I am committed to ensuring that IEEE-USA is responsive to the needs of the members, practitioners, students and the public. Members are concerned about jobs, careers and policy issues. I have ideas and proposals for several programs and activities which will provide improved member benefits. I will provide hands-on tactical leadership to keep IEEE-USA relevant and move forward with these programs. I have the track record of results and experience to make this happen.
IEEE-USA provides many essential professional functions and services for US IEEE members (such as public policy, professional activities, publications and e-books, salary survey, consulting and entrepreneurs groups, STEM, webinars). For example, the IRA was a direct result of lobbying efforts led by IEEE-USA for portable pensions. IEEE-USA is the only profession-support group in any US engineering society. Thus it falls to IEEE-USA to speak up for US engineers and technologists when others do not.
IEEE-USA is funded by an assessment in US IEEE members’ dues. US IEEE membership is dropping every year, and while efforts are being made to address the drop, and to find other revenue, the result is IEEE-USA has less money every year to deliver its essential services. At some point, if nothing changes, the level of services provided by IEEE-USA will have to be reduced, redesigned or some even eliminated. Already there have been cutbacks in funding for some policy committees. To do more with less, we need to find ways to be more effective and relevant to the needs of local members.
US members are concerned about jobs, careers, the future of the profession, STEM education and public policy. At the local level many volunteer for pre-college activities, such as FIRST robotics, classroom talks, science fairs, et al. IEEE-USA works in these areas, too, but mainly through committees based in Washington DC. For many, the transfer to local volunteers and members for action is missing or ineffective.
As it has done for Consultants and Entrepreneurs Networks, IEEE-USA needs to setup a mechanism to enable Sections to establish local ‘Professional Affinity Groups’ for high interest areas, such as STEM literacy, public policy, and career sustainability. This will enable members with these interests to come together locally to work together to take actions in their communities.