ISyE Alumnus Theodore Colbert III: 2022 Black Engineer of the Year
Theodore Colbert III (IE 1996), president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, The Boeing Company, will be honored as the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) at the 36th annual BEYA STEM Conference. In addition to being an alumnus of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), Colbert earned a bachelor’s degree in science at Morehouse College as part of a dual-degree program with Georgia Tech.
Colbert has served in various roles at The Boeing Company, including chief information officer (CIO). As CIO, he launched the Analytic Lab for Aerospace Data at Carnegie Mellon University with the goal of using machine learning, language technologies, and artificial intelligence to leverage big data produced by the design, construction, and operation of modern aircraft.
“The amount of data created today is unprecedented. But it’s not about the data on its own, it’s what you do with it,” said Colbert. “Through the products Boeing powers, we are applying scientific processes to data to solve our customers’ most pressing problems today while creating a world of limitless possibilities for the future.”
At Boeing, Colbert has also worked on several information technology (IT) and analytics programs, in addition to leading the IT business systems organization, where he managed the computing application systems that support various business units in the corporation. Prior to joining Boeing, Colbert worked for Citigroup and spent over 10 years at Ford Motor Company in the IT organization.
Colbert has been drawn to technology since he was a child, recalling when he acquired his first Commodore 64, an 8-bit home computer, in 1982. “To me, it was like a game, but what I was doing was really programming,” Colbert said. “The challenge connected me to the computer at a young age.”
In 2017, Colbert won a Morehouse College “Bennie Leadership” award for Excellence in Business. Recipients of the award are those who go “in advance of others to direct or guide them” and have led significant accomplishments for an organization. When it comes to success, Colbert has an important philosophy about mentoring: “We have to influence each other to be better by providing constant encouragement, feedback, and help,” he noted.
Growing up, Colbert’s parents always emphasized valuing people and diversity, which is clearly demonstrated in his leadership and service. Highly active in his community, he serves as a member of the board of directors for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.
You can read the full article about Colbert and his career here.
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