Meet the 2020 Candidates: IEEE President-Elect and Division IX Director-Elect

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Meet the 2020 Candidates: IEEE President-Elect and Division IX Director-Elect

The IEEE annual election begins on 17 August and end on 1 October. All ballots must be received by 12:00 p.m. EDT USA/16:00 UTC. The IEEE Signal Processing Society is committed to ensuring that its members are prepared with sufficient information about the candidates in order to make their best informed decision. In this month’s issue of Inside Signal Processing, we invite you to meet the IEEE President-Elect and IEEE Division IX Director-Elect candidates. For more information about the candidates, please review the below websites:

A list of all 2020 elections and the candidates can be found here.

Your vote counts: don’t forget to cast your ballot by 1 October!

Each candidate has provided us with a statement, which are noted below.  The statements are grouped by position, and listed in alphabetical order by last name.


IEEE President-Elect Candidates


K. J. Ray Liu

K. J. Ray Liu

I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve you and our community. As a past president of SPS and Vice President, Technical Activities, in charge of nearly fifty societies/councils, I understand the issues/challenges a society is facing and the needs/demands of its members. In this new normal, a crisis is also an opportunity to provide new emerging virtual conferencing for better outreach and services. My goal is to represent you to do what I have heard from many of you to make IEEE a better place. Let’s together build a better future for IEEE.

As a non-profit organization, IEEE’s key thrusts are promotion of technical excellence, thought leadership, and facilitation of collaboration and networking, rather than amassing profits. I pledge to:

Provide greater value to you through new products and services:

  • As the creator of IEEE DataPort, pursue more opportunities in data and analytics for open science and reproducible research
  • Develop more continuing education and training on practical content relevant to your work, especially for industry members and young professionals
  • Devise mobile strategy and infrastructure to engage members and other users with a simple click, to offer persistent availability and value

Improve Readiness for Crisis Management and Reduce Overhead:

  • Develop rapid global crisis response mechanism/readiness and strengthen virtual conferencing services/capability as a new emerging trend
  • Lower IEEE overhead in its business model to relieve burden for members
  • Ensure transparency in all decision making processes

Build our strength in diversity, for all of us worldwide:

  • Develop global strategies to offset political and geographic walls against equal participation
  • Provide personalization of services to accommodate different needs of our diverse constituents
  • Strive for fair participation and leadership from diverse groups and regions, especially those under-represented and women.

Collectively, we need to keep IEEE strong as a member-driven, volunteer-based, international community.

To Learn More? Visit

Saifur Rahman

Saifur Rahman

Saifur Rahman, Joseph Loring Professor of ECE at Virginia Tech and Director, Advanced Research Institute. I also direct the Center for Energy & the Global Environment at the University. I was the President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society in 2018 and 2019. As IEEE President, I will focus on the following to make IEEE more global and more relevant to technology professionals from all over the world.  Please look at my website,

Demonstration of relevance. Through proactive outreach and demonstrating benefits of IEEE membership, from unparalleled networking opportunities at over 2000 international IEEE conferences, access to the finest technological literature, innovative collaboration facilities with like-minded colleagues worldwide, we can powerfully demonstrate IEEE’s relevance to current and prospective members.

Deeper engagement with technologists at the grassroots level.  For IEEE societies, chapter members are our key resource. To provide a direct link between chapter leadership and the society governing board, I set up highly effective IEEE Power & Energy Society Chapters’ Councils in China, India, Africa and Latin America that organize local events and reach out to local industry. I will encourage similar developments throughout IEEE.

Enhanced lifelong learning opportunities. I helped establish the immensely successful online PES University. This “university” offers tutorials, webinars, plain-talk courses in the Power & Energy Society’s Field of Interest. I will progress setting up of an IEEE University encompassing all IEEE’s fields of interest to support career development of practicing engineers.

Giving life to our motto, Advancing Technology for Humanity. The global events of the past several months have shown us that technologists have a role to play for humanity. Let us employ the matchless facilities IEEE offers to address the post-COVID ‘new normal’ supporting remote working, international collaboration, carbon foot-print reduction, continuing professional development, and build a resilient future. 


S. K. Ramesh

S. K. Ramesh

Today, we are witnessing an extraordinary test of the human spirit as we combat the global pandemic. Our world has changed; forever. IEEE’s mission of “Advancing Technology for Humanity” has never been more relevant. Technologies are changing. Challenges are evolving. Our members’ experience has changed. We need to adapt and change to serve our members effectively. Innovation is vital to our global future and IEEE holds the key.

Personally, my IEEE experiences of almost four decades has taught me some timeless values: To be Inclusive, Collaborative, Accountable, Resilient, and Ethical. Simply put, “I CARE”.  ICASSP 2020 is a perfect example of resilience and collaboration. Over 16,000 attendees with almost 66% (~11,000) non-members. That is the power of IEEE. Trusted, diverse, and inclusive, – We are in a great position to engineer the future and make IEEE the pre-eminent membership organization of the 21st century. Recent successes with virtual conferences, and open access publications, demonstrate opportunities to enhance the value of membership, and attract new members.

