The biography and position statement for the position of 2013 IEEE Treasurer is listed below.
John Barr received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1971, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1974 from Stanford University, and an M.S. in Engineering Management in 1982, from Stanford. He retired after 37 years from Agilent Technologies/Hewlett Packard in 2008. He served in various engineering R&D roles, including as the R&D Manager/Director for Agilent’s Wireless Semiconductor Test Solutions. Prior to retiring served as Agilent’s EEsof Product Marketing Manager for RFIC EDA. John’s technical activities started with the development and design of RF and Microwave component measurement systems, including design of RF downconvertors, IF detectors, and the automation of these systems. This work in conventional and six-port network analyzers led to five patents and ten published papers covering vector error correction, time domain conversion, and multi-parameter measurement systems. This evolved into a concentration in the development of high throughput manufacturing semiconductor test systems for RFICs and wireless communications ICs. Redwood Empire IEEE Subsection/Co-Founder (1982), Chair (1984), Program Chair (1985–1986) Sections Congress 2011, "MGA and TA Conference Best Practices" Breakout Session organizer Georgia Tech Student Chapter, Vice Chair 1970–1971
- Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Administrative Committee member 1994–2005
- MTT-S President 2002, Vice President 2001, Treasurer 1998–2000
- Numerous MTT-S committee chair roles Membership Development (1992–1993)
- Membership Services (1994–1995)
- Operations (1996–1997)
- Long Range Planning (2004)
- Conferences (2008)
- T-MTT & L-MWC Reviewer 1986–Present
- Member of Instrumentation and Measurement Society
- IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2006 General Chair
- IEEE MTT-S Radio & Wireless Week (RWW) 2012 General Chair
- IEEE MTT-S RWW2011 TPC Chair
- IEEE MTT-S IMS1996 Steering Committee ublicity Chair
- IEEE MTT-S IMS TPC (Microwave Measurements) 1990–2001, 2008–2011
- IEEE MTT-S IMS Technical Session Chair - 1991, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2012
Elected a Fellow of the IEEE, 2002, "for contributions and leadership in RF & microwave component measurements and instrumentation for design and manufacturing." IEEE-Stds-378 Scattering Coefficient Measurements member 1988–1992. IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award Committee in Instrumentation & Measurement, IEEE Technical Field Award - member 2005–2008. NEMI (non-IEEE) Roadmap Team, Member RF Components TWG 1998–2008. Automatic RF Techniques Group (non-IEEE), EXCOM member 1984–1996, President 1987–89.
- As TAB Periodicals Packages Committee Chair, led and championed the development and adoption (nearly unanimous vote by TAB) for a modern, performance-related revenue distribution algorithm. Served as model for the later modification of Conference Pub revenue distribution algorithm.
- As sole volunteer participant working closely with staff, chaired and led the development of a data-driven IEEE Reserves Policy adopted by the IEEE BoD in 2008. For the first time the IEEE has a Reserves Policy based on need versus an arbitrary number.
- As TAB/PSPB Products & Services Chair, oversaw the broadening of Package Products to increase use (plus sunsetting some products no longer useful) and improving accessibility to a far larger group of users (including access for those in underdeveloped nations).
- As PSPB Finance Chair, championed the creation of a permanent funding mechanism for Xplore investments. Allowing the enhancing of services and increasing the value to the user community. This created a reliable funding mechanism (versus short-term NIC funding) for investing in the IEEE’s largest revenue source.
- Presently leading the effort in IEEE FinCom to revamp the IEEE’s Infrastructure Funding Algorithm. This has involved understanding infrastructure funding impacts on all OUs and working with staff to properly scope those impacts and to avoid unintended consequences.
- General Chair for the highly successful IEEE MTT-S IMS2006 conference. Led a large volunteer steering committee (60+), over 11,000 attendees, 1,000+ technical presentations, and 900+ 10x10 exhibition booths, and returned $1M surplus (2x budgeted surplus).
- Long and deep experience with IEEE financial operations. Member of IEEE FinCom for six years (representing two different OUs), IEEE Investment Committee for three years, and Chairing FinCom AdHocs on Infrastructure, Reserves, Financial Risks. This has led to broad understanding of IEEE & OUs financial operations.
- Very deep, detailed understanding with the financial operations of two key OUs: TAB/S&C operations, a major portion of IEEE finances with personal experience in conferences, publications, and society operations; and Publications/publishing operations, the second largest IEEE department.
- Personal style is to reach out, understand the issue and points of view, and find common ground to resolve issues. Track record of getting things accomplished even in controversial areas, such as distribution algorithms.
- Strategic planning and forward-looking development has always been a personal passion. Any organization needs to continuously evolve and stretch to be successful. It is an essential role of a leader to get an organization to think strategically in the face of a thousand tactical issues.
- Experienced in leading/managing/meeting financial objectives with large teams/activities (as R&D Manager/Director of a 70-engineer new product development department at Agilent Technologies and as IMS2006 Conference General Chair [>$3M budget]). I believe I have the personal skills needed of a senior IEEE leader to work with volunteers and staff to help create an ever-growing and better IEEE.
The IEEE is a major not-for-profit transnational corporation of $400M revenues with a staff of 1,200+ employees. It is supported by a large active volunteer (member and non-member) community that materially contributes to the success of the IEEE mission and purpose and to its financial success and well-being. This makes the IEEE a fairly unique organization in many ways, including in its financial management and operations. It is key that the IEEE operates in a financially sound manner per relevant laws and regulations. But we also need to maintain an environment that encourages volunteers to provide their time and energy. We need to provide tools to maximize the efforts of everyone and create less bureaucratic overhead. As IEEE Treasurer, I would:
1. Work on improving our financial transparency. The financial reporting of the IEEE is difficult to understand by most non-financial/accounting types. As the IEEE has grown, the depth of understanding by the BoD and senior volunteers in financial operations feels like it has decreased. A key role of the IEEE Treasurer is to help the IEEE BoD understand and focus on the key financial issues. Lack of clarity is a contributor to our lack of trust issues. Some specific actions include:
a. Develop a better way to look out multiple years in our financial planning. This would provide a method for discussing size and growth of infrastructure. Similarly, it can provide a framework for discussing/planning in a more coordinated manner the investments in our future as we face external pressures on our major revenue sources.
b. Work on improving the overall budgeting accuracy for the IEEE. The ingrained conservatism and risk aversion of both volunteers and staff has historically hurt our ability to understand our true financial position and has led to surprises, which feed distrust. Based on my industrial experience, the IEEE is lacking in adequate project investment metrics and post-project reviews. What has had the desired impact, what has not. This applies to both staff and volunteer activities.
c. Increase the involvement of IEEE FinCom/OU Treasurers in understanding the breadth of financial operations outside of their OUs so they can be a greater resource to their boards. Use between meetings teleconferences to focus on specific topics.
2. Encourage the development of staff and volunteer tools to improve our human-capital efficiencies. The use of NetSuite for sections and conferences appears to be an example of improving financial reporting while reducing volunteer busy work.
3. Work with staff to improve the efficiencies of the IEEE operations, reducing the growth of expenses. Work on synergistic opportunities between OUs/departments while not inhibiting grassroots-level activities. I have a passion for the IEEE mission and the involvement of the volunteers.
With my extensive experience in IEEE operations and finances plus my experience in managing large complex activities and being co-responsible for the P/L of a significant commercial product line, I will work to make IEEE Finances less of mystery and more a support for decision making by the BoD.
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