Below are the candidates for IEEE Division III Delegate-Elect/Director-Elect, 2019; Delegate/Director, 2020-2021.

Division III: Communications Society

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

Adam T. Drobot

Headshot of Adam Drobot


(Nominated by IEEE Division III)

OpenTechWorks, Inc.
Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA

Adam Drobot is an independent Technologist and Manager with over forty years of experience in research, industry, and government. He is the Chairman of OpenTechWorks, founded in 2008. He was the Managing Director and CTO of 2M Companies, an investment firm, in Dallas, Texas (2010-2012), President of Applied Research and CTO of Telcordia Technologies, a Telecommunications Company (2002-2010), and Technology Senior Vice-President and Group Manager of Applied Technology Solutions at SAIC, (1975-2002). He is on the Board of multiple start-up companies, chairs the Telecommunications Industry Association’s Technology Committee, and the FCC Technological Advisory Council. He published 100+ papers and holds 26 patents. Adam is an APS Fellow and an IEEE Senior Member. He obtained his BA from Cornell University in Engineering Physics (1968) and PhD in Plasma Physics from the University of Texas at Austin (1975).

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

Selected accomplishments and activities:


  • IoT Activities Board, sponsored by 20+ Societies/Councils, Chair (2017-2018)
  • 5G Initiative Steering Committee, a Future Directions Initiative (2017-2018)
  • Awards Board, and its Operating and Review Committee (2016-2018)
  • Executive Director Search Committee (2016-2017)
  • EBCC, Chair and Member (2013-2016)               
  • Recognitions Council, Chair (2016-2018), Member (2011-2013)


  • IoT V&T Summit on Agriculture: 2018 Chair (Italy); 2017 Chair, (France, part of ICC2017)
  • Chair, 2018 World Forum on the Internet of Things (Singapore)
  • Chair, 2018 IoT V&T Summit on Communications and Connectivity at RWW2018 (USA)
  • Industry & Expo, Chair, 2012 ICC (Canada)
  • Industry & Expo, and Access Chair, 2016 Globecom (USA)
  • Technical Program Chair, 2005 Milcom (USA)

Society Activities

Most of my IEEE efforts have been through the Communications Society. These ranged from supporting ComSoc activities through event sponsorships to participation in conferences. I’ve been privileged to give 20+ keynote addresses and arranged for industry keynote speakers and panelists at ComSoc events. I’ve also supported many ComSoc Presidents in strategic planning and Chaired Ad-hoc Committees on various topics, such as the Ad-hoc Committee on Industry Participation seeking better strategies to involve engineers from industry in IEEE activities.


My many volunteer activities represent the different facets of IEEE, ranging from holding technical topic tutorials, to organizing conferences, to deep involvement in the management, governance, and administration of the IEEE processes. Of these I am proudest of:

  • Workshop at IEEE NPSS annual meeting that resulted in a book on "Computer Applications in Plasma Science and Engineering" (1987).
  • Receiving the Management Excellence Award (2008).
  • Leading EBCC over a multi-year period, assisting the IEEE in improving: goals setting processes and the IEEE executive Director performance evaluation; and implementation of new employee incentive system.
  • Organizing and leading IEEE IoT Initiative transition from funding by FDC to Society Support and a significant growth in the IoT Technical Community.


The IEEE is an important global institution that combines the culture and spirit of volunteerism and the capabilities of an outstanding professional staff to:

  • Deliver value to our membership and stakeholders
  • Serve the professions that compose our Societies and Councils
  • Be the best source of knowledge and excellence about technology and applications
  • Contribute to the betterment of humanity through technology and innovation

I can contribute to IEEE and the Division by being a sound voice for actions to:

  • Improve the agility of IEEE to keep up with demographic, technological, and cultural changes. Provide better programming to attract underserved populations that are part of the profession, while maintaining the ethos of technical excellence and objectivity that is essential to benefit the profession and humanity through the activities that IEEE focuses on.
  • Provide for transparency in governance and finances, making IEEE: the standard for professional associations; and a welcoming institution that benefits the members and provides them with the satisfaction of being part of a purposeful and accomplished organization recognized for its positive role in society.

