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Norman L. Fortenberry, Sc.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Under the direction and oversight of the Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Board of Directors, Dr. Norman Fortenberry serves the organization as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He leads programs and activities in support of attaining the organization’s vision through the implementation of its mission of inspiring, supporting, and recognizing students and professionals especially those from underserved communities in order to create a talent pool of STEMM professionals dedicated to serving the Nation. Fortenberry has responsibility for the management of GMIS staff, programs, and financial stability. The CEO assists the Board of Directors in the formulation of the organization’s goals, objectives, and related policies. Fortenberry serves as GMiS’s principal leader, representative, and spokesperson to the greater community. He is responsible for maintaining an organizational culture and environment of the highest ethics, inclusivity, and fairness.

Fortenberry was previously the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). CASEE was NAE’s first operating center, promoted research on teaching and learning and sought to translate research results into improved educational practices in pre-college, collegiate, and work-based settings.

Prior to joining NAE, Fortenberry served as senior advisor for policy, analysis, and planning to NSF’s assistant director for education and human resources. He concurrently served as director of the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). DUE is the focal point for the Foundation’s efforts to enhance the quality of education for future scientists and engineers, future teachers, future technicians, and educated citizens in an increasingly technological society.  While serving as director of DUE, Fortenberry also served for 2 years as director of NSF’s division of Human Resource Development (HRD) – making him the first person to simultaneously serve as head of two separate NSF divisions.  HRD is the focal point for the Foundation’s efforts to enhance access, participation, and success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics research and education at all levels for institutions and populations underrepresented in STEM including minority serving institutions, women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Before becoming a division director at NSF, Fortenberry served as Executive Director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (The GEM Consortium), a national alliance of employers and universities dedicated to increasing the number and success of graduate degree recipients in engineering and science drawn from underrepresented minority populations.

Fortenberry began his career as a member of the mechanical engineering faculty at the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering.

Fortenberry is a fellow of ASEE and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Fortenberry is the author or co-author of more than 49 peer-reviewed publications and has written proposals for funded projects exceeding $18.9 million.

Fortenberry was awarded bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fortenberry is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) as recognized by the American Society of Association Executives, and an Advanced Certified Nonprofit Professional (ACNP) as recognized by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.