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Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of the Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline


Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads
was released by the National Research Council on September 30, 2010:

Please visit the National Academies' Press website for a copy of the report which may be purchased online or downloaded as a free pdf document at:
Freeman Hrabowski, Study Committee Chair, discusses the report on “Education Nation” with Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC, October 1, 2010.
New York Times editorial discusses the report, October 26, 2010.
Freeman Hrabowski, Study Committee Chair, presents the report and discusses it with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, November 4, 2020.

Op-Ed: A Time of Urgency by Freeman A. Hrabowski III (Committee Chair), November 8, 2010


Project Scope

An ad-hoc committee will explore the role of diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce and its value in keeping America innovative and competitive.   The study will analyze the rate of change and thechallenges the nation currently faces in developing a strong and diverse workforce.  It will identify best practices and the characteristics of these practices that make them effective and sustainable.

Specific questions that would be addressed include:

1. What are the key social and institutional factors that shape decisions of minority students to commit to education and careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields?  What programs have successfully influenced these factors to yield improved results?

2. What are the specific barriers preventing greater minority student participation in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields?  What programs have successfully minimized these barriers?

3. What are the primary focus points for policy intervention to increase the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in America's workforce in the future? Which programs have successfully implemented policies to improve recruitment and retention? Are they "pull" or "push" strategies?"  Overall, how effective have they been? By what criteria should they be judged?

4. What programs are underway to increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields? Which programs have been shown to be effective? Do they differ by gender within minority group? What factors make them more effective?  How can they be expanded and improved in a sustainable way? 

5. What is the role of minority-serving institutions in the diversification of America's workforce in these fields?  How can that role be supported and strengthened?

6. How can the public and private sectors better assist minority students in their efforts to join America's workforce in these fields?

7. What should be the implementation strategy?   The committee should develop a prioritized list of policy and funding action items (e.g., tax credits) with milestones and cost estimates that will lead to a science and engineering workforce that mirrors the nation's diverse population.

Meetings & Events

First Committee Meeting
March 10-11, 2008
Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW,
Washington, DC
Room 110

Joint Meeting with the Committee on Capitalizing on the Diversity of the S&E Workforce in Industry
June 11, 2008
National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC
Board Room

Third Committee Meeting
October 22-23, 2008
Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20001
Room 206

Final Committee Meeting
February 19, 2009
Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Room 206



Freeman A. Hrabowski III [Chair]
University of Maryland Baltimore County

James Ammons
Florida A&M University

Sandra Begay-Cambell
Principal Member of the Technical Staff
Sandia National Laboratories

Beatriz Chu Clewell
Principal Research Associate
Program Director
The Urban Institute

Nancy Grasmick
State Superintendent of Schools
State Department of Education, Maryland

Carlos Gutlierrez
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
California State University

Evelynn M. Hammonds
Dean of Harvard College
Harvard University

Wesley Harris
Department Head and Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sylvia Hurtado
Professor and Director of the Higher Education Research Institute
University of California –Los Angeles

James S. Jackson
Director, Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan

[Committee Biographical Information]

Shirley M. McBay
The Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network

Diana S. Natalicio
The University of Texas, El Paso

John C. Nemeth
Vice President
Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Eduardo J. Padrón
Miami-Dade College

Willie Pearson, Jr.
Professor of Sociology
Georgia Institute of Technology

Sidney A. Ribeau
Howard University

John Brooks Slaughter
President and CEO
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering

Richard Tapia
University Professor, Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering
Rice University

Lydia Villa-Komaroff
Chief Executive Officer
Cytonome, Inc

Linda Sue Warner
Haskell Indian Nations University





Peter Henderson
Study Director
Phone Number: (202) 334-3166

Earnestine Psalmonds
Senior Program Officer
Phone Number: (202) 334-2557

Neeraj P. Gorkhaly
Research Associate
Phone Number: (202) 334-1358



National Science Foundation, NASA, Haas Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, DHHS/NIH