Alexander D. Gelman

Headshot of Alex Gelman

(Nominated by IEEE Division III)

NETovations Consulting Group
Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Alexander D. Gelman received M.E. and Ph.D. (EE) from City University of New York. Presently he is CTO of NETovations Consulting Group. During 1998-2007 Alex worked as Chief Scientist at Panasonic Princeton Research Laboratory; during 1984-1998 at Bellcore, lastly as Director-Internet Access Architectures Research. Alex has numerous publications and several patents. He pioneered Multimedia Bridging, Video on Demand over Networks and XDSL-based Internet Access. He was among first recipients of Bellcore President’s Award.

Alex co-founded eight IEEE conferences and two publications; initiated ComSoc Standards Activities; initiated ComSoc Technical Committee and standardization in Power Line Communications; chaired the Technical Committee on Multimedia Communications; served four terms as ComSoc Vice President.

Alex served on IEEE-SA BoG and several terms on Standards Board, e.g. representing TAB; chaired TAB Ad Hoc Committee on Standards.

Alex is a recipient of ComSoc Donald McLellan Meritorious Service Award, IEEE-SA Corporate Standards Sponsor Award and IEEE-SA Standards Medallion.

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

In over 36 years of IEEE volunteer activities I progressed from a line volunteer organizing technical sessions at conferences and editing Feature Topics and Special Issues in publications to chairing ComSoc Technical Committee, to ComSoc and IEEE-SA governance serving on various IEEE, ComSoc and IEEE-SA committees, to serving on IEEE-SA and ComSoc Boards of Governors, including three ComSoc directorships, one term as CIO, and four terms as ComSoc Vice-President.

My range of IEEE activities spans:


  • Served as guest-editor of several Feature Topic issues of the Communications Magazine and special issues of JSAC
  • Served on the founding steering committee for IEEE Transactions on Multimedia
  • Initiated the ComMag Communications Standards Supplement
  • Initiated the IEEE Communications Standards Magazine and presently serve on its inaugural steering committee.


  • Served as Organizing Committees chair and vice-chair, on TPCs for several ComSoc portfolio conferences
  • Served on founding Steering Committee for IEEE-ICME, IEEE-SmartGridCom, IEEE-CSCN
  • Initiated and co-founded IEEE-CCNC
  • Helped to acquire four conferences: IEEE-BlackSeaCom, IEEE-P2P Computing, IEEE-SIIT, IEEE-ISPLC
  • Presently serve on IEEE Conferences Committee.

Standards Activities:

  • Initiated ComSoc Standards Board and served two terms as ComSoc Director of Standards
  • Architected ComSoc Standards Activities Council and was elected first ComSoc’s Vice President-Standards Activities
  • Served on IEEE-SA Board of Governors and several terms on IEEE-SA Standards Board and its committees
  • Initiated and guided the Smart Grid Vision project sponsored by IEEE-SA and implemented in partnership with 5 Technical Societies
  • Chaired the 2008 TAB Ad Hoc Committee on Standards
  • Served 3 terms as IEEE-TAB representative to IEEE-SA Standards Board
  • Presently serve as Vice Chair of the TAB Committee on Standards.


I received ComSoc Multimedia Technical Committee’s Distinguished Service Award, ComSoc Donald W. McLellan Meritorious Service Award, and IEEE-SA Standards Medallion. On my watch, while serving as ComSoc Director of Standards, ComSoc received the IEEE-SA Corporate Standards Sponsor Award.


I am honored to be nominated as Division III Director.  The heart of Division III is its volunteers from every corner of the globe.  It is critical for IEEE to enable these volunteers to innovate and exercise entrepreneurship in launching and maintaining new IEEE products and services in every region.

IEEE services to conferences, publications, and other activities need to be competitive and cost-effective. They should be developed with volunteers’ input and respond to volunteers’ needs. If elected I will improve volunteers’ visibility into the development and operations of IEEE services that are critical to volunteer activities.   

Communications and networking are fast developing areas that should be supported by new IEEE initiatives in next generation technologies.  This will enable proactive discovery of new opportunities in conferences, publications, training, standards and other areas. These initiatives should be driven by the goal of identifying new IEEE products and maximizing the Return on Investment to Technical Societies and their volunteers.

