Below are the candidates for IEEE Region 4 Delegate-Elect/Director-Elect, 2023-2024; Delegate/Director, 2025-2026. 

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

  • Tarek Lahdhiri (Nominated by IEEE Region 4)
  • Hamid Vakilzadian (Nominated by IEEE Region 4)
  • Constance "Connie" A. Kelly (Nominated by IEEE Region 4)

View position description


Tarek Lahdhiri

Headshot of Tarek Lahdhiri

Tarek Lahdhiri, PhD, PE, PMP, BB-DFSS, SMIEEE
(Nominated by IEEE Region 4)
Global Strategy Leader
Real-Time Control Systems Simulation and Automation
Global Validation Department
General Motors Company
Warren, Michigan, USA

Dr. Lahdhiri received his MS-EE. in Communication Systems in 1990 and Ph.D. in Control Systems in 1995. He is currently working for General Motors LLC in Detroit, where he is the Global Strategy Leader for Real-Time Control Systems Simulations and Automation within the Global Validation Department.

Dr. Lahdhiri is an IEEE Senior Member, licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of Michigan, licensed Project Management Professional (PMP), Black Belt DFSS certified by General Motors LLC, and holder of the Electrical Validation Journeyman and Vehicle Validation Apprentice Certifications issued by General Motors, Detroit, USA.

Dr. Lahdhiri has been involved with several universities where he held the positions of Research Associate, Adjunct Professor, and Lecturer at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan, and University of Michigan, Dearborn, Michigan. He taught several classes in various Electrical Engineering disciplines and he was involved in many research projects.




I have dedicated my time and efforts to enhance IEEE member services.

My activities are member driven and I believe that the only way for growth for our Region is to:

  • Engage our members and interact with them at the Section/Chapter level,
  • Increase the effectiveness of the current product and services and develop new ones that fit our member needs,
  • Timely reaction to the challenges in today’s dynamic workplace,
  • Build stronger relations with industries,
  • Leverage my IEEE, industry, and academic experience to bridge the gap between academia and industry,
  • Promote YP, WIE and Student Activities,
  • Increase collaboration between the different Committees,
  • Establish University and Corporate Liaison positions at the Region level,
  • Devote more resources to assist with the continued rejuvenation of all Sections within the Region,
  • Implement new initiatives to decrease the declining number of members within the Region,
  • Collaboration with other Regions,
  • Balanced Budget while getting the best service to our members.

I would like to be given the opportunity to leverage my IEEE, professional, and educational experience in better serving our members.  

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

Dr. Lahdhiri has been involved and active IEEE member for more than 30 years. He started as a student member in the Central Tennessee Section. Then he moved to Region 4, where he became active and held several positions including Professional Activities Committee for Engineers (PACE) Chair, Southeastern Michigan Section (SEM) and IEEE Student Counselor, University of Windsor (IEEE-SEM Section), and member IEEE-USA 1998 GOLD Committee. These assignments gave him a better and broader idea about IEEE activities and he moved to the Region and IEEE-USA levels where he served as  Region 4 Membership Development Chair, member of the IEEE RAB Industry Relations Committee (IRC), MGA Nominations and Appointments Committee (N&A), IEEE-USA Employment & Career Services Committee (ECS), co-chair of IEEE-USA Career workforce Policy Committee (CWPC), and Vice President of IEEE-USA Career and Member Services/Professional Activities (2018-2019). He is currently the Region 4 PACE Chair and the PACE Liaison within the IEEE-USA Career and Professional Development (CPD) Committee.

Dr. Lahdhiri has been an advocate in promoting/raising the awareness of the need of soft skills for engineers through IEEE-USA PACE, ECS, and CWPC committees. He contributed to the development and deployment of several IEEE-USA packages in these topics: Project Management (PM) for Engineers, Design For Six Sigma (DFSS), Leadership Skills, Resume Development, Job Interview, Career Development, and Job Transition. He provided over 100 free professional seminars, workshops, and webinars across IEEE’s six regions in the United States.

