headshot of Anne Ellis

Anne M. Ellis, P.E., Hon.M.ACI, NAC, Dist.M.ASCE, an important civil engineering trendsetter and member of ASCE’s Industry Leaders Council, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2024 class of distinguished members for leadership in advancement of engineering codes and standards, inclusion, and innovation for the betterment of the AEC community.

Ellis is recognized as a consummate professional and a pioneer for women and minorities in the construction industry. Her career extends over four decades, six continents, and numerous boundary-spanning corporate roles enabling dynamic growth and innovation in technology, business, and operations. She has served on 16 boards (chairing three), nine advisory councils, and three venture projects. As a senior business executive with a global Fortune 500 company, she led development and implementation of growth-enabling enterprise-wide programs including innovation, knowledge share, sustainability, advisory boards, government relations, and ethics.

Additionally, she led strategic initiatives driving merger and acquisition due diligence and integration, business system alignment, and operational excellence in bid and proposal work. 

Ellis’ acumen and ability are known worldwide in the field of concrete; she is co-author of the “Concrete Design and Construction” section of the Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers, Fifth Edition. Her passion in concrete was seeded by inspiring professors at Virginia Tech, fueled by her structural design and field experience, and then catapulted forward as an advocate for the Portland Cement Association and the National Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, where she developed strategies to position innovative concrete products and certifications competitively in a national marketplace. It was her volunteer work at the American Concrete Institute that led to her election as president of ACI, the first female professional engineer in that role, garnering multiple recognitions for her transformational leadership and meaningful, far-reaching impacts globally. 

Her deep understanding of trends and strategies related to civil engineering made her highly effective advancing innovation. A former executive director of the Charles Pankow Foundation, she raised funds, built coalitions, and managed the R&D portfolio of an organization on the vanguard of engineering creativity while helping it meet its mission. Particularly notable was the range of initiatives undertaken during her tenure at CPF, including the development of the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator tool and the Speed Core research, the system used in the Rainier Square Tower, an ASCE 2022 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award winner. 

Knowledgeable on industry issues, she advises on trade policy, building science, and technology to improve government, commerce, and industry. Ellis was the first woman to chair the National Institute of Building Science’s board of directors. She has served six U.S. Cabinet secretaries by appointment to two federal advisory committees: the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee and the National Coal Council. Many nonprofits organization also seek her counsel. Among her many awards are the Carroll H. Dunn Award for Excellence from the Construction Industry Institute and Concrete Construction magazine’s Five Most Influential People in Concrete Construction. Ellis was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2019 and to Virginia Tech’s Academy of Engineering Excellence in 2013.

A member of ASCE since 1996, she engages through ILC with senior leaders from academia, government, and industry on challenges and opportunities affecting the Society. She serves on the ASCE Foundation Board of Directors. A long-term member of the Structural Engineering Institute, she previously chaired the SEI Futures Fund Board of Directors and the SEI Global Activities Division. But her favorite volunteer role remains judging the national concrete canoe competition three times.