2023 IEEE Secretary
Forrest (Don) Wright
Forrest (Don) Wright
Mr. Wright is the President of Standards Strategies, LLC, an ICT Standardization consulting firm. He is the retired Director of Worldwide Standards for Lexmark International and was previously employed by IBM. He has over 43 years of experience in standards, engineering, software development and marketing. He holds BS and MEng EE from the University of Louisville (TBP, HKN). He is a life senior member of the IEEE, a member of the SA BoG, a member of the SA CAG, the SA Treasurer, the SA VP of Strategic Finance and Chair of the Eric Herz Staff Award Committee.
He was recently President of the IEEE Standards Association (2017-2018) and member of the IEEE Board of Directors (2017-2018). He has served on the Governance Committee (2019-2022), Tellers (2021), PSPB (2020), PSC (2020), EBCC (2018-2019) and vice chair of EBCC (2019), the Strategy and Alignment Committee (2019), the Computer Society VP of Standards (2015), Member of IEEE FinCom (2021-2022, 2007-2014), IEEE A&A Committee Chair, IEEE Awards Board, IEEE N&A, IEEE SA Awards and Recognition Chair, IEEE SA Standards Board Chair, IEEE SA VP Products and Services Innovation, IEEE SA VP Technical Innovation and Engagement. He is a member of the Computer Society, ComSoc, CT Society, SSIT, and TEM Societies.
He served on the 2021 IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Election Practices and Oversight and as chair of the Subcommittee on Election Policies, Processes, and Procedures. He is currently serving on the 2022 IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on IEEE President-Elect Campaign Pilot Program.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the IEEE-ISTO and previously served as Chairman. He previously served as Chair of the INCITS Executive Board and the US Head-of-Delegation to JTC 1. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Significant IEEE Activities
While President of the Standards Association, Mr. Wright's leadership drove major engagement with Chinese governmental agencies, academia, and industry causing a massive increase in Chinese participation in the development and governance of IEEE standards. Chinese membership in the SA's entity membership program has increased nearly exponentially and now exceeds the membership of United States entities.
Mr. Wright served as a member, then chair and then past chair of the IEEE Admission and Advancement Committee. During that time, Mr. Wright had significant impact on the process of soliciting, reviewing, and elevating members to senior members. Automation and new tools were deployed to smooth the process. The resulting improvement in membership retention by senior members is significant.
Mr. Wright served as the chair of 7 IEEE standards working groups that drove significant improvements in the Personal Computer and Printer industries. These improvements in connectivity and security positively impacted millions of PC and Printer devices.
The Secretary's role to work with the IEEE President and other leaders to assure the smooth order of business is key. IEEE governance documents at all levels need to be clear, consistent, and specific. It is the responsibility of the Secretary with the help of the Governance Committee to work across the Institute to achieve those goals.
I served on the Governance Committee in 2019-2022. I have been fully engaged in the activities of the committee especially in the IEEE Committee Review team and was typically one of the more involved committee members in identifying issues and offering improvements to proposed BoD agenda items brought before the committee. I made substantive contributions to defining a methodology to begin to conduct reviews of the major OUs, In 2020, as a part of my role on the Governance Committee, I chaired the review committee responsible for reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the EOC. A detailed report on the problems encountered there was reviewed by GovCom. This report at least partially factored into the creation of the 2021 ad hoc noted below.
On the 2021 IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Election Practices and Oversight, I served as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Election Policies, Processes, and Procedures. That subcommittee performed a meticulous review of and subsequently proposed updates to the IEEE Bylaws and Policies controlling the annual election process. These were subsequently reviewed and approved by the BoD.
Why should we select you to serve in this position?
In addition to the above, I have served on multiple occasions on IEEE committees responsible for setting and interpreting policies and procedures of the Standards Association. These include multiple terms as a member of the Procedures Committee. I have also served multiple terms as chair and as a member of the Patent Committee where the SA sets, interprets and manages P&P related to patents in standards.
I have served on multiple committees responsible for setting, maintaining, and interpreting policies and procedures for other organizations such as IEEE-ISTO, ANSI, and INCITS.
I have a long history of leading and serving as a member of a team. I work well with staff and believe a strong partnership between staff and volunteers is the best way to get work efficiently and effectively done.
Having served as a member of the BoD, as President of the SA, as a Society Officer, as chair of an MGA committee and in other IEEE leadership roles, I have an understanding of the breadth of IEEE. Having had the responsibility of running IEEE and other meetings, I understand the advance work needed to construct an agenda, develop and provide supporting material, read and act on governance documents, and ensure the proper maintenance of those governance documents. I have significant experience in the SA in keeping governance documents current, updating them when necessary, and in making sure they are understandable by all. Many in SA leadership roles consider me to be the OU volunteer expert on policies and procedures.
The Secretary performs an essential function for IEEE leading GovCom in its on-going work to keep the IEEE governance documents up to date, performing reviews of the IEEE Committees and Major OUs, and thoroughly reviewing proposed changes to the governance documents headed to the BoD agenda. These responsibilities are critical to proper governance and to the success of IEEE.
In addition, as Secretary I will work with IEEE Board leadership and other leaders across IEEE OUs to place appropriate items on the BoD agenda, to have them addressed by the BoD, and then communicate results back to the submitters.
As Secretary, I will provide overall supervision of the keeping of records of meetings, activities, membership and any other records required by law and will oversee the preparation of the IEEE Annual Report on membership, meetings, and IEEE activities for submission to the Board of Directors.
In the Secretary's role as chair of GovCom, I will lead GovCom to review proposed governance documents updates for grammar, consistency, and other quality characteristics. I will lead GovCom to identify proposed governance practices that might not be consistent with NY state not-for-profit laws as well as governance practices that might not be appropriate for IEEE. These reviews and the recommendations are key inputs into the BoD as it considers the full value and impact of governance changes. As Secretary, I will lead GovCom with that mindset.