February 18, 2005
Black Americans have made many important contributions to our nation's scientific and technological strength. From Garrett Morgan and Elijah McCoy to Charles Drew and Percy Lavon Julian, black inventors, scientists and engineers had to overcome great odds to have an opportunity to participate and to receive recognition for their accomplishments. Today, thousands of African Americans are participating as members of America's Science and Technology workforce but much more needs to be done to benefit from the creativity and potential contributions of this still largely underrepresented cohort of our population. Only then can a new chapter of black history be written.
Dr. John B. Slaughter Slaughter is the President and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. A former director of the National Science Foundation, president of Occidental College in Los Angeles and chancellor at the University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Slaughter has a long and distinguished background as a leader in the education, engineering and the scientific communities. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Society. In 1993, Dr. Slaughter was named to the American Society for Engineering Education Hall of Fame. Dr. Slaughter began his professional career as an electronics engineer at General Dynamics. He has also been professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, academic vice president and provost at Washington State University and most recently The Irving R. Melbo Professor of Leadership in Education at the University of Southern California. He serves on the board of directors at IBM, Northrop Grumman and Solutia, Inc. Dr. Slaughter earned a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, at San Diego; an M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Kansas State University. He holds honorary degrees from more than 20 institutions. Winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Award in 1997 and UCLA's Medal of Excellence in 1989, Dr. Slaughter was also honored with the first "U.S. Black Engineer of the Year" award in 1987.