Sophia “Sophie” Muirhead is the IEEE’s next executive director and chief operating officer. She is the first woman to hold the position. She is set to start her new job on 1 January, succeeding Stephen Welby.
Muirhead has been the IEEE’s general counsel and chief compliance officer since 2019. During that time, she improved the company’s standards, finance, and publishing protocols; oversaw the evolution of the organization’s contracting process; and deftly navigated export controls, sanctions, and other compliance regulations.
“Sophia has a proven track record of working in collaboration with the Board of Directors and a deep understanding of our organization,” K.J. Ray Liu, IEEE president and CEO, said in a news release announcing her appointment. “Her breadth of experience will enhance the Board’s continuing work to provide a professional home for our members, and to serve the engineering and technology community worldwide.”
Muirhead is quoted in the release as saying she was “attracted to IEEE in 2019 because it is a mission-based organization designed to benefit the public interest [and] its members, and serve a greater purpose.”
“I am truly honored and excited to be selected as IEEE’s next executive director and COO,” she said. “I am looking forward to collaborating with IEEE’s leadership, members, and staff to further IEEE’s mission around the world.”
Prior to joining IEEE, she was senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary at The Conference Board, a global business membership organization.
Muirhead earned a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hunter College, in New York City.
This article appears in the December 2022 print issue.
Kathy Pretz is editor in chief for The Institute, which covers all aspects of IEEE, its members, and the technology they're involved in. She has a bachelor's degree in applied communication from Rider University, in Lawrenceville, N.J., and holds a master's degree in corporate and public communication from Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, N.J.