As the IEEE Foundation winds down its 50th anniversary year and begins the new year, we celebrate the addition of two new Directors to lead the efforts of the Foundation into the future. They will help to guide the mission and realize the vision of IEEE Foundation working side by side with the volunteer Board of Directors, donors, IEEE Organizational Units and IEEE program partners– thousands of people across the world– to put passion into action to change the world for the better.
The IEEE Foundation Board of Directors oversees the management and direction of the Foundation’s important work – to function as the heart of IEEE charitable giving and philanthropy. The Foundation Board plays a unique and vital role within the IEEE community by leveraging philanthropic giving to drive innovation, workforce development, social development and global problem solving. More than 110 members of IEEE have served as IEEE Foundation Directors since its founding in 1973 and helped to build a culture of philanthropy at IEEE.
The two new Directors were elected in 2023 to start their three-year terms January 2024. Join us in welcoming and celebrating the addition of: Lorena Garcia and Sarah Spurgeon.
Lorena Garcia is a senior member of IEEE and has been an active volunteer since 2003. She is passionate about STEM education and is currently a member of the IEEE Educational Activities Board and past Chair of its Pre-University Education Coordinating Committee. Lorena said, “Over the past years, through my involvement in various IEEE programs supported by the Foundation, I have witnessed the transformative effect of philanthropy on advancing education, humanitarian service and technological advancements. Being part of the Board presents an opportunity to contribute at a higher level, leveraging my experiences and insights to help guide the Foundation in maximizing its influence.” Outside of her commitments through IEEE, she leads the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion of the Colombian Association of Engineers and serves as an Assistant Professor at the School of Engineering and Basic Sciences of Universidad Central, Colombia.
When asked about why Lorena accepted the invitation to join the Board, she replied, “My motivation lies in the belief that through collective action, we can shape a future where technology is a force for positive change, leaving an enduring legacy for generations to come.” And when thinking about future impact, she added, “I envision the IEEE Foundation Board playing a pivotal role in expanding the reach and impact of IEEE programs. Through collaboration with fellow Board members, donors, and the broader IEEE community, I hope to champion initiatives that empower individuals and communities globally through the transformative power of technology.”
Lorena is touched with gratitude in joining the IEEE Foundation Board. She shared, “Joining the IEEE Foundation Board holds immense significance for me. It represents a natural progression in my commitment to IEEE’s mission of fostering technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. Serving on the Board allows me to play a more direct role in shaping the strategic initiatives that will drive positive change in the global community through the lens of technology and engineering.”
Sarah Spurgeon is an elected member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society and is Editor in Chief of IEEE Press. Sarah was awarded an IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000. She was also an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for the Control Systems Society for the period 2011-2014. Of her time with IEEE, Sarah shared,
Beyond her commitment to IEEE, Sarah is the Head of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department within the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences in the UK and also is Vice-President (Publications) for the International Federation of Automatic Control. Her robust involvement in many organizations reflects Sarah’s career-long commitment to inspiring the next generation of engineers as well as promoting the value of engineering to society. Thinking on her career and what’s to come, Sarah said, “I am extremely grateful for the technical education I received and the opportunities that have been offered to me as a result of that professional experience. I am driven to ensure that such opportunities are available particularly in hard to reach areas of the world. I am excited about the opportunities afforded by the IEEE humanitarian programs such as IEEE Smart Village where the power of technology developed within our discipline has huge potential to change lives and build a strong future for the world.”
Sarah reflected on her invitation to join the Board, saying, “I have been involved as a member of the IEEE for 34 years, volunteering within my local UK and Ireland Section where I have served terms as Treasurer and Women in Engineering Representative as well as within my technical discipline home, the Control Systems Society. More widely within IEEE I have also recently volunteered within the IEEE awards program. The IEEE strategy has core values of global community building and partnership which resonate strongly with me.”
Sarah reflected on her invitation to join the Board, saying, “I am enormously honored to have been invited to join the Board of the IEEE Foundation. I am looking forward to working with the IEEE Foundation as the philanthropic partner of IEEE to deliver social impact.”
Thank you to Lorena and Sarah, and all who serve on the 2024 Board for sharing their passion and heart with the IEEE Foundation.
Ralph Ford President
Marko Delimar Secretary
Christopher Geiger Treasurer
John McDonald Vice President, Development
Jerry L. Hudgins Vice President, Programs/1st Vice President
Sarah A. Rajala
Mary Ellen Zellerbach
Learn more about the IEEE Foundation’s Board of Directors on our Board of Directors page. To stay up to date on Foundation milestones, and to help welcome our new 2024 Board of Directors, join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. To learn more about the innovative programming that the IEEE Foundation supports, we invite you to read more about our impact here.