CRA Executive Director Andrew Bernat Announces Retirement

Andrew-BernatAfter nearly 20 years at the helm of the Computing Research Association, Executive Director Andrew Bernat announced he will retire from his position as of September 1.

Bernat joined CRA in 2002 and under his leadership the association has seen a dramatic, positive transformation, more than tripling in size and launching significant new efforts in research visioning, widening participation, and postgraduate support, while remaining the organization of record for computing research issues in Washington policy circles. During his tenure, CRA has:

  • seen its financial position strengthen significantly. Expenditures have increased from under $2 million to more than $7.5 million and the size of reserve funds has increased from $600K to more than $3 million;
  • expanded the scope of initiatives and increased organizational support – increased staffing from 7 to 23 full time employees;
  • founded the Computing Community Consortium, launched two iterations of the CIFellows programs, expanded its widening participation programs, established the Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline and the CRA Education Committee, and nurtured strong relationships with affiliates and partners in the computing community.

Bernat’s retirement will bring to a close a remarkable career. In addition to leading CRA as CRA executive director, Bernat serves as Secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) section on Information, Computing and Communication. He was honored as a AAAS Fellow in 2018.

Before joining CRA, Bernat was a founding member and chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of Texas at El Paso (spending 20 years there). He also received the CRA A. Nico Habermann Award in 1997 and spent two years as an NSF Program Director. Bernat has some 70 refereed publications, roughly equally in disciplinary research and in computing education, a large number of presentations and in excess of $25 million in externally funded activities. He received a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of work, he is an accomplished climber, and enjoys metal machining, hiking, SCUBA as well as spending time with his family.

CRA recently kicked off its search for an equally passionate executive director who will lead the association into its next exciting chapter. A search committee has been formed, and CRA has engaged the services of Isaacson Miller to help with the process. To nominate someone for consideration for the position or if you have general inquiries, please visit The full list of search committee members can be found here.