As members of the IEEE, we have our profession in common. As members of technical societies and local communities, we have diverse interests, cultures, and needs. As President of the IEEE, I will work constantly to:


The needs of our practitioners today are equally as important as those of our students and young professionals, our future technologists. I will direct my attention to both, ensuring you are aware of the breadth of member benefits available; encouraging you to take full advantage; and enhancing benefits globally wherever possible.


We are responsible for the greatest technological advancements of the human race. I will increase our visibility, so we are well-known and highly valued throughout the world. I am involved in three globally-visible initiatives in which IEEE is already making progress. The Internet Initiative’s goal is to help restore trust in the Internet, given spying, hacking, identity theft, and other misuses that threaten our way of life. We are becoming involved in global public policy, bringing our expertise to policy makers. Our global standards are enabling technologies and industries such as Smart Cities, the Smart Grid, and the Internet of Things.


The IEEE is growing in regions all over the world. There is a difference between IEEE being a global organization – which means IEEE is present everywhere with uniform goals – and globalizing the IEEE – which is IEEE addressing diverse needs at local levels. By enabling emerging technologies that span multiple societies, providing technology-related insights into public policy, and using powerful communication tools, we can be both global and globalizing.

As President, I will have the responsibility and duty to help guide the IEEE to fulfill our mission of fostering technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. There are four aspects of my approach for helping the IEEE to continue reaching it goals: the strategic plan, increased visibility, cross-organization coordination, and strong relationships.

1. Strategic Plan

A successful organization creates a long-term strategic plan, develops goals and objectives to realize the strategy, then measures its progress and makes appropriate course corrections along the way. The IEEE is creating our updated, long-term Strategic Plan in support of the four IEEE priorities. The four priorities are:

  • Ensure that IEEE is prepared for social and technological disruptions that may affect its operations.
  • Provide an open forum for discussion, development,​ ​and implementation of emerging technologies.
  • Leverage IEEE’s technology-related insight to provide governments, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups with innovative, practical recommendations to address public policy issues.
  • Expand IEEE communities, in which individuals from around the world can share, collaborate, network, debate, and engage with colleagues.

Our Strategic Plan should guide all of our activities going forward. My approach to move the IEEE forward is to ensure that the Strategic Plan is highly visible and well-communicated to the IEEE Board of Directors, IEEE Professional Staff, and leaders throughout the IEEE. All new initiatives and existing activities should support the Strategic Plan, and a discovery exercise upon completion of the Strategic Plan will verify this. The Strategic Plan should not be abandoned or forgotten when a President’s term ends. I will work towards making sure that incoming Presidents understand the genesis of the Strategic Plan, its value in keeping the IEEE successful, and its continuity as a guiding influence over the IEEE.

2. Increased Visibility

As the IEEE evolves into a truly global organization, public visibility and brand awareness are vital. An IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Branding has issued a report that should be incorporated into the plans and activities of the IEEE Public Visibility Committee. I volunteered to work on the Public Visibility Committee in 2015, providing me the opportunity to see this through. Driving awareness of the IEEE’s accomplishments and mission worldwide can be achieved through a variety of traditional and nontraditional channels, technical and nontechnical publications. Not the least aspect of visibility and awareness is that of communicating within the IEEE membership. We can find opportunities to demonstrate value to IEEE members through greater participation in IEEE activities.

3. Cross-organizational Coordination

Emerging technologies such as Smart Cities, Connected Vehicles, eHealth, and the Internet of Things cross multiple IEEE Societies, Councils, Operating Units, and committees. It is important that the associated activities and events be well-coordinated throughout the IEEE. For example, as the IEEE Internet Initiative progresses, a working model for cross-organizational harmonization will emerge. This model can be applied where any gaps may exist within the IEEE’s major initiatives. I served as Chair of the IEEE Internet Initiative Committee in 2014 and will bring ideas and lessons learned to bear on attaining the goals of the broad IEEE.

4. Strong Relationships

Relationships, especially among IEEE leaders, are fundamental to the realization of IEEE’s mission. We are proud of the collective technical prowess of our membership, and our activities are bolstered by a competent professional staff. I plan to strengthen the ties between key individuals to effect higher levels of communication and trust, using my consensus-building skills that I obtained over decades of working in the standards arena.


From the 2015 Campaign: Questions for the Candidates

*What do you believe are the major issues facing the IEEE?

Karen: Three challenges in front of IEEE are member value, visibility, and globalization.  It’s vital that members – professionals and students – make the most of: career enhancement, technology development, publishing, conferences, discounts, networking, and education.

As IEEE enters new areas, such as Internet governance, security, and privacy, we must be visible, respected, and invited to participate in global fora.

IEEE is expanding worldwide. A global organization is present everywhere with uniform goals. A globalized organization addresses diverse needs at local levels. By enabling emerging technologies, providing technology-related insights into public policy, and using powerful communication tools, we can be global and globalized.

*What do you think is the number one goal for the IEEE leadership?

Karen: It is incumbent upon IEEE leadership to ensure the continuing relevance of IEEE far into the future. The world is ever-changing: not only technologically, but also socially, economically, and culturally. The Internet has dramatically and permanently changed how we work, live, and play. The ways that technologists interact have begun radical transformations, such as print media declining, virtual conferences emerging, and online communications happening constantly. It is up to the leaders of IEEE to recognize, embrace, and deploy change to provide ongoing value and service – while balancing the needs of our highly diverse membership – for decades to come.

*What qualifies you for the job?

Karen: I am a multidimensional candidate, having many years of experience, leadership, and success within the IEEE and the semiconductor industry. I have exercised my technical skills while expanding my abilities into strategic thinking, partnership development, and global concerns. I am known by my colleagues as a change agent.

An enthusiastic spokesperson, I’ve represented IEEE to government agencies, universities, industries, and other organizations, in countries all over the world.

My perspective is from industry and management. I believe in establishing and improving processes for managing large or complex activities. I am a listener, collaborator, and consensus-builder – outgoing and respectful of others.

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