Below are the candidates for 2020 IEEE-USA President-Elect.

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

Katherine J. Duncan

Headshot of Katherine J. Duncan

(Nominated by IEEE-USA)

Visiting Research Fellow
Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
U.S. Military Academy West Point
West Point, New York, USA

Katherine J. Duncan is an expert in the development of novel nanomaterials for next-generation communication systems. She received her masters of engineering in electrical engineering with an Optics Certificate (minor) from Stevens Institute of Technology and doctorate degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology.  She is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the U.S. Military Academy West Point.  She joined the U.S. Army CERDEC in 2009, where she serves as a Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Duncan has demonstrated executive leadership experience that spans industry, academia and government. 

Dr. Duncan is an IEEE Senior Member and a member of IEEE HKN.  She served as Region 2 Director, on the IEEE-USA Board of Directors, MGA Finance Committee and many other IEEE volunteer capacities. Her efforts are consistently collaborative in nature often resulting in membership engagement opportunities, operational improvements and reductions in operational costs. 

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities


  • IEEE Board of Directors, Region 2 Director/Delegate (2017-2018); Region 2 Director-Elect/Delegate-Elect (2015-2016)
  • IEEE-USA Board of Directors (2017-2018)
  • IEEE MGA FinCom (2017-2018)
  • IEEE-USA WIE Liaison (2016, 2019)
  • IEEE Ad Hoc on Strategic Planning (2016)
  • IEEE Ad Hoc on Continuous Improvement (2017)
  • IEEE Board of Directors Coordinator IEEE Ethics Committee (2017-2018)


  • WIE Coordinator (2013-2015)
  • Region Vitality Coordinator (2015)


  • North Jersey: Member (2007-2010); WIE Chair (2009) 
  • Membership Development Chair (2008-2010)
  • Baltimore: Secretary (2012); Treasurer (2013); Vice-Chair (2014)


  • IEEE AP-S (NTDC) (2015-present)
  • IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (2015-present) Reviewer


  • 2018:  Professional Member


  • Chair, IEEE WIE Summit USA East 2015
  • Treasurer, IEEE 2018 R2 YP/WIE RISE
  • Committee member numerous IEEE conferences


  • ABET Evaluator 
  • IEEE WIE, IEEE MTTS, IEEE APS, IoT Community Memberships
  • IEEE Nanotechnology, RFID Council 

Dr. Duncan is known for her collaborative engagement style.  Her efforts, while Region Director, focused on providing member and volunteer benefit through practical and achievable initiatives.

  • Developed outline of MGA’s major initiatives, identified overlaps, points of collaboration and alignment between IEEE OUs, resulting in operationalization of MGA’s strategic Plan, specifically: dissemination, alignment, performance, measurement, and stimulation. 
  • Primary proponent supporting creation of a venue for major board collaboration. Facilitated a venue where leaders of major Boards converge to discuss their OU activities and collaborate, reinforcing partnerships between major OUs, and emphasizing joint activities. 
  • Led creation of Region 2 annual WIE conference IEEE WIE Summit USA East 2015, an event continuously growing WIE membership.
  • Created ad hoc committee on membership development, initiated a regional YP/WIE conference (RISE) with short planning and implementation cycles that’s replicated successfully.
  • Reinstituted Region 2 awards program. Working with Regions 2 and 3 coordinators, rewrote the manual, employed MGA to open a candidate portal.


In 2017 the IEEE-USA board revised the strategic plan after reflection on successful activities versus less beneficial to the membership.  The decline in U.S. membership since the arrival of the new millennium, has concentrated the attention of IEEE-USA to ensure career vitality through public policy advocacy for the engineer and development of career and professional services.  I will work to assist a reversal of the negative membership trend by leading the charge on meeting the needs of our membership while operating in a resource constrained environment.

We must engage students and Young Professionals, while reengaging Mid-Career Professionals and creating useful products and services for all our volunteers and USA members.  We must seek to employ the resource of wisdom and knowledge available within the ranks of our senior membership for mentoring our future leaders.

