Get to Know the IEEE Board of Directors

Meet three members shaping the future of IEEE

4 min read

Photo of 2 women and a man.
From left: Theresa Brunasso; Read Photography; EPFL

The IEEE Board of Directors shapes the future direction of IEEE and is committed to ensuring IEEE remains a strong and vibrant organization—serving the needs of its members and the engineering and technology community worldwide—while fulfilling the IEEE mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

This article features IEEE Board of Directors members Theresa Brunasso, Vickie Ozburn, and Ali H. Sayed.

IEEE Senior Member Theresa Brunasso

Director, Region 3: Southeastern United States

A smiling woman with short brown hair, wearing a blue outfit and blue earrings.Theresa Brunasso is an IEEE senior member and the director of IEEE Region 3 (Southeastern United States).Theresa Brunasso

Brunasso, who has more than 30 years of experience in electrical engineering, specializes in electromagnetics. Her work includes designing and developing RF, microwave, and millimeter wave components and subsystems for the defense and aerospace industries.

Brunasso has said that her favorite—and what she thinks is the coolest—project was leading the team responsible for winning the contract to build the Ka-Band radar antenna used to land the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers on Mars. The team developed the antenna to be rugged, compact, and lightweight. She also led the design of the microwave feed for the antenna, which yielded low side lobes. Brunasso and the rest of the team were awarded a certificate of appreciation from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for meeting the challenging requirements on a tight schedule.

Brunasso, an active IEEE volunteer, is a member of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society and the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society. She has served as the IEEE Atlanta Section’s secretary, vice chair, and chair. She was one of three Georgia women honored in 2008 as part of the ninth annual Women of the Year in Technology Awards. The award recognizes the winners as “Women of Impact” for their accomplishments as business leaders, visionaries of technology, and women who make a difference in their communities.

Brunasso has presented papers at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium, the IEEE Radar Conference, and the IEEE Ultra-Wideband Conference. She is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, the National Physics Honor Society and HKN. She is set to speak at the 2023 IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit and Honors Ceremony, to be held on 5 May in Atlanta.

IEEE Senior Member Vickie Ozburn

Director, Region 4: Central United States

A smiling woman with short blonde hair, a pink shirt, pearls, and a black sweater.IEEE Senior Member Vickie Ozburn is the director of IEEE Region 4 (Central United States).Read Photography

Ozburn’s mission, she says, as director of IEEE Region 4 is to use her leadership talents to inspire, encourage, and collaborate. She has more than 30 years of experience in leadership, project management, engineering management, quality, software engineering, and production. Ozburn says she enjoys working on projects that allow opportunities to reach across markets to dream, design, and build without limits. She works within an Avionics business unit, where they enable safe flight through their products and services. Her focus is on keeping passengers, flight crews, and militaries safe, connected, and informed.

A member of the IEEE Computer Society, Ozburn has been an active IEEE volunteer for more than 17 years. She has held several leadership positions on committees within her section and region. The committees set strategies and goals for the region. Ozburn prides herself on bringing forth many creative ideas and initiatives and, more importantly, laying out explicit courses of action and steps to assist IEEE members. She is a founding member of the IEEE Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Section’s Women In Engineering Affinity Group.

As a member of the IEEE Board of Directors, she dedicates her time and effort to promoting and growing membership and engaging IEEE members to use their skills and diversity of thought to address real-world problems.

Ozburn received the IEEE Cedar Rapids Section’s Ted A. Hunter Award for outstanding individual service in furthering the section’s purposes and objectives. She was honored with the 2016 Collins Aerospace Enterprise Women’s Champion of the Year Award and the 2013 Women’s Forum Contributor of the Year Award.

IEEE Fellow Ali H. Sayed

Director, Division 9

A man with dark hair, a mustache and glasses.An IEEE Fellow, Ali H. Sayed is director of IEEE Division 9.EPFL

Sayed is a leader in designing adaptive systems and developing learning methodologies to drive their operation. These are intelligent systems with self-learning abilities, which are used across many fields including in communication systems, guidance and control, biomedical instrumentation, and AI-driven machines. Sayed’s research focuses on adaptation and learning theories, data and network sciences, statistical inference, and multiple-agent systems. His research team develops algorithms and theories that have taken the understanding of adaptive systems to a new level. He has co-authored several textbooks that have helped train generations of researchers and practitioners in the art of adaptation and learning.

As an active IEEE volunteer, Sayed is familiar with the needs of IEEE members, especially students, young professionals, and members in industry. In 2018 and 2019 he served as president of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, where he promoted initiatives in favor of a more diverse and inclusive society. Sayed says IEEE is an “impressive network of professionals from academia, industry, government, and the private sector,”and their knowledge is a formidable force for the common good. As a member of the IEEE Board of Directors, he has promoted policies that strengthen educational and job-training opportunities, bolster student mentorships and industry internships, and encourage open access and open science programs.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and The World Academy of Sciences. He has authored more than 600 scholarly publications and nine books. Sayed has also won several recognitions, including the 2022 IEEE Fourier Technical Field Award and the 2020 IEEE Norbert Wiener Society Award.

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