search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Anita Carleton

Director, Software Solutions Division

Anita Carleton is an Executive Leadership Team Member and Division Director of the Software Solutions Division (SSD) at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Carnegie Mellon University, with more than 30 years of technical and senior leadership experience in the software engineering industry.  The mission of SSD is to advance the state of the practice in software engineering through applied research, development, and transition of innovative technologies for building and acquiring software-intensive systems, with the specific goal of making software a strategic advantage for the Department of Defense. SSD provides leadership through research collaborations with CMU and others in academia, directly engaging with major defense acquisition projects, partnering with industry, and informing DoD policy makers. 

Carleton has leadership and operating responsibility for a diverse staff of more than 160 researchers, expert developers, and domain experts advancing software engineering through a $55 million research and development portfolio. She leads the software engineering research, development, and transition strategy for the SEI. Carleton has most recently led an SEI study engaging the software engineering community to define a national agenda for software engineering research and development for the next decade titled Architecting the Future of Software Engineering: A National Agenda for Software Engineering Research & Development.

Carleton previously served as director of the SEI Software Engineering Process Management Program, where she managed the SEI's software development and measurement initiatives designed to yield high-quality software and high-performance teams, producing models and measurement practices used throughout the software industry worldwide.  Her seminal research in applying statistical process control techniques to the U.S. Space Shuttle software data led to Carleton’s co-authored book Measuring the Software Process: Statistical Process Control for Software Process Improvement, published by Addison-Wesley Professional.

Before joining the SEI, Carleton held technical and management positions in industry. At GTE Government Systems in Massachusetts, she designed, developed, and tested software for the Minuteman and Peacekeeper missile systems. At the Goodyear Tech Center in Ohio, she was the lead systems modeling and simulation engineer responsible for designing new passenger tires utilizing experimental design and statistical analysis techniques.

Carleton received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she was the recipient of the MIT Sloan Leadership Fellowship. Carleton serves on the IEEE Software Advisory Board and is a Fellow of the IEEE Computer Society. She recently served as guest editor for two IEEE Software Special Issues: “The Future of Software Engineering” and “The AI Effect: Working at the Intersection of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence.”  She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her technical and leadership contributions in software engineering including from The Journal of the Quality Assurance Institute for her leadership in software measurement and from Dr. Barry Boehm, member of the SEI’s board of visitors, for her leadership in defining the SEI Core Measures and a measurement program to facilitate data-driven decision-making for the DoD. Carleton is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.