Pictured above: U.S. IEEE members at this year’s Congressional Visits Day on Capitol Hill
Influencing government policies that impact U.S. IEEE members is one of IEEE-USA’s two core roles, along with professional development. Through the efforts of its nine volunteer policy committees and its five staff, the IEEE-USA Government Relations team adopts formal positions on policy issues and then communicates those positions to the U.S. government. Recent accomplishments include preserving the level of federal research funding, removing barriers to conference attendance by federal S&Es, and reducing the impact of last year’s tax reform on graduate students. With your help, we can do even more.
IEEE-USA is looking for additional volunteers to help prepare and promote public policies that strengthen our profession, enhance innovation, and improve our society.
The IEEE-USA Government Relations program:
- Provides technology professionals with a voice to inform and influence policymakers about public policy issues where the professional knowledge and skills of IEEE members can make a constructive contribution.
- Drafts and disseminates public policy documents on relevant topics, including position statements, white papers or reports, and related policy communications.
- Responds to public notices by the government requesting information and public input on technology policy matters.
- Invites U.S. IEEE members to participate in public policy initiatives, including interactions with elected representatives, regulatory agencies, and government officials.
- Organizes meetings, seminars, workshops and events on public policy issues.
If this sounds interesting to you, consider joining one of four IEEE-USA policy committees currently seeking new members:
The R&D Policy Committee promotes increased federal investment in science and engineering research and development, revitalized U.S. high-tech manufacturing, STEM education, and related topics. This committee is a sponsor of the Congressional Research Caucus advisory committee.
The Committee on Communications Policy addresses issues such as digital privacy, spectrum policy, and cybersecurity. This committee interacts with both Congress and federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
The Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Systems Policy Committee supports strengthening the nation’s artificial intelligence capabilities by increasing research efforts, developing suitable laws and regulations, addressing future workforce needs, and promoting public trust and understanding. This committee actively supports the Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus.
The Committee on Transportation and Aerospace Policy addresses America’s national space program, national aeronautics program, space-based remote sensing technologies, intelligent transportation systems, and safety of autonomous transportation.
In addition, the STEM Diversity Policy Committee will (when established in mid-July) formulate and advocate policies that increase STEM diversity and ethical treatment of STEM professionals and students.
Committees typically meet every few months by WebEx, in aggregate for about 20 hours per year, to plan activities and discuss issues. In addition, members work together in small subcommittees to draft position statements, white papers, responses to agency information requests, and articles for public release. Committee members (all IEEE members, in fact) are also encouraged to visit their members of Congress in either D.C. or locally to discuss issues raised by our committees.
By participating, volunteers influence government policies, learn how government functions in practice, increase their persuasion and writing skills, develop contacts, and build their resumes. Most importantly, volunteers strengthen the engineering profession and improve American society.
To volunteer, send your contact information, the committee in which you are interested, a short description of your relevant experience, and any society/council memberships by email to Brendan Godfrey, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Russ Harrison, email@example.com. Feel free to provide an optional short biography as well.
We look forward to your ideas and contributions on public policy.
Brendan Godfrey is IEEE-USA Vice President of Government Relations.
Randy Moses is chair of the IEEE-USA Research & Development Policy Committee.
James Isaak is chair of the IEEE-USA Committee on Communications Policy.
Mina Hanna is chair of the IEEE-USA Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Policy Committee.
Joshua Broadwater is chair of the IEEE-USA Committee on Transportation and Aerospace Policy.