Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in the United States provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The NAE operates under the same congressional act of incorporation that established the National Academy of Sciences, signed in 1863 by President Lincoln. Under this charter the NAE is directed "whenever called upon by any department or agency of the government, to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art."

The NAE is a private, independent, non-profit organization. In addition to its role as advisor to the US federal government, the NAE also conducts independent studies to examine important topics in engineering and technology.

The NAE is a member of the United States National Academies, which includes the NAE, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the National Research Council (NRC) which serves as the principal operating arm of the academies. Engineering program activities of the National Academies cut across the many operational units of these four organizations, although most projects are executed by units of the NRC.