NACME Press Releases

NACME Appoints New Board Chairman

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IBM Senior Vice President of Transformation & Culture
Appointed as Chairman of the NACME Board of Directors

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering’s vision is
An Engineering Workforce that looks like America

ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 1, 2021 – The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), the largest private provider of college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees at schools of engineering, has appointed Obed Louissaint, IBM, as Chair of the organization, succeeding Frederiek Toney, President of the Global Ford Customer Service Division, Ford Motor Company. During Toney’s tenure, Louissaint served as the Vice-Chair and was appointed as Chair-Elect earlier this year. Louissaint’s term as Chair began on October 1, 2021

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees are critical to our nation’s competitiveness particularly as the demand for these skills increase for current and future jobs. A career in engineering or computer science not only ensures high paying opportunities, but also increases access to senior roles. However, under-represented students are often presented with several barriers and require our nation’s critical thought leaders to provide meaningful access opportunities.

Through partnerships with like-minded entities, NACME’s scholarship program for under-represented minorities serves as a catalyst to increase the proportion of underrepresented young women and men in engineering and computer science careers. IBM is a proud corporate supporter and partner of NACME and continually advocates for creating more opportunities for under-represented minorities who choose to pursue a career in STEM fields.

“I am thrilled to serve as Chair of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. For decades, IBM and NACME have partnered to address the challenge of creating an engineering workforce that looks like America, and today that work couldn't be more important. Companies partnering to create economic opportunity through more inclusive STEM careers will lead to sustainable solutions to yield powerful outcomes and meaningful societal progress,” said Louissaint, Senior Vice President of Transformation and Culture at IBM.

Underrepresented minority groups have gradually increased their share in the field of science and engineering, but they remain underrepresented in degree attainment and in the workforce, particularly in the most senior roles. In science and engineering, historically underrepresented groups remain significantly smaller than their representation in the U.S. population

“As the U.S. strives to lead in the technology enterprise, it must be aggressive about cultivating the fullness of the nation’s domestic talent. Native, Hispanic and African Americans, remain underrepresented in fields identified as critical to U.S. competitiveness, specifically engineering and computer science,” said Michele Lezama, President and CEO of NACME. “IBM has a long-standing history of investing in under-represented communities’ access to a pathway to senior roles in technology roles, specifically in engineering and computer science. We are pleased to welcome their corporate officer and long-time NACME thought leader, Obed Louissaint, as our next Chairman of the Board of Directors”.

In the quest for social and racial equity, evolving our society through technology will require a significant diverse talent pool in computer science and engineering fields. NACME continues to inspire and encourage excellence in engineering education and career development toward achieving a diverse and dynamic American workforce.

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About The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.

NACME helps to ensure American competitiveness by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful historically under-represented individuals who pursue careers in computer science and engineering. NACME arguably enables the largest amount of private college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees in schools of engineering. NACME is strategically driven by a board of directors of C-Suite executives representing leading corporations who champion diversity. Our mission is to enrich society with an American workforce that champions diversity in technical fields by increasing the number of under-represented minorities in engineering and computer science.

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