The candidates for 2024-2025 IEEE Region 1 Delegate-Elect/Director-Elect are listed below. Please note that the candidate listing order indicates no preference. 

  • Sonya L. Dillard (Nominated by IEEE Region 3)
  • John Patrick "Pat" Donohoe (Nominated by IEEE Region 3)


Balloting for the 2023 IEEE Annual Election has begun. The deadline to cast your vote is 12:00 pm EDT (16:00 UTC) on 2 October 2023.

Access Ballot

Sonya L. Dillard

Headshot of Sonya L. Dillard

(Nominated by IEEE Region 3) 
Safety Engineer
Safety & Mission Assurance
Planetary Protection and Orbital Debris Discipline Team Lead
NASA / Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Alabama, USA



Employed by NASA for 33 years, Sonya Dillard is an ambassador for both Space and the IEEE.  Dillard holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and an MS in Project Management at Florida Institute of Technology.

Dillard currently supports the Human Landing System (HLS), aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis Missions, which will launch the first woman and the first person of color to the moon.  As the Planetary Protection and Orbital Debris Discipline Team Lead for NASA/MSFC, she helps to ensure that safety requirements are valid, verified and give strict limitations on contamination.

Dillard has received Distinguished Performance, along with the Teamwork Award, NASA Silver Achievement Medal, NASA Silver Snoopy Award, and IEEE awards for Outstanding Engineer (2008), and Outstanding Service (2001, 2015 and 2022). Dillard has continuously supported community with space awareness and STEM student pipeline by hosting engineering events and encouraging IEEE membership. 



I am humbled and honored to be considered for the position of Region 3 Director-Elect. Throughout my 29 years of IEEE experience, I learned to focus on “Member Engagement and Life Member support.” 

IEEE’s structure is focused on individual membership. I will focus on Member Engagement as a goal for Region 3. Our members can engage within Sections implementing micro tasks, attending plant tours, virtual collaborations, STEM Events, joint technical meetings, social activities, and other hybrid events. Expanding our digital footprint by posting activities photos/articles to increase member engagement. This will re-invigorate and bring the “buzz” back to the IEEE that decreased during the pandemic.

Life Members are also a pillar of the IEEE. I plan to work long and hard to achieve this elite member status. Pairing Young Professionals with Life Members to build relationships while gathering historical data by interviews is an awesome idea to preserve the wealth of information and keep our Life Members “young at heart”. Life Member data can be used for awards, activities, and the IEEE History Center.


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

IEEE Huntsville Section:

  • 1997 Section ExCom (Continuous Leadership for 25 years)
  • 2017-2018 Section Past Chair
  • 2003-2004, 2015-2016 Section Chair
  • 2001-2002, 2013-2014 Section Vice Chair
  • 1997-2000 Secretary (2 terms)
  • 2019 IEEE Huntsville Section 50th Anniversary Celebration – Planning Committee
  • 2014 IEEE Huntsville Section 45th Anniversary Celebration – Coordinated Dinner Cruise Event
  • 2014 IEEE EWeek Banquet – Hosted by Huntsville Section, Planning Committee
  • 2013 IEEE PACE Chair for the Huntsville Section (Served 5 years)
  • 2019 History Committee – IEEE Huntsville Section Milestone Commemoration
  • 2000 IEEE Computer Fair – Planning and Implementation Committee, hosted in Huntsville
  • 2022 EWeek Virtual Awards Chair, Sponsored by IEEE Huntsville Section 

Other IEEE Activities:

  • 1999 IEEE GOLD Chair Petitioned/Approved for Graduates of the Last Decade in Huntsville
  • 2004 IEEE Engineering Management Society (EMS) Chapter Chair – Petitioned/Awarded Approval for EMS Society
  • 2015 IEEE Life Member Affinity Group – Petitioned/Awarded Approval for LMAG Huntsville Section
  • 2018, 2021 IEEE Senior Member Round-Up as Member Development Rep. (2 years)
  • 2019 IEEE Eta Kappa Nu – Eta Chapter
  • 2019 EAB Region 3 Representative (Served 2 years)
  • 2019 WIE Affinity Group – Petitioned/Approved for WIE Chapter in Huntsville Section
  • 2020 Region 3 Member Communications Committee Chair (until present) 


  • 2003 IEEE RadarCon – Planning Committee, hosted in Huntsville
  • 2019 SoutheastCon Logistics Chair, hosted in Huntsville


