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Meet our Donors


Ken Xie, NAE '13

Ken Xie attended his first National Academy of Engineering activity in March 2013-the Regional Meeting at Stanford. While there, NAE vice president Maxine Savitz remarked on the importance of philanthropy to NAE's work. Shortly thereafter, Ken Xie decided to direct a $100,000 gift from the Xie Foundation in support of the NAE Independent Fund.

"The Academy is uniquely positioned to bring awareness to the great potential of engineering. At a time when it will take creative thinking to maintain American competitiveness and address global problems, I want to make sure NAE has the resources to build strong relationships and to educate government leaders and the public.” -Ken Xie


Xie Ken

Mr. Xie, founder and CEO of Fortinet, a publicly traded company that specializes in cyber security, was elected for “contributions to cyber security, including network security systems and services."


Mr. Xie’s generosity, and that of other NAE members and friends, can help NAE maintain the growth of the NAE Independent Fund, giving the Academy more opportunities to advocate for engineering to be part of the solution to global challenges.


Ellis (NAS, '73) and Bettsy Cowling
Ellis Cowling has been an active member of NAS for more than half of his life, serving for many years on both the NAS Council and the Committee for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. For both Ellis and his wife Bettsy, including the NAS in their philanthropic giving was essential:

"The National Academies are a unique, valuable, and precious resource for two major reasons," Ellis explained. "First, the academies provide encouragement for continuous improvement of scientific understanding of the natural, built, and mathematical worlds that surrounds us. Second, the academies help our country (and other societies around the world) learn how to use scientific knowledge...for making wise public policy choices." 



Some years ago, Ellis and Bettsy sat down with their financial advisor to decide how they could make the most impact. Ellis and Bettsy CowlingThey carefully weighed what they want to leave to their children and grandchildren and decided to support the NAS with a deferred charitable gift annuity; a gift that provides supplemental retirement income to them and long-term benefits for the NAS.


But, when the time came to start receiving the annuity income, Bettsy and Ellis decided the NAS should keep the entire gift and they terminated their income interest in the annuity. By giving back the annuity income, the Cowlings were entitled to additional income tax benefits. The Cowlings hope their fellow members and friends will consider making annual contributions, like they do, and include the academies in their long-term estate plans to make those annual gifts permanent in the future.

Trevor O. Jones, NAE '82
Trevor Jones was elected to NAE in 1982 for his leadership in the application of electronics to the automobile to enhance its mechanical performance. Since then, he has participated in studies on topics including biological warfare, automotive fuel economy, nuclear regulatory management, aerospace, military systems, and deep sea oil drilling. Mr. Jones also chaired the “2020 Energy Vision” Regional Meeting in Cleveland, OH in 2006, a meeting that drew over 1,300 attendees and 1,000 viewers via webcast.

Trevor Jones“The National Academy of Engineering, as part of the National Academies, provides unimpeachable, unbiased views and recommendations on vital and strategic technological issues of national importance. It is therefore incumbent upon all professional engineers, particularly NAE members, to fully support NAE’s participation in these endeavors.”


Mr. Jones has been a generous donor to the NAE for over two decades. He says that he supports the NAE because, as an engineer, he feels a sense of responsibility to support an organization that plays such a unique and nationally important role.

"Being an NAE member provides an unparalleled opportunity to participate in major, advanced technological studies. Such participation provides NAE members the opportunity to interface with a very broad spectrum of expertise in a wide variety of university, government, and industry research organizations. The impact of this career building experience is extremely rewarding and unattainable outside of the NAE.”




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