Karen Bartleson is 2016 IEEE President-elect, 2017 IEEE President. She has over 35 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, specifically in electronic design automation. She retired as senior director of corporate programs and initiatives at Synopsys, an electronic design automation company, in Mountain View CA USA. Her responsibilities have included creating programs for technical standards development, software tool interoperability, software quality, strong relationships with universities and research institutions worldwide, compute platform product support, and customer engagement through social media. She joined Synopsys in 1995 as manager of its standards group, and later was director of quality from 2000-2002. Since 2003, her duties at Synopsys increased widely, contributing to the company’s innovation and success. She represented Synopsys on the Silicon Integration Initiative’s Board of Directors and from 2000-2009 and 2014-2015. She was an officer of the Board of Directors of Accellera from 2000-2009, an organization which creates, supports, promotes, and advances system-level design, modeling, and verification standards for use by the worldwide electronics industry.

Prior to Synopsys, Ms. Bartleson was CAD manager at UTMC (United Technologies Microelectronics Center), responsible for the design system used to create high-reliability application-specific integrated circuits. Before that, she worked at Texas Instruments as logic analysis manager, responsible for development and support of TI’s internal logic simulation products.

Ms. Bartleson was President of the IEEE Standards Association in 2013 and 2014. As President, she led the development of a new strategic plan, furthered the principles of the OpenStand market-driven standardization paradigm, and finalized IEEE’s membership in the Global Standards Collaboration. As a member of the IEEE Board of Directors in 2013 and 2014, she chaired and led the development of the strategic plan for the IEEE Internet Initiative committee, whose charter is to raise IEEE’s influence and profile in the areas of Internet governance, cyber-security, and cyber-privacy policy development. She was also a member of the IEEE strategy committee, overseeing the development of the role of IEEE in global public policy.

She has published numerous articles about standards and universities. She is the author of the book, The Ten Commandments for Effective Standards: Practical Insights for Creating Technical Standards, [Synopsys Press, 2010] and the blog, “The Standards Game”. In 2003, she received the Marie R. Pistilli Women in Electronic Design Automation Achievement Award at the 40th Design Automation Conference. Ms. Bartleson earned a B.S. in Engineering Science with a concentration in Electronic Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo CA USA, in 1980.


I am a qualified candidate for IEEE President-elect based on many years of experience, leadership, and success in the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), the IEEE, and the semiconductor industry. One of the key responsibilities of the IEEE President is ensuring that the IEEE adheres to its Strategic Plan. As a member of the 2014 IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Strategy and the lead for its “Role of IEEE in global public policy” subgroup, I have been deeply involved in the development of the Strategic Plan and its future execution. In addition, as President of the IEEE-SA and volunteer lead in creating its new 5-year strategic plan, I have worked with the IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Strategy to ensure alignment of the IEEE-SA plan with the IEEE plan and those of the other IEEE Operating Units.

Being a public spokesperson for the IEEE is a role I am already performing. When the IEEE-SA conducts global outreaches, it represents the entire IEEE, not only IEEE standards. During these outreaches, we meet with government agencies, universities, industry, and other organizations. I have been part of outreach delegations in Brazil, India, China, Korea, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, and Belgium. I have also represented the IEEE and IEEE-SA at global events such as the European Innovation Summit, the Global Standards Collaboration, the International Conference on Connected Vehicles, and SEMI’s Forum on the Internet of Things.

I bring an industry and management perspective that can serve the IEEE well. The IEEE, while being a not-for-profit organization, offers products and services to its members and others outside the IEEE. Our members and other constituents are our customers. Focusing on their needs and delivering value to them is crucial to the ongoing success and vibrancy of the IEEE. Driving consensus is an essential skill for a standards practitioner, and I have used consensus-building techniques extensively throughout my career to achieve positive outcomes from diverse groups of people.

Among the characteristics I bring to the IEEE, I am a collaborator and a listener – outgoing and respectful of others. I am known by my colleagues as a change agent. I believe in establishing and improving processes for managing large or complex activities. I consider myself well-organized, and I am a proponent of clear and concise thinking and communication.

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