This work examines the relationships among engineering leadership, technological change, and economic development. Specifically, it reviews the role and contribution of engineers--through their education and work--in the pursuit of excellence and effectiveness in our increasingly pervasive technological development. The relationship between the rate of technological development, technological diffusion, and success in its application, and the role or position of engineers in industry and government is interdependent. Frankel concludes that while the United States continues its dominance in basic scientific research and technology development, the growing lag in developing and applying technology in a timely and effective manner is largely a result of the lack of engineers in senior decisionmaking positions in industry and government. This work will be of interest to practicing engineers, practicing managers, and scholars and students of economics and technology development.