As the IEEE-USA President-Elect (2020) and IEEE-USA President (2021), I would expand region activities developed for students and young professionals to enhance USA membership and continue to develop career and professional services to promote lifelong career and organizational vitality. IEEE-USA must continue assisting members by advocating for the membership and adopting public policies that serve the needs of USA members and the profession at large. 

Brendan B. Godfrey

Headshot of Brendan B. Godfrey

(Nominated by IEEE-USA)

Senior Executive Service (Retired)
United States Air Force
Arlington, Virginia, USA; and
Visiting Research Scientist
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, California, USA

Brendan Godfrey is a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory visiting scientist.  Previously, he held technology leadership positions, overseeing as many as 1500 people and budgets as large as $500M.  Positions included AF Office of Scientific Research director, Brooks AFB deputy director, AF Research Laboratory director of plans, Armstrong Laboratory director, Phillips Laboratory advanced weapons director, and Weapons Laboratory chief scientist.  Earlier, he was a Mission Research Corporation vice-president, Los Alamos National Laboratory group leader, and Weapons Laboratory staff scientist.  He served on numerous professional panels, including the National Academies’ Air Force Studies Board, Texas Governor’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and University of New Mexico and University of Texas at San Antonio advisory committees.  Dr. Godfrey is widely recognized for contributions to intense charged particle beams, high power microwave sources, and computational plasma research.   He is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the APS, and holds a PhD from Princeton University. 

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

Dr. Godfrey has been an active member of IEEE since 1976, and served on the Plasma Science and Applications (PSAC) Executive Committee (ExCom) almost continuously since 1994.  While Chairperson, he instituted changes to broaden the range of candidates seeking election to PSAC ExCom, expanded member participation in ExCom activities, and negotiated a long-term agreement with IEEE-MCE to support conference management.  He also contributed to the leadership of the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS), serving three terms on its Administrative Committee (AdCom).  He has helped organize several plasma conferences. 

Since 2011, Dr. Godfrey has contributed to the IEEE-USA Research and Development Policy Committee (R&D PC), serving as Vice-Chair and Chair.  Among his efforts as Chair were to increase involvement in R&D PC by younger members and to expand advocacy activities beyond preparing position statements.  Seeing the need for a position on artificial intelligence, he organized and served as co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence Policy Committee. As an R&D PC member, he drafted several position statements and letters, all of which were adopted by IEEE-USA.  

Dr. Godfrey was elected 2018-2019 IEEE-USA Vice-President for Government Relations, serving on its Board of Directors and leading the Government Relations Council (GRC).  In this capacity, he expanded the GRC to include representatives of all U.S. Regions, conducted the first face-to-face GRC retreats to improve strategic planning, and cleared the substantial backlog of unreleased position statements.  GRC initiatives underway include increasing volunteer involvement in position statement advocacy, establishing a policy committee on STEM diversity, revitalizing a few policy committees, and improving the tracking of draft position statements.  To enhance the visibility of IEEE-USA, he has given a number of talks about its activities at IEEE conferences and management meetings and has represented IEEE-USA during Congressional Visits Day on several occasions.


As President-Elect and then President of IEEE-USA, I would enhance the government relations program; increase the visibility, accessibility, and reputation of IEEE-USA; and build upon the membership initiatives of the current IEEE-USA President and President-Elect. 

Government relations can provide an increasingly effective voice for IEEE-USA members in DC, including progress on R&D funding, STEM diversity, digital privacy, and H-1B visa reform.  IEEE-USA must mobilize members for advocacy, create avenues for greater feedback from members, recruit more volunteers (especially Young Professionals), and offer advocacy training at the Section level.  

Surveys indicate that many IEEE U.S. members have only a vague knowledge of IEEE-USA.  Enhancing its visibility will increase utilization of IEEE-USA’s valuable career services and expand its public policy successes.  Volunteers are the life-blood of IEEE-USA, and more volunteers would result from greater visibility.  Moreover, IEEE-USA can contribute effectively to the IEEE membership value proposition only if its accomplishments are known not only to members but also to potential members.  

Finally, as a member of the IEEE Board, I shall work with the Region Directors to identify and address issues important to U.S. members, explore alternative IEEE membership and financial models for a changing environment, and promote openness and transparency.