Dr. Lahdhiri has been promoting many IEEE events through the PACE program: IEEE-USA Annual Meetings, Future Leader Forums, IEEE WIE, K-12 STEM, Government Relations, students SPACs, and Career events.

Dr. Lahdhiri received several awards: 2012 IEEE-Region 4 Jack Sherman Award, 2007 IEEE-USA Citation of Honor Award, 2004 IEEE-USA Leadership Achievement Award, 2003 IEEE Southeast Michigan Best Involvement Award, and 2001 IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award.

Hamid Vakilzadian

Headshot of Hamid Vakilzadian

Hamid Vakilzadian 
(Nominated by IEEE Region 4)

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Hamid Vakilzadian is an IEEE Life Senior Member and an active volunteer with over 18 years at the Chapter, Section, and Region levels. He has over 5 years of industry experience in the power industry, working as a design engineer, quality control, and field engineer, and more than 35 years of academic experience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s ECE Department, following his doctorate degree.

Hamid has held leadership positions at the Chapter, Section, and Region committees, setting goals and strategies to achieve them successfully.

Hamid is a tenured ECE faculty, teaching courses in digital systems, modeling and simulation and conducting research in his teaching areas, neural networks, data mining, machine learning, and their applications in the cardiovascular area in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center faculty.

Hamid holds a BS in electrical engineering from Sharif University and an MS and PhD in ECE from the University of Arizona. 



As a dedicated IEEE volunteer and having served in various leadership roles on IEEE chapter, section, and region committees, I have found that IEEE volunteers are community leaders with vision and skills. Our Society's strength, besides being technological, also lies in its members' spirit, capabilities, and devotion.

For this purpose, my priorities for IEEE Region 4 members are:

1.       Developing membership and improving member engagement by providing sections that follow best practices to bring                  meaningful content to meet members' needs,
2.       Recruiting new volunteers and promoting diversity and inclusion; open and inclusive environments improve vitality,                      membership experience, and volunteer recruitment,
3.       Providing regional support to help sections develop a hybrid approach (combination of in-person and virtual meetings)                that all can use,
4.       Integrating student branches into sections' social and technical meetings for networking and increasing awareness of                  practical and emerging issues,
5.       Expanding collaboration among sections, chapters, and affinity groups and provide support for our students, Young                    Professionals, LMAG, PACE, and WIE through mentorship, engagement, and activities at the Section, Student Branch,              and Regional levels.


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

I have served in a wide range of leadership roles, interfacing within many levels of IEEE committees, ranging from Chapter to Section and Region to IEEE-USA. The following is a brief list of my activities:



  • Professional Activities Committee for Engineers (PACE), 2007-2010
  • Presenter (2019) and co-presenter (2018) at IEEE-USA Annual Meeting


Region 4:

  • Medium Sections Area Chair, 2017-present
  • Awards & Recognition Committee Member, 2010-present
  • Strategic Planning Committee Member, 2003-2006 and 2016-present
  • EIT (IEEE International Conference on Electro Information Technology):

o   Organizer and General Chair, 2004-2005, 2016-2017

o   Organizing Committee, 2006-present

  • Region 4 Nominee for Director-Elect position, 2016, 2018.
  • Xcom Member, 2014-present
  • Technical Activities Committee Chair, 2010-2016
  • PACE Chair, 2007-2010
  • West Area Sections Chair, 2003-2006


Nebraska Section:

  • Xcom Member, 2004-present
  • Nominations and Appointments Chair, 2004
  • Xcom Chair, 2003
  • Vice-Chair, 2002
  • Secretary/Treasurer, 2001


Computer Society Chapter:

  • Computer Society, Member of MGAB Richard E. Merwin Award Applications, 2013 and 2016-2018
  • Nebraska Chapter Chair, 1999-2000 and 2012-present
  • Nebraska Chapter Vice-Chair, 2002


Significant Achievements:

IEEE-USA George McClure Citation of Honor for unequaled commitments to the growth and prosperity of the Electro-Information Technology (EIT) Conferences and for leadership in Region 4 Technical and Professional Activities.