  • 2001 IEEE Outstanding Service Award – Huntsville Section
  • 2008 IEEE Outstanding Engineer – Huntsville Section
  • 2015 IEEE Outstanding Service Award – Huntsville Section

Key Accomplishments:

  • Hosted Alabama Regional Future City Competition for 22 years as Alabama Regional Coordinator (2001 to present)
  • Petitioned for GOLD (1999, now YP), EMS (2004, now TEMS), Life Member (2015, now LMAG), and WIE (2019). All still active today.
  • Successfully hosted 2019 Historic Milestone Commemoration as Logistics Chair for “Discovery of Superconductivity, 1987” (30 years recognition of deserving engineers)
  • Successfully hosted 2019 IEEE SoutheastCon as the Logistics Chair in Huntsville (largest R3 conference)

John Patrick “Pat” Donohoe

Headshot of Pat Donohoe

(Nominated by IEEE Region 3) 
Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mississippi State University
Starkville, Mississippi, USA

J. Patrick Donohoe received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU) and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Donohoe is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU where he retired with the title of Professor and Paul B. Jacob Chair. His primary research interests include computational electromagnetics and radar. Dr. Donohoe served as principal or co-principal investigator on 68 sponsored research projects with a total funding of $37M and has authored over 100 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Mississippi and a member of Eta Kappa Nu. Dr. Donohoe has served as an ABET evaluator and is currently active with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, having served as chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Exam Committee.



My overarching goal as Region 3 Director would be to establish effective member engagement and development across the Region, accounting for the diverse membership and wide-ranging benefits available to the members. The achievement of this goal requires: (1) a collective effort from Section and Region leadership, (2) a clear understanding of what IEEE members find beneficial to their professional and educational growth at each stage of the member life cycle, and (3) the vision necessary to implement well thought-out strategies within the framework of the current organizational structure. As an organization, IEEE continues to struggle making members and prospective members aware of all that IEEE has to offer. Section and Region leadership should collaboratively develop strategies to improve member and nonmember awareness of IEEE benefits. These strategies should be designed as processes that are not impacted by the continual churn of volunteers in the organization. The implementation of the strategies must be local and led by Sections, Chapters and Student Branches in Region 3.


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

Committees/Boards: MGA Student Activities Committee Chair (2017-2018), MGA Member Engagement and Life Cycle Committee (2017-2018), TAB Representative – Selection Committee for Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (2018-2020), MGA Student Activities Committee (2013-2019), Regional Activities Board Nominations and Appointments Committee (2005-2006), Regional Activities Board Vice Chair – Student Activities (2001), Regional Activities Board Student Activities Committee (1996-2003).  Region 3:  Region 3 Executive Committee (1992-1994, 1996-2010, 2013-2016, 2019-present), Region 3 Secretary (2019-present), Region 3 Student Activities Chair (1996-2000, 2013-2016), Region 3 Educational Activities Chair (2002-2008), Region 3 Educational Activities Vice-Chair (1999-2002), Region 3 Professional Activities Operations Committee (1996-1999), Northeast Mississippi Subsection Executive Committee (1987-1996), Student Branch Counselor - Mississippi State University (1986-1996), Region 3 Area 6 Chair (1992-1994). Societies/Publications: Associate Editor - IEEE Transactions on Education (2001-2012), Associate Editor - IEEE Potentials (2002-2004), Member of Antennas and Propagation, Microwave Theory and Techniques, Electromagnetic Compatibility, and Education Societies; Member - Eta Kappa Nu.  Awards: Outstanding Student Branch Counselor Award (1996), Region 3 Director’s Choice Award (2017).

My 44 years of IEEE membership span time as a student and 35 years in academia, throughout which I have been active in both geographic and technical activities. Serving in leadership positions at the Section (subsection), Region, and Board levels, my volunteer service includes a broad range of organizational components including student, technical, educational, and professional activities. I have held various Region 3 leadership roles with long-term experience in SoutheastCon planning. The experience of leading large IEEE committees with members from all ten regions has given me an understanding of transnational and trans-regional issues within IEEE. I have been active in leading Student Branch leadership training workshops in Region 3. My volunteer experience has yielded a broad understanding of the organizational units of IEEE, the member life cycle, and the diverse nature of member engagement across the organization.