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Anita Carleton Named Director of the SEI’s Software Solutions Division

Anita Carleton Named Director of the SEI’s Software Solutions Division
June 17, 2020 • Article

June 17, 2020—The SEI has named Anita Carleton the director of its Software Solutions Division (SSD). Carleton has leadership and operating responsibility for a diverse staff of more than 160 researchers, expert developers, and domain experts advancing software engineering through a $55 million research and development portfolio. She leads the software engineering research, development, and transition strategy for the SEI. Carleton is currently leading an SEI effort to engage the broad software engineering community to define a national agenda for software engineering research and development for the next decade.

The mission of SSD is to advance the state of the practice in software engineering through applied research, development, and transition of innovative technologies for building and acquiring software-intensive systems, with the specific goal of making software a strategic advantage for the Department of Defense. SSD provides leadership through research collaborations with CMU and others in academia, directly engaging with major defense acquisition programs, partnering with industry, and informing DoD policy makers.

Carleton brings more than 30 years of experience in designing, building, and deploying advanced software technologies for national security, most recently as acting director of SSD. She previously served as director of the SEI Software Engineering Process Management Program, where she managed the SEI's software development and measurement initiatives designed to yield high-quality software and high-performance teams, producing models and measurement practices used throughout the software industry worldwide. Her seminal research in applying statistical process control techniques to the U.S. Space Shuttle software data led to Carleton’s co-authored book Measuring the Software Process: Statistical Process Control for Software Process Improvement, published by Addison-Wesley Professional.

“Having experienced the evolution of work we do at the SEI has been a great benefit in guiding our work strategically for the future,” said Carleton. “Being the director of the SEI Software Engineering Process Management Program provided me a great deal of experience in developing, applying, and transitioning models and analysis techniques for software development and measurement, in managing people and working globally with our partners, and in technology commercialization through the successful spinout of the CMMI product suite.”

“Anita is a strong leader and generous colleague, and we are fortunate to have her to lead our Software Solutions Division,” said SEI Director and CEO Paul Nielsen. “Her heart and soul are with the men and women of the SEI. She has already led the division in a strategic refresh, a reorganization to align with the institute’s strategy, and the development of a new cadre of tech leaders.”

Before joining the SEI, Carleton held technical and management positions in industry. At GTE Government Systems in Massachusetts, she designed, developed, and tested software for the Minuteman and Peacekeeper missile systems. At the Goodyear Tech Center in Ohio, she was the lead systems modeling and simulation engineer responsible for designing new passenger tires utilizing experimental design and statistical analysis techniques.

Carleton received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and recently received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. “I saw the MIT Executive MBA program as the most significant way I could develop the skills and perspectives to take on the next leadership challenges of my career,” Carleton said. “I was looking for an opportunity to bring back to the SEI new ideas, thinking, and tools to solve the unprecedented challenges for the DoD in software engineering, a mission I’m incredibly passionate about today.”

Carleton serves on the IEEE Software Advisory Board and is a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society. She is the recipient of the MIT Sloan Leadership Fellowship and has received achievement awards for her work in support of U.S. Air Force programs, from the Journal of the Quality Assurance Institute for her leadership in software measurement, and from Dr. Barry Boehm, member of the SEI’s board of visitors, for her leadership in defining the SEI Core Measures and a measurement program for the DoD to facilitate data-driven decision-making. Carleton is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.