Endowed by Northrop Grumman Corporation
Ellen Ferraro, Ph.D.
For technical leadership and expertise; for enabling a diverse, nurturing work environment; and for demonstrating through tireless outreach that engineering is a profession for women.
Ellen Ferraro, Ph.D., is vice president of Engineering & Mission Assurance (EMA) at Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a business of Raytheon Technologies (RTX). RI&S develops advanced sensors, training, cyber, and software solutions in order to deliver the disruptive technologies to civil, military, and commercial customers with presence in 30 countries. Dr. Ferraro leads more than 15,000 employees who are responsible for ensuring engineering excellence for all RI&S programs. Her prior experience includes executive roles such as vice president of mission assurance for RI&S and deputy vice president of engineering at BAE Systems.
In her current role, Dr. Ferraro leads the team that supports all aspects of design, development, integration, and testing, as well as mission and quality assurance for RI&S systems, products, and services. She has also designed a four-pillar strategy for developing a culture and workforce that increases transparency, provides technical career opportunities, and encourages employees to speak up; enhances accountability and predictability by meeting the financial and technical performance commitments to customers; accelerates change through digital transformation and innovation; and implements industry best practices to improve quality and reduce defects.
Dr. Ferraro is dedicated to improving diversity and representation of women in the workforce and in leadership positions at RTX. She has enriched her team by filling key roles with diverse candidates and ensuring all new positions have a diverse candidate pool. In a similar vein, Dr. Ferraro is a volunteer team leader for RTX’s Women in Line Leadership Rise (WILL Rise) program, which helps midcareer women gain the skills necessary for general manager positions.
She is also active in numerous diversity, equity, and inclusion employee resource groups (ERGs) including the Black/African American and LGBTQIA+ employee resource groups (ERG). She currently serves as executive sponsor for the Hispanic ERG and is a founding member of the Raytheon Women’s Network.
Dr. Ferraro currently mentors more than a dozen engineers within and outside of RTX, including women engineering students. She encourages each to mentor other young people to enter and continue in engineering.
Locally, Dr. Ferraro works with schools, promoting STEM to K-12 students. On the state and national levels, she has participated on the boards of several STEM organizations, among them the Global Technology and Engineering Consortium and the Global STEM Education Center.
An active member of the Society of Women Engineers since 1986, Dr. Ferraro has consistently raised awareness of engineering as a profession for women and of their contributions to the profession. For her service, she was named a SWE Fellow in 2016 and is a past recipient of the SWE Emerging Leader and SWE Distinguished New Engineer awards.
Dr. Ferraro earned a B.S. and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has two daughters; lives with her husband in Groton, Massachusetts; and enjoys mentoring, gardening, and traveling with her family.