Sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, a workshop on the boundary element method (BEM) was held on the campus of the University of Akron during September 1–3, 2010 (NSF, 2010, “Workshop on the Emerging Applications and Future Directions of the Boundary Element Method,” University of Akron, Ohio, September 1–3). This paper was prepared after this workshop by the organizers and participants based on the presentations and discussions at the workshop. The paper aims to review the major research achievements in the last decade, the current status, and the future directions of the BEM in the next decade. The review starts with a brief introduction to the BEM. Then, new developments in Green's functions, symmetric Galerkin formulations, boundary meshfree methods, and variationally based BEM formulations are reviewed. Next, fast solution methods for efficiently solving the BEM systems of equations, namely, the fast multipole method, the pre-corrected fast Fourier transformation method, and the adaptive cross approximation method are presented. Emerging applications of the BEM in solving microelectromechanical systems, composites, functionally graded materials, fracture mechanics, acoustic, elastic and electromagnetic waves, time-domain problems, and coupled methods are reviewed. Finally, future directions of the BEM as envisioned by the authors for the next five to ten years are discussed. This paper is intended for students, researchers, and engineers who are new in BEM research and wish to have an overview of the field. Technical details of the BEM and related approaches discussed in the review can be found in the Reference section with more than 400 papers cited in this review.