IEEE President’s Note: Making IEEE a Force for Change

The key is community, relevance, and resource sharing

3 min read

Photo of IEEE President Saifur Rahman.

As 2023 IEEE president, it is my goal to work with all members—particularly our students, young professionals, and affinity committee members—to make IEEE a more successful and resilient global technical organization and for there to be global recognition of IEEE as a force for change.

For more than 40 years, IEEE has been an integral part of my pursuit of excellence in my professional life. It has given me the opportunity to speak at more than 200 IEEE events, where I have had the pleasure of engaging with academics, young professionals, and midcareer engineers in industry and government, some of whom are women and underrepresented minorities. Such engagements at the grassroots level have provided me deeper insights into understanding the needs of members from diverse communities and how IEEE can best provide them with opportunities to advance their career.

Through proactive outreach, we can demonstrate the benefits of membership and IEEE’s relevance to current and prospective members. These offerings include unparalleled networking opportunities at more than 2,000 international IEEE conferences—both face to face and virtual—as well as access to the finest technical literature, massive resources for upskilling, and innovative collaboration facilities with colleagues worldwide.

I appreciate both the global nature of IEEE as well as the rich diversity of the engineering and technical fields in which our members excel. We must continue to look for opportunities to provide more value and services to professionals working in industry, academia, and public service, while paying keen attention to underrepresented communities such as women and entrepreneurs, as well as our students and young professionals, who are our future technologists.

Realizing IEEE’s mission

IEEE’s mission is to advance technology for the benefit of humanity. Each of us can play a critical role in improving living conditions for society. IEEE members are responsible citizens and therefore seek to help address global challenges using technological solutions.

Today the world faces its largest modern-day threat: climate change. We see the effects that extreme weather—such as changes in weather patterns, crop losses, and rising sea levels—has on communities worldwide. It’s natural for us to want to contribute.

As the world’s largest organization of technical professionals, IEEE has both the opportunity and the responsibility to assist in organizing the response of engineers, scientists, and technical professionals across the world to address the causes, mitigate the impact, and adapt to climate change. IEEE recognizes this global crisis and is committed to helping alleviate the effects of climate change through pragmatic, accessible technical solutions for sustainability, and providing engineers and technologists with a neutral space for discussion and action.

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IEEE has significant ongoing, relevant efforts and expertise that can be brought to bear on this issue. Our scholarly publications, conference proceedings, technical standards, and other materials can help foster the exchange of technical knowledge and information for the critical climate issues that our planet faces. Two significant resources are the IEEE Climate Change website and the IEEE Climate Change Collection in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library. The collection is a repository of more than 7,000 IEEE articles addressing the causes of climate change along with strategies to mitigate and adapt to it.

IEEE also has been reaching out to all major engineering and technology societies in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America to identify areas of collaboration and portfolios of solutions to address climate change. Our organization has the credibility to bring experts to the table to present diverse viewpoints and seek common solutions. For example, IEEE had a significant presence at the U.N. Climate Change Convention (COP27) in Egypt in November last year where I spoke at events organized by two engineering organizations: the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate and the International Renewable Energy Agency.

I believe IEEE’s impact starts at the local level, beginning with building awareness of the multitude of resources membership provides. With more than 340 sections around the world, local engineers, technologists, and computer scientists can deliver technology solutions for their unique communities. Our focus should be on identifying IEEE members and their colleagues at the local level who can be the points of contact for those looking for solutions to these complex issues. Another focus should be bringing academics and industry practitioners together to share their ideas and experiences with one another and with the next generation of engineers.

I welcome all IEEE members and volunteers around the globe to contribute their experiences and insights so that together we can explore and discover solutions to address climate change. I encourage our community to be contributors and influencers for climate action through research, knowledge sharing, technology advancements, solutions development, and more.

Let us employ the opportunities that IEEE offers—such as international cooperation, continuing professional development, and ambitious technology development—to build a more sustainable future.


IEEE president and CEO

This article appears in the March 2023 print issue as “Making IEEE a Force for Change.”

The Conversation (2)
Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernandez07 Mar, 2023

Saifur Rahman will make IEEE evolve to a more inclusive and diverse community. You know inclusion, when you are excluded, when your family is excluded, when your community is excluded. We live in an imperfect world, the world will not change rapidly to an inclusive and diverse world, as many do not want to change, rather many believe (wrongly in my opinion) we are too inclusive. As an example, today, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres told: "Gender equality will take 300 years to achieve". Leaders have a duty. IEEE must lead.

Anjan Saha
Anjan Saha04 Mar, 2023

We are proud of Saifur Rahman being a first US based Bengali Faculty to be elevated to such Important post as 2023 IEEE President & CEO.

His Views and Leadership will take IEEE Community to greater height around the

Globe and especially to Indian subcontinent .

It is a moment of Rejoice to share our opinion being a IEEE memeber under his