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Below are the candidates for 2016 IEEE-USA President-Elect.

The sequence of candidates was determined by lottery and indicates no preference.


Karen S. Pedersen

Karen S. Pedersen

(Nominated by IEEE-USA)

Pedersen Power Solutions
Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA


Karen Pedersen, P.E., F.N.S.P.E. has over 35 years in the Utility Industry; as a planner and rate research engineer in 3 large utilities in Iowa and Massachusetts.  She led teams of engineers on electric system projects to build transmission and distribution substations costing millions of dollars. 

Karen taught Power Systems Analysis online as Adjunct Professor for the University of Alaska in Anchorage.  She is an Instructor for Wentworth Technology in Boston teaching online continuing education courses (Electric Motor Controls, Power System Analysis, and Transients).

Karen was President of the MSPE in Boston.  She is an NSPE Fellow and served 7 years on the NSPE Foundation Board. 

She received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University. She received an M.B.A. from Bentley College in Massachusetts.

Karen is currently licensed as a Professional Engineer (Iowa-10074), Licensed Professional Engineer (Illinois-062-052517), and a Registered Professional Engineer (Massachusetts-32371).


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities


  • IEEE-USA Board of Directors, Director Region 4 (2 terms), 2011-2012, 2013-2014
  • IEEE-USA Ad Hoc External Award Chair, 2011
  • IEEE-USA Awards Committee Member, 2007-2010
  • IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, 2015
  • IEEE Ad Hoc Code of Conduct and Policy Review Committee, 2014
  • IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, IEEE BOD Liaison, 2014
  • IEEE Board of Directors, Region 4 Director, 2013-2014
  • IEEE Ad Hoc Ethics and Compliance Management Committee, 2013
  • IEEE Awards Board, IEEE BOD Liaison, 2013
  • MGA “Practitioners” Ad Hoc, Member, 2015
  • MGA GUOS (Geographic Unit Operations Support) Committee, 2015
  • MGA Ad Hoc: Metro Area Workshop in a Box, Project Lead, 2014-2015


  • Director Region 4, 2013-2014


  • Women in Engineering, Member, 2015
  • Cedar Rapids Section S.L., Member, 2009-present
  • Iowa-Illinois Section, Chair, 2003     
  • Central Iowa Section, Chair, 1983-1984


  • Power and Energy Chapter Chair, 2007-2009

As Director, modified structure of Region 4 January Annual Meeting to add value for Section leadership in the Region.  Three training sessions were offered to Section leadership on the use of, VTools, NetSuite, and best practices for Section leadership.  This was in response to concerns of Section leadership.  The attendees voted it a success by staying the whole 90 minutes and asking for SAMIEEE training.

As Region 4 Director, placed Young Professionals and mid-career volunteers in Region 4 chair positions while retaining more mature volunteers in appropriate positions.  The goal was to maintain a continuity in experience while bringing in new young professionals.

Chaired the IEEE Code of Conduct and Policy Review Committee in 2014. Produced a new Code of Conduct and set in place training to be used by all volunteer leadership. Policies related to ethics and Code of Conduct were updated and are consistent, and duplications have been removed.



My view of the future IEEE-USA is a younger, more diverse, more relevant organization.  An IEEE-USA where there is opportunity for young professionals of all scientific/technical professions to grow as leaders.  An IEEE-USA that provides professionals with opportunity to explore new ideas and technology working with engineers around the world.

IEEE-USA is primarily academic, with an average age that is continually growing older.  Our membership is declining. Members of the past worked for the same employer throughout their career. Today’s Young Professionals will work in multiple employers.  IEEE-USA members are important to IEEE-USA. It is IEEE-USA volunteers that will move us to the future. 

IEEE-USA must be relevant to the ever changing future of the profession and its members.  IEEE-USA’s strength is in being our eyes and ears in the government. This is an important service to the USA members. But this isn’t the only role IEEE-USA can provide to USA members. IEEE-USA’s major opportunity is bringing added value to the careers of Young Professionals, industry engineers/scientists, and their employers.

As President-Elect I would work to move IEEE-USA to the future by attracting and bringing added value to engineers, scientists, and computer scientists in all stages of their careers and professions.


