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Alum named CEO of Society of Women Engineers

September 25th, 2013

The Society of Women Engineers is pleased to announce that Deputy Executive Director Karen Horting, an NIU alumna, will lead the world’s premier organization for women engineers as its executive director and CEO beginning January 1, 2014.

“Karen will bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to the role of executive director and CEO while at the same time, maintaining good continuity between staff and volunteers. Karen’s intimate knowledge of SWE and her past performance make her the ideal choice for our next leader,” said Stacey DelVecchio, SWE’s president.

Horting joined SWE nine years ago and has transformed the organization through her many contributions. She has been tasked with overseeing all aspects of fund development for the global organization, building the Corporate Partnership Council into a thriving panel of more than 70 influential organizations within the industry. Horting was also instrumental in molding much of the Society’s portfolio of offerings for those in the engineering industry, including professional development, K-12 outreach, the SWE Annual Conference and SWE’s international expansion.

In addition to her significant contributions to SWE, Horting brings more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and fund development. Prior to joining SWE, she served as the director of strategic planning at New York Academy of Sciences where she oversaw development activities and long-range organizational planning. Her experience also includes time at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). There, she managed both marketing and fund development on a global level for Science’s Next Wave, a ground-breaking career development website for graduate students and postdocs in science, math and technology. Her previous experience also includes more than 10 years in the paint and coatings industry in a variety of technical service and marketing functions.

Horting holds a bachelor of science in biology from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, she earned a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

“Having Karen in this role will allow SWE to seamlessly continue the work we’ve started on our new strategy,” DelVecchio said. “We are excited to have her in this role and look forward to the future with her.”

Horting will take over the position currently held by Betty Shanahan, the organization’s leader for 11 years. Shanahan will remain at SWE into early 2014 to assist with the leadership transition.