Xerox CEO Ursula Burns Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

In 2011, only 133 of the more than 8,000 doctorates awarded by U.S. universities in engineering fields went to African Americans. Thus, African Americans accounted for only 1.7 percent of all engineering doctorates awarded in the U.S. that year.

UrsulaBurns_thumb2Thus, it should not be a huge surprise that there are very few Blacks elected as members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. According to a JBHE analysis of the new inductees of the academy, it appears that only one of the 69 new inductees is an African American.

Ursula M. Burns is the CEO of Xerox Corporation. A native of New York City, both of Burns’ parents were Panamanian immigrants. She graduated from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and went on to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. She joined Xerox in 1981 and slowly worked her way up through the ranks. She became CEO in July 2009.

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