Message from the Board Chair: CRA Launches Strategic Planning Process

By Ellen Zegura, CRA Board Chair, Georgia Tech

Ellen ZeguraTo the CRA community –

I am writing to share the timeline and process for the strategic planning effort that CRA is undertaking, as well as to highlight some of the opportunities for you to be involved. The ultimate goal of strategic planning is to determine how CRA can best serve its members and the computing research community.  Given the many challenges and opportunities, it is imperative that we clearly understand the needs of our members and focus our activities to address those needs.

We have retained the services of Greenway Strategy Group, an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in providing services to social impact organizations. We have created a Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) consisting of board members, CRA staff, non-board members, and one former board member, aiming to represent a mix of constituencies. You will find the SPSG membership at the end of this message. We kicked off the effort at the July CRA board meeting with a morning session led by Martha Greenway. The planning process has three phases, Analysis, Strategy Development, and Action Planning. Analysis and Action Planning will run roughly three months each, while Strategy Development will run roughly six months. The process will last until early Fall 2020 to allow us to use the 2020 CRA Conference at Snowbird as an opportunity for substantial in-person discussion and input.

During the Analysis phase, member institutions will be asked to complete a survey designed to help us understand what you find valuable about CRA and what opportunities there may be to change or shift priorities to better serve you and the computing research community. I know we all suffer from survey fatigue, but please respond to this one. The more input we get, the better the outcome will be. You may also be asked to participate in a focus group or an individual interview. As we make progress on Strategy Development, you will have an opportunity to respond to ideas that are emerging. At the 2020 CRA Conference at Snowbird, we will share priority outcomes, strategic themes, draft initiatives, and create feedback and discussion sessions. The outcome of this process will be a multi-year action plan with concrete steps and monitoring.

If you have questions or comments along the way, please feel free to reach out to me or any members of the SPSC. I can be reached at

CRA Strategic Planning Steering Committee:
Ellen Zegura, Chair of the Steering Committee, Georgia Tech
Andy Bernat, Executive Director of CRA
Andrea Danyluk, Williams College
Eric Grimson, MIT
Peter Harsha, CRA
Ayanna Howard, Georgia Tech
Ran Libeskind-Hadas, Harvey Mudd College
Chris Ramming, VMWare
Ben Zorn, Microsoft