Baltimore— On November 3, we installed the 2018-2019 ABET Board of Directors during our fall governance meetings in Baltimore. The Board is our governing body responsible for strategic planning, financial oversight and managing the external relationships of our organization. It is also the final review body for appeal of decisions regarding accreditation actions for a specific program.

The ABET Board of Directors has 13 members, including the executive director and CEO (non-voting), five officers, four area directors, two at-large directors and one public director.


Mary Leigh Wolfe, Ph.D., is ABET President. Wolfe has represented the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) on the ABET Board of Directors since 2010.

Wolfe has been involved in accreditation of educational programs for 27 years. She was the chair of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET for the 2007-08 accreditation cycle and past-chair for the 2008-09 cycle. She began volunteering for ABET in 1991 as a program evaluator, and has since participated at every level of ABET accreditation.

Wolfe is professor and head of the department of biological systems engineering (BSE) at Virginia Tech. She is also president-elect of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and served as president for 2015-2016. She is a member of the ASABE Foundation Board of Trustees and has previously served on the ASABE Nominating Committee, Board of Trustees and Board of Directors. She is a Fellow of ABET, of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).


David P. Kelly, M.S., MBA, is ABET President-Elect.  Kelly is the CEO and CTO of InnovaSea Systems. He has been involved in accreditation activities since 1995 and served as chair of the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET for the 2009-2010 cycle. He has served on the ABET Accreditation Council. Kelly has also been a member of several ABET ad hoc task groups examining accreditation for online and alternate delivery programs. Kelly is a senior member of the IEEE and a member of ACM.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Past President

Michael R. Lightner, Ph.D., is ABET Past President. He is professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he has been on faculty since 1981 and served as chair from 2006-2014. He currently serves as the vice president for Academic Affairs for the four-campus University of Colorado System. Lightner earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Florida, and his Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University, all in electrical engineering.

Lightner is a Life Fellow of IEEE, holding many leadership roles during his 47 years as a member and volunteer, including IEEE president and CEO in 2006. He is also a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Some honors he has received include: College of Engineering Max Peters Award for Outstanding Service, John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Teaching Award, and the College of Engineering Hutchinson Award for Outstanding Teaching in the College.

A member of the ABET Board of Directors since 2008, he is a dedicated leader in our organization. His various positions include five years as ABET Director from IEEE and two years as ABET secretary. Committees that he has served on include Audit (member, then Chair), Governance (Chair), ad hoc Governance Group and ad hoc Rules of Procedure of the Board of Delegates.


Stuart H. Zweben, Ph.D., is ABET Secretary. He is professor emeritus of computer science and engineering at The Ohio State University. He holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from CUNY City College, a master’s in statistics and computer science from Purdue University, and a doctorate degree in computer science from Purdue. From 2006 until his retirement at the end of 2011, he served as associate dean for academic affairs and administration in Ohio State’s College of Engineering. Prior to becoming associate dean, Stu served as chair of OSU’s computer science and engineering department for 11 years. He held a faculty position at Ohio State for more than 37 years prior to his retirement.

Stu is a fellow and a former president of ACM (The Association for Computing Machinery), a fellow and former president of CSAB and a 2005 ABET Fellow. He began his accreditation-related work when CSAB first formed in the mid-1980s as the organization that accredited computer science programs, and he served on CSAB’s first accreditation commission, which later became part of ABET. From 2009-2011, he chaired ABET’s Accreditation Council, and from 2008-2009, he chaired ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). He has been a program evaluator for both CAC and the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, and a team chair for CAC. In 2012, Stu received ABET’s Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award, ABET’s highest honor. Currently he serves on the ABET Global Council and the Grinter Award Committee.


David L. Whitman, Ph.D., P.E., is ABET Treasurer. Whitman received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming (UW) and his doctorate degree in mineral Engineering from the University of Wyoming. He worked in the synthetic fuels arena prior to becoming a faculty member in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming in 1981.

From 1989 to 2005, he was the associate dean of academics and since 2005 has been a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He received UW’s College of Engineering Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1990 and 2004 and the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001. He is currently the past president of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES), chairman of the IEEE-USA Licensure & Registration Committee and an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education.