National Institute for Innovation and Technology Appoints Emily Reilly to Board of Directors

The National Institute for Innovation and Technology—the nation’s leader in semiconductor talent pipeline development and U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) national Intermediary responsible for establishing and expanding Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) throughout semiconductor and nanotechnology-related industry supply chains—has announced important updates to its board of directors.

Emily Reilly, a distinguished Human Resources executive with deep roots in the manufacturing sector, has joined the board of directors.

With a robust track record that includes spearheading human capital strategies at GlobalFoundries and General Electric, Reilly brings to the Institute a wealth of experience in managing workforce development during critical periods of growth and transformation. Her expertise will be instrumental as the Institute continues to enhance its programs designed to bridge education and industry needs effectively.

“I am excited to join the board of an organization that’s at the forefront of developing our nation’s tech workforce,” said Reilly. “The Institute’s work in aligning educational efforts with the needs of the semiconductor and other strategically important industries is key to keeping America at the leading edge of global technology markets. I look forward to playing a part in these vital initiatives.”

Simultaneously, veteran board member Melinda K. Woods will assume the role of chairwoman, poised to guide the organization through its next phase of strategic expansion.

Woods brings an unparalleled depth of expertise and leadership experience from her extensive roles across the tech industry and the federal government. As the former Director of Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA), Melinda directed investments in critical technologies to mitigate domestic industrial base shortfalls, particularly in radiation-hardened microelectronics essential for national security. Woods served the Office of Secretary of Defense Industrial Policy as the Principal Advisor on strategy and integration advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and economic security policy at national and international levels.

Notably, Woods led the development of a pioneering cybersecurity advisory and training program targeting small and medium-sized companies in the manufacturing industrial base, enhancing their resilience against cyber threats. She also led the 2016 Department of Defense microelectronics supply study, convening stakeholders from industry, the White House, and Departments of Energy and Commerce to formulate a strategy  on access to state-of-the-art microelectronics..  In the District of Columbia, she helps build and support future technological talents as a Career and Technical Education Information Technology Industry Advisory Board member.

“As the new chairwoman, I am eager to leverage my extensive background in technology, policy, and strategic operations to propel the Institute’s strategic initiatives forward,” said Woods. “This role is not just an honor but a continuum of my commitment to enhancing America’s technological and manufacturing prowess. I am dedicated to fostering innovative partnerships and building on our robust programs to anticipate and meet the evolving needs of the semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries.”

The Institute has recently celebrated several milestones, including the launch of the Gateway Apprenticeship Program (GAP), which leverages the nation’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to integrate high school students into the advanced manufacturing workforce, and its successful  industry panels in semiconductor industry hubs in Arizona and Texas.

“As we welcome Emily to our board and celebrate Melinda’s new role as chairman, we are reinforcing our foundation with leaders whose vision aligns perfectly with our ambitious goals. Emily’s profound expertise in human resources and Melinda’s strategic insight have already begun to energize our initiatives. Their leadership will be instrumental as we continue to break new ground in building a robust and diverse talent pipeline essential for sustaining the nation’s leadership in high-tech industries and advanced manufacturing,” said Institute President and CEO Mike Russo. “This is an exciting time for the Institute as we drive forward with initiatives that are not only shaping the educational landscape, but also ensuring that our workforce is prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

For more information on the Institute’s work, visit

About the National Institute for Innovation and Technology

The Institute is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to identify roadblocks to innovation in strategic industry sectors, those important to the U.S. national security and global competitiveness, and ensure they are eliminated. The Institute is responsible for a national strategy to support the development of the talent pipeline to support advanced manufacturing and the tech sector – with a particular focus on the semiconductor industry supply chain.

The Institute’s National Talent Pipeline Development Initiative represents a comprehensive, nationally integrated approach that enables broader participation by promoting skills-based learning and hiring, connecting the public education system, returning service members and their families and adults from other occupations to related technician and engineering careers. For more information about the Institute, visit