If elected, I will work with TAB and BoD to achieve this goal.

Sergio Benedetto

Headshot of Sergio Benedetto

(Nominated by IEEE Division III)

Emeritus Professor
Politecnico di Torino
Torino, Italy

Sergio Benedetto is an Emeritus Professor at Politecnico di Torino. Active for more than 40 years in the field of digital communications, he has coauthored 5 books and over 250 papers. His publications have received more than 20,000 citations, with about 1,400 citations for two of them. He has been for many years an “ISI highly cited researcher”.

He received the "Premio Siemens per le Telecomunicazioni" in 1973, the "Premio Bianchi" of AEI in 1974, the "Premio Bonavera" in 1976, the "Gold Medal Award of Siemens Telecomunicazioni" in 1993 and 1995, the "Italgas International Prize for Research and Technological Innovation" in 1998, the “Cristoforo Colombo International Award for Communications” in 2006, and the “IEEE Communications Society Edwin Howard Armstrong Award” in 2008.

Sergio has been a member of the Board of Directors of ANVUR, the Italian Agency for the Evaluation of Italian Universities and Research Centers until May 2, 2016.

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

COMMITTEES/BOARDS: IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB): 2014-2015, IEEE TAB Periodicals Committee: 2009-2013, IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) MAL: 2016-2018, PSPB N&A Member: 2017-2018, PSPB Strategic Planning Committee Member: 2013-2017, PSPB Strategic Planning Committee Vice-Chair: 2018, IEEE Ad Hoc on the Future of Information and Convening Member: 2015, IEEE Ad Hoc on Infrastructure Strategy Growth Member: 2013-2014, IEEE Publishing Conduct Committee Member: 2017-2018, IEEE Conferences Committee Member: 2016-2017, IEEE Conference Quality Committee Member: 2016-2017, TAB PRAC Member: 2017-2018, IEEE MGA: 2018, Alexander Graham Bell Medal Committee: 2009-2012.

SOCIETY: IEEE Communications Society: Vice President of Technical Activities 2006-2007, Vice-President for Publications: 2008-2009, Vice President for Member Relations: 2010-2011, President-Elect: 2013, President: 2014-2015, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair: 2017-2018, Fellow Evaluating Committee Chair: 2018.

As a member of the Periodicals Committee of IEEE TAB I worked with society presidents in making the process of launching new periodicals more transparent and easier to follow, through an internal Sub-Committee of the Planning Committee aimed at tutoring the proposers of new periodicals during the submission of Phase 1 and 2 proposals. Within the IEEE PSPB Strategic Planning Committee, I contributed to the issue of IEEE positioning in the Open Access arena. Within the IEEE Communications Society I have served in 3 Vice President positions and as President. As President, I have been able in 2015 to bring the society to break even from a previous year deficit of about US$1,000,000.  Also, I enhanced the collaboration with IEEE Standards Association introducing new standard groups and adding a Standard Supplement to Communications Magazine. I revamped the whole Society strategy to increase industry participation in ComSoc by inviting industry members to Publication and Conference Boards. In TAB, I have been one of the leaders of the societies Presidents movement successfully advocating a better financial transparency in IEEE budget.


In the last few years, the IEEE model has faced a serious crisis in terms of membership and budget. There are objective reasons for that: the economic threat represented by the open access model, the rapidly change of industrial research landscape from large academic-like research centers to a myriad of small-medium technological start-ups, the new networking opportunities offered by social media and others. IEEE, however, has done little to cope with those challenges and catch the opportunities that are always embedded within difficult times.

Instead, the IEEE leadership has emphasized corporate mandates rather than member value, proposing questionable reforms aimed at an increased centralization and reduced transparency of the decision-making processes.

If elected, I will treasure my deep experience as an IEEE volunteer and knowledge of the organization to refocus IEEE on its core values: membership and technical communities, by offering members strong motivations to stay actively within the organization. Moreover, my aim will be to strengthen the collaboration between TAB and PSPB, since its lack has always been a serious weakness of IEEE.