Alfred Grasso, president and chief executive officer of The MITRE Corporation, will visit the University of Virginia on Friday as the final speaker in the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s “Engineering Leadership for the 21st Century” series.
The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Rice Hall Auditorium and is free and open to the public.
The series was created to explore the ways in which engineers provide leadership in business, government and academia, and how educators should go about preparing the next generation of leaders who will be agents of change in the global economy.
The first two guests in the series were G. Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and president emeritus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Ellen Kullman, president, chair of the board and chief executive officer of DuPont.
During her presentation, Kullman discussed the work DuPont does throughout the world and spoke at length about how imperative it is for the U.S. to have a well-trained workforce. “If we are going to have a strong manufacturing economy, we need to make sure that we have the right skill sets coming out of our schools and universities that match up with those skills sets needed by industry,” she said. She also stressed that our culture and our schools need to think about engineering and science in new ways.
“If you like science and math you should be an engineer because you get to solve problems and you can get involved in some of the most exciting aspects of the world. You can get involved in feeding the world. You can work on creating a different energy source. Education in STEM gives you many more choices in life,” she said.
“This series has articulated the ways in which engineers provide leadership in so many aspects of our culture,” said Engineering School Dean James H. Aylor. “It has helped reframe the very concept of what it means to be an engineer in today’s world.”
As president and CEO of MITRE, Grasso is responsible for developing and leading the corporation’s overall strategic and business operations for its federally funded research and development centers. He also serves on MITRE’s Board of Trustees. Along with his CEO responsibilities, he is director of MITRE’s National Security Engineering Center, responsible for delivering transformational solutions for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.
Under Grasso’s leadership, MITRE has received several prestigious awards for its commitment to public service and technical excellence, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Air Force Association’s Theodore von Karman Award and the National Aeronautic Association’s Collier Trophy. The company also was recognized by Computerworld as one of the “100 Best Places to Work in IT” and by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
Grasso is an appointed member of the Defense Science Board and is chairman of the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association International’s board of directors. Additionally, he is a special adviser to the U.S. Strategic Command Strategic Advisory Group and is a member of the Stevens Institute Systems Engineering Research Center Advisory Board, the U.Va. Systems and Information Engineering Department Advisory Board and Howard University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science Board of Visitors.
In 2012, Federal Computer Week presented Grasso with its Eagle Award, which recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on federal IT. He was cited for his work leading studies on acquisition management and resilient system architectures and for his leadership roles on advisory boards.
Grasso holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a master’s degree in computer science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is a graduate of the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.