February 20, 2014
Major General (Retired) Paul D. Nielsen has been selected as a winner of the Pittsburgh Business Times 2014 Diamond Awards. Honoring the region’s top CEOs and presidents, the Award recognizes Nielsen’s achievements as CEO and Director of the Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI). His leadership, customer service philosophy, relationship with employees, and contributions to the community have been instrumental to the growing impact of SEI regionally, nationally and globally. Nielsen was selected by an independent panel of judges who are former Diamond Award winners.
A 1978 Hertz Fellow, Nielsen is a Member and Secretary of the Hertz Foundation Board of Directors. Prior to his position with SEI, he served in the U.S. Air Force. Nielsen retired from the Air Force as a Major General after 32 years of distinguished service. Nielsen relinquished his command of the Air Force Research Laboratory on June 25, 2004. For over four years, he managed the Air Force’s science and technology budget of more than $3 billion annually and directed the efforts of the laboratory’s 8,700 men and women at ten sites across the United States. He also was the Air Force’s technology executive officer.
Nielsen received a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy; a master of science degree in applied science from the University of California, Davis; an MBA from the University of New Mexico; and a PhD in plasma physics from the University of California, Davis. He also graduated from the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.
Nielsen and the other Diamond Award winners will be honored at a gala event in the spring of 2014.