As organizer and general chair of Region 4 international EIT conferences in 2005 and 2017, with the technical cooperation of the IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Power and Energy Society, Hamid furthered the value of this conference for the local, regional, national, and international attendees.

He is a recipient of IEEE-USA Regional Professional Leadership Award for efforts in promoting PACE activities within Nebraska Section and West Area of Region 4; Nebraska Section Award for Leadership, Management, and Contribution to the Section; IEEE Region 4 Conference Committee Awards for contribution as the organizer and conference general chair (2005 and 2017) and contributions to the success of EIT conferences, 2003-2004, 2006-2016, and 2018.

Constance "Connie" A. Kelly

Headshot of Connie Kelly

Constance "Connie" A. Kelly 
(Nominated by IEEE Region 4)

Northwest Subsection - Chicago
Des Plaines, Illinois, USA


Constance Kelly (Connie) has been interested in technology her entire life. Connie got her ham radio license as a preteen after reading a book on a young girl’s introduction to ham radio. The electronics involved led her to numerous extra-curricular STEM programs, putting her on a path to an engineering school scholarship, unheard of for girls at that time.

She has been a member of the Air Force Auxiliary starting as a teen-aged Cadet. As a Senior Member she certified as an Incident Commander and a Master Communicator.  A LtCol, she has sat on committees at all levels in cadet program, communications, and aerospace education. In the 90’s her engineering experience led her to introducing Cadets to STEM programs and activities outside CAP.

In addition to IEEE and CAP, Connie is a member of Hamfesters Radio Club, Chicagoland Flight Instructors Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, and American Radio Relay League.



I would strive to promote IEEE and its capabilities outside the Organization, while using the data at hand to invigorate and grow the society involvement. Making meeting information available to local companies, schools and libraries on a regular basis will supplement social media presence.

Elected officials would be made fully aware of IEEE’s capabilities and willingness to assist when technical expertise is needed.

To assist and retain members I would institute a policy or reviewing members’ needs and interests and implement programs to satisfy those needs.

Senior Elevation Meet-and-Greets at all IEEE activities and quarterly Virtual Senior Member Reference Panels with special attention to elevating all Life Members would be institutionalized.

Promotion of IEEE Day offerings by Sections and Chapters, the creation of SIGHT Groups and HAC grants, Engineers’ Week, Girl Day and Global Day of the Engineer activities would be stressed.

Programs supplementing university programs and mentoring begins with better utilization of Life Members. Family Friendly Technical activities allowing members to include young family members in IEEE activities begins IEEE Branding. 

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

Connie began in IEEE as an IIT EE undergrad.

She was an IEEE SA founding member where she worked on P1052 – Medical Information Bus (MIB) and P1157 – Medical Information Interchange (MEDI X), and later P1583 – Voting Machine Standards.

She held positions including Chair – Chicago Chapter, Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMB), Chair – Chicago Section, IEEE Day R4 Lead, Member – IEEE-USA National Engineers’ Week Committee.  Currently she serves as Vice-Chair - IEEE Day Committee, member – IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC), Member – Region 4 Special Projects Committee, K-12 STEM Coordinator, Member – EAB Pre-University Education Coordinating Committee (PECC), Chicago Education Chair, Northwest Subsection Chair.

Connie developed protocols including implementation materials for Virtual Senior Member Reference Panels, allowing members needing references to meet with willing references to facilitate their elevation to Senior Member. This protocol is now being used worldwide.

She sat on committees for two International IEEE-EMB Conferences and three Chicago Section Symposia, presented over two dozen papers at conferences.  She served on EAB-PECC Planning Committee for the first STEM Summit, participating on two Panels; Planning Committee for SIGHT Training Program, presenting at the activity.