My # 1 priority is to serve our members. I will work to empower and enable the IEEE Board, Volunteers, and Staff to serve our members with clear strategic goals, measurable outcomes, and transparent fiscal leadership.

Count on me to:

  • Grow IEEE globally through a culture of collaboration, and inclusion. Strengthen affinity groups including WIE, YP’s, Entrepreneurs and Students.
  • Offer increased access to industry focused workshops, and continuing education programs.
  • Increase the value of conferences, publications, standards.
  • Engage members and support their professional and career needs.
  • Energize and Empower members to build leading edge technical communities and keep us at the forefront of future technical directions.

I request your vote and support to work together to create an IEEE “Of the Members”, “By the Members” and “For the Members”. For additional information, please visit  


IEEE Division IX Director-Elect

Fabrice Labeau

Fabrice Labeau

I am honoured to have the chance to be considered for the position of Division IX Director Elect.

For readers who do not know me, I am currently Deputy Provost at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In this role, I am working on student success, both academic and personal, including key issues of access to education and equity. I was recognized twice at McGill for my equity work through the 2015 and 2017 McGill University Equity and Community Building Award (team category).

Within IEEE, I have been contributing to several important units, including two of the Division IX societies, the Signal Processing Society and the Vehicular Technology Society. Over the last 15 years, I have contributed to IEEE in the areas of membership (as Chair of my Section, but also as VP Membership of the VT-Society), publications (in the IEEE TAB Periodicals Committee), conferences (as conference organizer for ICIP and GlobalSIP, and member of the SP-Society Conferences Board), and operations (as President of the VT-Society and of the Sensors Council). I think that these experiences have prepared me well for the position of Division Director.

If elected as Division Director, I plan to foster discussions and help effect change around some of the key challenged faced by IEEE:

  • The rise of Open Science is changing the landscape of publications. We need to be strategic, to focus on our core added values and potentially reinvent our publications.
  • Younger audiences have little interest in membership-based participation; we need to re-think the concept of paid membership and focus on better ways to serve the community.
  • The COVID-19 crisis has shaken our conferences. We need to focus on the value added of our technical meetings, and in particular the value of networking.

Ali H. Sayed

Ali H. Sayed

I have served in several IEEE leadership positions, including as President of the SP Society (2018,2019), which is the oldest and one of the largest societies within IEEE. I am familiar with the needs of our members, especially students, young professionals, and industry. During my term as President, I implemented policies that made our Society more inclusive and more affordable. I will leverage these experiences to exert a positive influence on the IEEE Board of Directors.  IEEE is an impressive network of professionals from academia, industry, government, and the private sector. Their knowledge is a formidable force for the common good. I will promote policies that (a) make IEEE less bureaucratic; (b) strengthen educational and job-training opportunities; (c) create new modes of interaction with IEEE events; (d) target the needs of industry members; (e) strengthen student mentorship and internship programs; (f) embrace student-led activities; and (g) support open access/science policies. I have extensive working knowledge of IEEE and a record of sustained service. As Society President, I led initiatives that launched direct elections to President for the first time, established a standing US$1 membership policy for all students, reduced Society dues by 50% for members from low-income countries, established a flat rate for students at conferences, promoted diversity in leadership positions, launched an Open Access journal with the lowest fees within IEEE, established a Vice President-Education position, elected the first Vice President Officer located physically in India, and moved the Society’s flagship conferences for the first time to India and Malaysia in support of the Society membership base.  I serve as Dean of Engineering at EPFL where I lead the Adaptive Systems Laboratory ( I have served as Distinguished Professor and Chairman of EE at UCLA. I am a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Highly-Cited Researcher.


John Treichler

John Treichler

I joined the IEEE 50 years ago and have been a member of TAB organizations for that whole time. I served in the Navy for four years and have worked in industry since 1977.  Most of my TAB/IEEE engagement has been with the Signal Processing Society (SPS) and its antecedents. I was a member of the DSP technical committee, co-founded the DSP for Communications technical committee, and served on both the Kilby Medal Selection Committee and the SPS Fellows Reference Committee.  Between 2011 and 2013, I was the SPS Vice President-Awards and Membership. For the past six years, I’ve been on the board of the IEEE Foundation – the IEEE’s philanthropic partner – and I currently serve as its Chair.

I was honored with the SPS’s Technical Achievement Award in 2000, its Industrial Leader Award in 2015 and its Society Award last year. I was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2016. 

So, why should you select me as the next Director-Elect for the IEEE’s Division IX? To read about my positions and see a more complete bio, please check the IEEE elections web page. They coalesce to a few points – 1) The value proposition of IEEE membership for the practicing engineer needs to be substantially strengthened.  2) With over 400K members spread over the world, the IEEE has enormous potential to ‘do good’. The best way to achieve that, working closely with the IEEE Foundation, is still a work in progress and we need to move it forward.  3) The IEEE faces some very complicated financial issues over the next few years. To solve these, experience, judgement and leadership are required from its board members. I believe that I can provide all three, and help solve these problems in the best interest of all IEEE members.



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