) work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). The NAE is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the NAS and NAM the responsibility for advising the federal government. 

L. Eileen  Erickson
Contact L. Eileen Erickson
Director of Outreach and Communications
National Academy of Engineering