Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

GEM’s 35th Anniversary Conference will feature a host of exciting plenary speakers. Join us for the Opening Reception Wednesday evening for an after dinner drink and dessert and hear from GEM’s President, Alfred Grasso, CEO of the MITRE Corporation. On Thursday morning the Opening Session will provide an overview of what attendees should expect throughout the conference and the culminating black-tie Gala. A keynote will be provided by Dr. Norman Fortenberry, GEM Alum, past GEM Executive Director, and recently appointed Executive Director of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Fortenberry will provide the current status of graduate engineering and science eduction, with a particular focus on the performance of under-represented students. He will also provide insight to ASEE’s diversity statement and action plan and how ASEE can work collaboratively with GEM to advance this plan. On Thursday afternoon, as a prelude to the Industry Roundtable the Honorable Maxine Waters will provide her insight on America’s Competitiveness and challenge our industry partners to hire Americans for their high tech opportunities. Click on Read More to read the plenary speaker’s bios.

Dr. Norman Fortenberry

Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education
GEM Alumn; Opening Session Speaker

Dr. Norman L. Fortenberry is the executive director of the American Society for Engineering Education, a national society of individual, institutional, and corporate members founded in 1893 and committed to furthering education in engineering
and engineering technology by promoting global excellence in engineering and engineering technology instruction, research, public service, professional practice, and societal awareness. Previously, Fortenberry served as the founding Director of
the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He has also served as executive director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (The GEM Consortium) and as a faculty member in the department of mechanical engineering at the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering. Dr. Fortenberry was awarded the S.B., S.M., and Sc.D. degrees (all in mechanical engineering) by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor. Elected in November 2010 to her eleventh term in the House of Representatives with almost 80 percent of the vote in the 35th District of California, Congresswoman Waters represents a large part of South Central Los Angeles, the communities of Westchester and Playa Del Rey, and the diverse cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Lawndale. She continues to be a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services, serving as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. She also serves on the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Congresswoman Waters also serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary, where she sits on the Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subcommittee, and the Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee. An integral member of Congressional Democratic Leadership, Congresswoman Waters serves as a Chief Deputy Whip and as a member of the Steering & Policy Committee.

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