About the Candidate (Director-Elect Candidate Page)

Kathleen A. Kramer


IEEE is the world’s largest professional association, and Region 6 has long been by far the largest region in the US, both by geography and by membership.  In recent decades, Region 6 has been the region of many of the companies behind the most transformative technical developments of this millennium.  IEEE’s vision of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity relies upon having a global perspective, but the diversity and impact of efforts within our region require collaboration of efforts at many levels.

I welcome the opportunity that the IEEE REGION 6 DIRECTOR-ELECT position offers to build upon my experience with the various constituencies and levels of IEEE.  My overall goal is to support and serve the members of Region 6 through collaborations within and for our region that enhance the advancement of knowledge and their professional development, ensuring that the high value of membership is visible to the members of Region 6 and represented well to our constituents in industry and the community. I look forward to working with the region’s areas and sections to promote their efforts and initiatives on technical and professional activities that enhance membership and the benefits of membership while increasing the recognition of IEEE and the influence and involvement of its members.


Kathleen A. Kramer (S88–M90–SM01) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, where she served as Director of Engineering from 2004-2013. She has also been a Member of Technical Staff at several companies, including ViaSat, Hewlett Packard, and Bell Communications Research. Author or co-author of over 90 publications, she maintains an active research agenda and has recent publications in the areas of multisensor data fusion, intelligent systems, and neural and fuzzy systems.  She received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering magna cum laude with a second major in physics from Loyola Marymount University, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.


I have significant IEEE leadership experience serving its members that began when I became branch counselor for a student branch that led to a series of leadership positions in my section and ongoing involvement that has continued long past being senior past chair.  On the technical side, I have relied upon IEEE, and the activities and opportunities provided by its technical societies as I have worked to make technical advances and contributions to my field. I have experience as a leader in both the Aerospace Electronics Systems Society and through the Educational Activities Board’s Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities.

Professionally, I have been program chair of electrical engineering and then director of all engineering programs at the University of San Diego, leading faculty and working through faculty governance processes to advance and develop student learning and faculty research.  As, director I succeeded in transforming levels of research and increasing student enrollments by a factor of three while managing the budget, personnel, and resources required for these efforts.  All of these successes relied upon steady, community-building work through committees, boards, and faculty governance.

One of the aspects of both my professional and IEEE activities that I most enjoy is the opportunity to work and learn from so many different-thinking people at different stages in their careers who have needs that, in the short term at least, are often in conflict. Managing the inevitable conflicts and conflicts in interests while working for positive change is not an easy job but it has been a deeply fulfilling aspect of my leadership activities.  I have significant experience with all the various constituencies of the IEEE, including members, employees, industry partners and sponsors, governmental units, donors, and the general public.


Most recently, my most significant IEEE service has been as a program evaluator for ABET and as a member of the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities and as a Member of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Electronics Systems Society.  As part of these efforts, my work on behalf of IEEE as an evaluator has contributed to improving engineering education in electrical and computer engineering and its relevance to industry of programs.  These activities have taken me to universities not only within the US, but internationally. I become an new member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, representing IEEE, in July.

Among my successes is that I have been the assigned mentor to senior IEEE members who have succeeded in their training for and visits as evaluators of electrical engineering programs. Within my section, I have been a longtime officer, working to make IEEE more relevant to its members who are the driving force for the many high tech industries in our region.  As a section chair, the number of technical society chapters in my section grew. During the year that I was section vice-chair of publicity, I was able to transform the section’s monthly newsletter from the largest annual expense of the section into a revenue-generating activity through advertisements.  Outside of IEEE, I was also principle investigator of a National Science Foundation project (no. 0948070) to connect veterans into undergraduate degrees in engineering and the number of veteran transfer students at my institution increased by nearly three-fold since my project began.



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

IEEE is the world’s largest technical society whose members form the professional association most involved in the technical innovations that have most changed the world in recent decades. The great size and diversity of our membership, combined with IEEE’s leading role in advancing technology, are our greatest strengths. They also drive our most important challenges: responding to the inherent challenges of a diverse geographic and technical interests of our membership while structuring the complex systems that form our organization so that we continually create and drive innovations needed to better serve members while ensuring needed new growth.

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

The most important goal for our leadership is governance that supports and encourages innovation and efficiency, both in the service of members and in the important technical and humanitarian goals of the IEEE. While individual members, societies, and geographic units naturally tend towards small-scale efficiencies, our higher-level leadership efforts must be structured to ensure that we understand and meaningfully measure diverse successes, truly encourage and recognize excellence, and support the continual changes needed to better our organization.

What qualifies you for the job?

I have significant leadership experience – both professionally and through IEEE – in leading new programs to effect significant overall growth, in mentoring and developing leaders, in directing a variety of programs and initiatives, in transforming the approaches and effectiveness of organization communications, and in managing successful collaborations across units. My IEEE responsibilities and accomplishments include a breadth of activities: membership and geographic, technical, and educational. I welcome the challenge of the position and the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to our community through leadership as Region 6 Director-Elect.