Leadership

Michael K.J. Milligan

Executive Director,
Chief Executive Officer

Michael Milligan is the Executive Director and CEO of ABET, the global accreditor of over 4,300 college and university STEM programs in 41 countries.

Prior to joining ABET in 2009, Milligan worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developing the next generation of environmental satellites for NOAA. He also served over 24 years as a career US Air Force officer working in operations, international R&D, technology acquisition and education as a USAF Academy faculty member. Milligan earned a PhD, MS and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Michigan State University, respectively, and the MBA from Western New England University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) and a Certified Association Executive (CAE).

Dianne Chong

ABET President

Dianne Chong was the vice president in the Boeing Research and Technology organization in the Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology organization. In this position, she led special projects that impacted processes and program integration for the Boeing Enterprise. Prior to this, Chong was the vice president of materials, manufacturing, structures and support in the Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology organization. In that role, she led the organization responsible for development and support of manufacturing processes and program integration for the Boeing Enterprise.

Dr. Chong was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Washington State Academy of Science in 2017. She currently serves on the National Academies’ Gordon Prize committee and the steering committee for EngineerGirl. Chong is also serving on the ABET Board of Directors where she represents engineering. In that capacity, she leads the Engineering Area Delegation and supports the Engineering Area Commission. Chong is a member of TMS, AIAA, ASM International, SME, SWE, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Tau Beta Pi. She has served on the board of trustees, is a fellow of ASM International, and in 2007-08, was elected as the first female president of ASM International. She is currently the immediate past-chair of the ASM Women in Materials Engineering Committee and serves on the ASM Action in Education Team. Chong is currently serving as treasurer of the SME, sits on the Board of Directors and is a fellow of SME. She also serves on SME’s accreditation committee and the AerDef executive committee.

She has been recognized for managerial achievements and as a diversity change agent. Chong was also recognized as an outstanding alumna of University of Illinois in 2006 and is the recipient of numerous technical and diversity awards. Chong has also supported National efforts by leading teams for NAE studies on manufacturing and through her service on the National Materials Advisory Board and the Defense Materials, Manufacturing, and Infrastructure group. Chong received her bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology from the University of Illinois. She also earned master’s degrees in physiology and metallurgical engineering. In 1986, Chong received her doctorate in metallurgical engineering from the University of Illinois. She also completed an executive master of manufacturing management at Washington University.

William J. Wepfer

President-Elect

William Wepfer served as the Eugene C. Gwaltney Jr. School Chair and Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech from 2008 to 2018. Wepfer’s research covered the areas of thermal systems, heat transfer and thermodynamics. Wepfer is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), ABET and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

He was a member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET for 12 years and served as Chair of the EAC during the 2014-15 accreditation cycle. Wepfer served on the Board of Governors of ASME (2016-19) and represents ASME on the ABET Board of Delegates. He has served departmental advisory boards at Pennsylvania State University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University. After 38 years of service, Wepfer retired from Georgia Tech on April 1, 2018, and holds the title of Professor Emeritus. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Lynne.

David P. Kelly

Past President

David Kelly is CEO & CTO of InnovaSea. He is responsible for setting InnovaSea’s overall strategy and leading the research and development efforts to create advanced open ocean aquaculture farming systems. InnovaSea is dedicated to supporting open-ocean aquaculture businesses by producing innovative, environmentally-focused, sustainable technologies and service solutions for the industry.

Prior to InnovaSea, Kelly was the President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Battelle. He was responsible for the strategic direction and operational execution of the business. Bluefin Robotics is a full life-cycle provider of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and related marine robotics technology to government, commercial and academic clients worldwide. Prior to Bluefin, Kelly worked for 20 years at Raytheon and Texas Instruments as an engineering manager and engineer developing advanced, defense electronics systems.

Kelly is a senior executive and technologist with over 30 years of comprehensive, hands-on experience in early-stage high tech companies and in Fortune 50 high tech firms. He has full life-cycle experience with robotics systems, information technology, and defense electronics.

He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is a senior member of IEEE, and a member of ACM.

Kelly has been involved with accreditation since 1995. He has served as a Program Evaluator, Team Chair, Commissioner, at-large Executive Committee member, and in all the officer positions in the Computing Commission officer chain — serving as CAC Chair during the 2009-10 cycle. He has served on the ABET Board of Directors since 2011 and has acted as the Board Liaison to the Computing Accreditation Commission for three of those years. He has served on the Audit Committee from 2013 through 2017 and was on the Finance Committee in 2018. He was elected a CSAB Fellow in 2012, and an ABET Fellow in 2014. He was elected President-Elect of ABET in 2018.