Meet the 2021 Candidates: IEEE President-Elect

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Meet the 2021 Candidates: IEEE President-Elect

The IEEE annual election begins on 16 August and ends 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 candidates. For more information about the candidates, please review the IEEE President-Elect Statements website.

A list of all 2021 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

Thomas M. Coughlin






Thomas M. Coughlin (Nominated by Petition)


Hello SPS members.  I have been an IEEE member for 42 years and worked in industry for >40 years.  I am an IEEE fellow and received an MGA leadership award in 2020.  I have held IEEE leadership positions in TA, MGA, SA and IEEE-USA.  Some of my leadership roles include:   IEEE-USA President; Director, IEEE Region 6; Chair, Santa Clara Valley Section; VP of Operations and Planning, CTSoc and many other roles.  I served on many IEEE committees and have good relationships with IEEE volunteer leaders and staff.

I believe that IEEE is a community.  The idea of community should pervade the IEEE, helping us be inclusive, efficient and effective. 

I feel strongly that IEEE should advance and promote its members; increasing student membership and YP retention, making senior member advancement easier and finding ways to recognize our heroes.  

As IEEE President,

  • I will work to increase our value to industry, encourage STEM careers and sustainable technologies, support lifelong learning, improve diversity and promote IEEE membership. 
  • I will encourage collaboration and innovation across the IEEE, while working to increase our external impact and general public awareness, and while advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. 
  • I support a member-led organization, open discussion and transparency within the IEEE and believe that we must be a representative global organization
  • I believe that IEEE should be open to all technologists and that we should create a safe environment that supports our members to be their best selves.
  • My leadership experience inside and outside of the IEEE enable me to facilitate linking, partnering and communicating across boundaries.

I want IEEE to be foremost in advancing new technologies, creating timely standards and influencing public policies that demonstrate the value of technology professionals to the world.   Find more on me and why I am running at


Francis Grosz






Francis B. Grosz (Nominated by IEEE Board of Directors)


Francis Grosz received Bachelors degrees in Physics and Engineering Sciences and a Masters in Engineering from the University of New Orleans and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He joined IEEE as a sophomore in college, has been an active volunteer for 40 years, and served three years on the Board of Directors as Region 5 Director and Vice-President for Member & Geographic Activities.

IEEE does many things well and we must continue to support and improve them.  But I believe that our most significant area for improvement is in local organizational unit (OU) operations.  When I was V-P for MGA then V-P for Technical Activities Ray Liu and I formed a joint Ad Hoc Committee on Section/Chapter Support which is now the joint Ad Hoc on Chapter Support.  I also support the Local Groups pilot project directed toward allowing Sections and Chapters to form specialized local groups to meet the needs of their local members.  One size does not necessarily fit all, and this flexibility will allow the local OUs to better meet the needs and interests of their members.  Increased support for local OUs provides additional opportunity to serve those members and engage new members, particularly members in industry.  Prospective members in industry provide our best opportunity to expand IEEE if we can offer them value for their participation, and I believe that this will come from the local OUs.

The world is changing.  Open Access mandates, changes in conferences and meetings brought about by the pandemic, and other social developments will continue to change the world in which IEEE operates.  We must be flexible and adaptable to survive and thrive in this world, and IEEE needs leadership able to meet these challenges.  I would greatly appreciate your consideration and support.


Saifur Rahman






Saifur Rahman (Nominated by Petition)


I have trained over forty doctoral/postdoctoral students. I am a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society, and have lectured in over 30 countries on Smart Grid, AI and Machine Learning, IoT and Sustainable Energy.

I was awarded the IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000 for outstanding achievements and contributions to IEEE. I received the PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award in 2013. I received the PES Meritorious Service Award in 2012.

Over the past 40+ years, IEEE has been an integral part of my pursuit of excellence in professional life. While speaking at 200+ IEEE events, I have come across academics, young professionals and mid-career industry engineers including women and under-represented minorities. Engagements with members and volunteers globally at grassroots level has given me better insights to understand the community needs in developing relevant programs to advance their professional careers. Together we will make IEEE a more successful andresilient global technicalorganization.

I pledge to:

Global Community Building: 

  • Proactive outreach for women and underrepresented minorities. 
  • Ensure financial transparency, stability, and broader member benefits. 

Encourage and Recognize Broad Member Engagement:

  • Encourage technology professionals without a college degree to join IEEE. 
  • Recognize volunteer contributions in committee work and paper reviews.  

Growth and Nurturing: 

  • Provide broad access to IEEE resources for personal up-skilling.
  • Focus on Industry Certification courses. 

Service to Humanity and Smart Engineering:  

  • Develop closer and purposeful ties with Industry.
  • Engage Sustainable Development thought leaders to address global challenges. 

Intellectual Property Protection:

  • IP Rights awareness. 
  • IEEE IP Rights skills development.

Partnership to support Entrepreneurship:

  • Work with local Startup Incubators to harness Entrepreneurial potentials.
  • Incubate Innovation Centers to nurture Maker competencies.


S.K. Ramesh






S. K. Ramesh (Nominated by IEEE Board of Directors)


IEEE has been an integral part of my life for four decades and I am deeply humbled for the opportunity to serve you as President-Elect. Our members are the heart and soul of IEEE. They create enormous value for IEEE through their contributions. As your representative, it is my priority to deliver an exceptional experience to every member.

I am grateful for the timeless values I have learned from my IEEE experiences, including service as VP IEEE Educational Activities, and IEEE-HKN President: To be Inclusive, Collaborative, Accountable, Resilient, and Ethical. Simply put, “I CARE”.  Collaboration requires trust that is built on a foundation of transparency and open communications. These values, and IEEE’s mission are especially relevant today, as we adapt to serve our members globally, and overcome the challenges from the pandemic. I will empower the IEEE leadership team to lower costs and increase the value of membership.

My strategic areas of focus are:

Member Engagement:

  • Expand and offer affordable and accessible continuing education programs through the IEEE Learning Network (ILN), and the IEEE Academy.
  • Strengthen participation of Women in Engineering (WIE), Young Professionals (YPs), Students, Life Members, and Entrepreneurs.

Volunteer Engagement:

  • Establish a volunteer academy program to nurture IEEE’s future leaders, build trust, and strengthen collaboration, and inclusion.
  • Increase industry awareness of IEEE by improving relationships between IEEE volunteers and key industry leaders locally.

Industry Engagement:

  • Increase the value of conferences, publications, and standards, to make them more relevant to practicing engineers.
  • Focus on innovation and sustainable development as we look ahead to hybrid/virtual conferences, and open access publications.

Please join me to “Engineer the Future”, and create an IEEE “Of the Members”, “By the Members” and “For the Members”. I invite you to visit to learn more about my candidacy. Thank you for your vote and support.





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