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Keith D. Grzelak

Keith Grzelak

(Nominated by IEEE-USA)
Wells St. John PS
Spokane, Washington, USA

Keith Grzelak received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Technological University. He also received a JD from Michigan State University.

He is currently a director of Wells St. John in Spokane, Washington where he advises technology companies, and is active in teaching courses to STEM workers on technology policy issues.  He is an inventor on a U.S. patent covering Peltier effect coolers for portable electronic devices.

He worked at General Motors and Ford Motor Company as a safety and crashworthiness engineer covering high-speed structural stability and deformation, sensing, airbag deployment, bio-fidelity, and occupant safety. He has worked in many technical areas covering electrical, mechanical and medical systems.  He has worked for a broad range of entities, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to start-up businesses, including universities and faculty start-up entities.

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

COMMITTEES/BOARDS: IEEE-USA Vice President for Government Relations (2012-2013); IEEE-USA Board of Directors (2012-2013); IEEE-USA Intellectual Property Policy Committee (IPC), Member (1993-2015), Vice-Chair (2005-2006), Chair (2007-2010 and 2014-2015); IEEE-USA Committee on Communications Policy (CCP), Member (2012-2015); Participant in preparing IEEE-USA position on the Administration's cyber-security policy proposal; Government Relations Council (GRC), Member (2009-2015), Chair (2011-2012).

REGION: Participant and presenter in Region 6 Annual Meeting (2010, 2013-2015).

SECTIONS/CHAPTERS: Participant and speaker in local Spokane and Palouse Section meetings and activities; speaker on STEM issues to other IEEE Sections around the US including Boise, Seattle, Anchorage, and Pittsburgh. 

SOCIETIES: IEEE Computer Society, Member (1993-2015); IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, Member (1994-2015).

CONFERENCES: Presenter at IEEE-USA Annual Meeting (2007, 2011, and 2013-2015); co-founder of IEEE IP Professionals seminars for members on technology law; Presenter at 2014 IEEE International Prognostics and Health Management Conference.

IEEE Accomplishments: 

  • Spokesman for IEEE-USA on STEM policy issues to national press.
  • Representative to IEEE-USA board on amicus curiae briefs filed with US Supreme Court representing IEEE-USA members.
  • Active participant in deliberating immigration policy strategy.
  • Active member in submitting rule-making comments to Federal agencies on technology policy.
  • Co-founder of IEEE IP Professionals initiative.
  • Organizer of conferences on technology law and policy.
  • Lecturer for IEEE-sponsored seminars at national, regional, and section meetings.
  • Regular participant in Congressional visits, meetings with Judiciary Committee staff and Federal Agencies regarding legislative and public policy issues.
  • Organizer and participant in Congressional staff presentations on technology issues.
  • Active promoter of IEEE-USA membership to non-members.
  • Active lecturer on technology policy issues to outside organizations.

I have supported local, regional and national level programs for IEEE-USA members ranging from technology policy, innovation, public policy, education, and entrepreneurship. I have served in capacities that address membership issues, staffing and committee organization, while serving as IEEE-USA Vice President for Government Relations.


IEEE-USA's top priority should be service to our members. We must address challenges that our members face in maintaining steady and rewarding US STEM careers. We should support STEM education and career development, including skills-retraining, networking, and job searching.

Encouraging entry into the US STEM community deepens our knowledge base and supports our economic objectives.  However, recent federal trends to increase guest worker visas significantly depress US STEM salaries and leave our international STEM colleagues without paths to citizenship. We should help broaden the STEM path for US citizenship.

Our younger members are key to IEEE-USA's long-term success. Without them, we lose both relevance and membership. Since younger members interact in new ways, we need to communicate in new ways, using trusted collaboration tools and social media. We should foster exchange of members’ experiences by boosting mentoring and networking opportunities, and rewarding volunteering by our younger members.

To carry out this mission, as President-Elect, I plan to work on changes that will:

  • help members realize stable and rewarding STEM careers;
  • retain governance safeguards that place member interests ahead of corporate interests and allow even greater achievements; and
  • support US STEM careers for individuals on a pathway to citizenship.



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