IEEE Center for Leadership Excellence Gets Volunteers and Members up to Speed

The little-known training resources site is for volunteers, conference organizers, and those who want to know more about IEEE

7 November 2018

Volunteers help support the organization’s mission by conducting activities that benefit their local IEEE community. IEEE Member and Geographic Activities provides resources to help them run their section, chapter, or other geographic unit.

The Center of Leadership Excellence (CLE) houses free on-demand content that is focused mainly on making IEEE members more effective in their volunteer roles. It contains more than 150 courses and other materials, and it offers training for conference chairs and others involved with organizing events, such as treasurers and technical program chairs.

For those who want to move up the volunteer ranks, the CLE has foundation courses required to participate in the Volunteer Leadership Training Program. VoLT is targeted at those with two years of volunteer experience in the organization who want to hold more senior leadership positions. The program accelerates participants’ knowledge about the organization and its resources, and it offers sessions on a host of management skills.

The resources aren’t just for volunteers. Any IEEE member who wants to learn more about the organization’s offerings can access the material. Sign in with your IEEE account to access the CLE. The site allows members to keep track of their training.


Action plans for newly elected or appointed leaders can familiarize them with their role and help them perform their duties. Checklists cover 24 volunteer leadership roles across all geographic units.

An education program for conference organizers also resides in the CLE. The program features role-based learning tracks for conference chairs, treasurers, technical program chairs, publication chairs, and event managers. The program is composed of courses and on-demand webinars, each lasting about 30 minutes. People who take the courses are eligible for professional development hours. Topics include ways to optimize registration, how to select a meeting site, and trends in audience engagement.

For non-volunteers, there are professional courses on topics such as managing your career, creating effective presentations, and leading difficult conversations.

Those who want to know more about IEEE activities can check out presentations about awards, educational resources, humanitarian endeavors, and more.

Big picture

Keeping members involved, energized, and motivated to serve in leadership positions contributes to the success of IEEE. Effective training is key.

Hicham Berkouk, a graduate of the VoLT program, has been an IEEE volunteer since 2014. He formed the IEEE student branch at the University of Boumerdes, in Algeria. Last year he established the IEEE Algeria Section’s Young Professionals group, which he now chairs.

“I took various courses offered by CLE for my previous volunteer positions,” he says. “Not only does the training help simplify the tasks I had to do, but it taught me new skills. I highly recommend CLE courses for aspiring IEEE volunteers.”

Maria Schneider is the senior program manager of unit operations for IEEE Member and Geographic Activities.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

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