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The Black Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award is a special merit award. To be honored for a lifetime of achievement requires a dedication to purpose and a commitment to excellence. That’s the hallmark of Laura Murphy, who will receive the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 36th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) in February. The BEYA Conference announced the 2022 winners in December.

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Produced by Career Communications Group, publisher of the US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, in partnership with the Council of Engineering Deans of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the BEYA STEM Conference unites thousands of students, college representatives, professionals, and leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

After serving 17 years as director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Laura Murphy stepped down on January 31, 2015, to reestablish her consulting business, Laura Murphy & Associates. She was the first woman, the first African-American, and the longest-serving Washington Legislative Office director in the ACLU’s history.

As the ACLU’s top lobbyist, she led efforts to enact, block, or repeal legislation that would positively or adversely impact the lives of millions of Americans. Murphy’s work on the First Amendment, national security, racial justice, and criminal justice reform earned her a reputation as one of the most tenacious and effective advocates for civil liberties in the nation.

As president of Laura Murphy & Associates,  she pioneered the process for conducting civil rights audits of businesses with a groundbreaking audit of Airbnb in 2016 and her widely reported audit of Facebook in 2020.

Recently, she authored a report, “The Rationale for and Key Elements of a Business Civil Rights Audit” that was endorsed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and made possible by the financial support of The Ford Foundation. That report was developed in consultation with civil rights, worker rights, and shareholder advocacy organizations. Murphy was a 2016 fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.

Murphy has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek and cited as a top lobbyist by Roll Call and The Hill newspapers. The Congressional Black Caucus honored Murphy with the William L. Dawson Award for significant contributions to legislation addressing the needs of minorities in the United States.

Laura Murphy is one of the first women to win the BEYA Lifetime Achievement Award. Past winners include:

Robert Bowers, plant manager, DaimlerChrysler (2002)
Gen. Lester Lyles, commander, Air Force Materiel Command (2003)
Ted Childs, vice president, global workforce diversity, IBM (2006)
Lewis Cole, vehicle line director, General Motors (2007)
Maj. Gen. Ronald Johnson, deputy commander, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (2008)
David Anderson, president, Cardinal Health (2009)
Gen. Wiliam (Kip) Ward, commander, United States Africa Command (2010)
Martin Proctor, SVP, Constellation Energy (2011)
Kelvin Mason, CIO, Gulfstream, A General Dynamics Company (2012)
Gen. Dennis Via, commanding general, U. S. Materiel Command (2013)
Ronald Bradley, vice president, PECO (2014)
John Tracy, CTO/SVP, The Boeing Company (2016)

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