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IEEE ComSoc Volunteers – Get Involved!

Sherman Shen

Xuemin (Sherman) Shen

Past President


IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) is built on the strength of its volunteers and their efforts throughout the organization, as most programs require volunteer involvement to facilitate the planning and execution of projects, events, and so on. Being a volunteer with ComSoc means you will play a key role in the future of the organization. There are many volunteer opportunities within ComSoc, allowing you to find an area that not only interests you most, but that will also allow you to expand your knowledge, and gain valuable management and leadership skills while giving back to your profession and our community.

ComSoc has a myriad of opportunities that range in time commitment, but all offer the opportunity to connect with other members and contribute to our community. ComSoc has four main areas where you can give back: Publications Council, Technical and Educational Activities Council, Conferences Council, and Member and Global Activities Council.

Figure 1

Volunteering with the Publications Council allows you to get involved with the leading journals, transactions, letters, and magazines in communication engineering and other related technologies that ComSoc publishes. This Council is responsible for the needs of the Society and Society Members related to print and electronic projects, such as journals, magazines, Technical Committee Newsletters, and other similar publications, and online offerings, not including conference publications. Other valuable experiences include serving as a member of an editorial board for journals, magazines, and online content. Here, volunteers can influence the strategy and direction of the publications with their technical expertise and insights.

ComSoc Technical and Educational Activities Council is responsible for the educational and technical interests of the Society, encompassing a broad range of communications and communications-related technical areas. This council allows you to get involved on a global scale and provides the most opportunities to grow, as there are 40 committees and five boards, including Educational Services, Industry Communities, Standards Development, Standardization Programs Development, 27 Technical Committees, and eight Emerging Technologies Committees.

The Conferences Council is responsible for the needs of the Society and Society members related to technical conferences, workshops, and professional meetings. Within this council, there are two boards (Conference Development, and Conference Operations), and two committees (GIMS Committee for GLOBECOM/ICC Management & Strategy, and GITC Committee for GLOBECOM/ICC Technical Content). The best way to get started with volunteering in conferences is to become part of an organizing committee for one of our 42 global and regional conferences. Roles vary from technical program positions to publicity or industry outreach committees.

The Member and Global Activities (MGA) Council is responsible for all Society activities and programs related to members, chapters, membership development, sister and related Societies, and Society Regions. This council has four regional boards representing IEEE regions: Asia/Pacific; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Latin America; and North America. In addition, there are two boards for Industry Outreach and Member Services. What is the best way to get involved with our member activities? Join your local chapter and consider local leadership positions, or with the regional board if you have been actively involved in chapter activities.

The MGA council also has two standing committees: Women in Communications Engineering and Young Professionals. These committees provide programming, networking, and recognition opportunities and are open to volunteers who support their causes regardless of age or gender. Opportunities for volunteering may include working on an awards committee for the assembly, serving as a liaison to other committees, or perhaps helping with outreach and publicity, or programming for the next event to be held at ComSoc’s flagship conferences ICC and Globecom.

We hope that, by providing opportunities for those wanting to pursue volunteer opportunities with ComSoc, we will be able to drive innovation, promote diversity, and overall strengthen the development of our organization. Together, we shape the future of ComSoc.

If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, I encourage you to visit each assembly’s website on or visit If you still have questions, please email and our staff will be happy to answer your questions and connect you with the right committee.

Thank you to Morgan Carleton, ComSoc’s Associate Editor, and Trish Jaraicie, ComSoc’s Director of Marketing and Membership, for putting this article together.