Former executive president of Boeing returns to WSU as Engineer in Residence

Leanne Caret

Leanne Caret

Leanne Caret — a Wichita State University alumna, former executive president of Boeing, and former president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) — is serving as the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Engineer in Residence for the College of Engineering at WSU for 2023. She will provide industry knowledge, insight and guidance to students and faculty.

“While Caret is not an engineer by trade, there is no one better suited as this year’s Engineer in Residence,” said Anthony Muscat, the dean of the college. “She is passionate about guiding future generations toward success, especially women and underrepresented groups. Her decades of industry experience and mentorship will help engineering and computing students find greater success in all facets of their future careers.”

Caret has more than 30 years of aerospace industry experience. For five consecutive years from 2017-21, Fortune magazine included Caret in its Most Powerful Women list. She retired from Boeing in 2022 and currently serves on the United Service Organizations (USO) board of governors, the Raytheon Technologies board of directors and the John Deere board of directors.

As the Engineer in Residence for the college, Caret is advising on approaches to attract and retain more women in engineering. She will also mentor a newly formed young professionals group. It is anticipated that Caret will visit WSU this spring and again in the fall semester to give talks to engineering and computing students, as well as collaborate with the college leadership team to ensure the college’s professional development curriculum is aligned with the needs of the business community. 

“Caret’s experience within the business community will be an exceptional asset to our curriculum conversations on how to expand the applied learning model,” Muscat said. “We believe her insight will help shape future curricula and advance the goals of the College of Engineering at WSU.” 

Caret has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Kansas State University and a Master of Business Administration from WSU. She has also completed certification programs through Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. 

The Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Engineer in Residence was established by Rie Bloomfield in 1987 to help strengthen the college's doctoral program by supplementing WSU's teaching and publishing faculty with visiting professors. Sam Bloomfield, her husband, was considered one of Wichita’s aviation pioneers. A new Engineer in Residence is announced annually.

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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