Sister and Related Societies: Interview with Ana Garcia Armada, IEEE ComSoc Vice President for Member and Global Activities

By Ana Garcia Armada - Vice President for Member and Global Activities and Stefano Bregni - Global Communications Newsletter Editor-in-Chief, Director Conference Operations

This article continues the series of interviews to the Officers of the IEEE ComSoc Member and Global Activities (MGA) Council, which is published every month on the Global Communications Newsletter.

In this issue, I interview Ana Garcia Armada, IEEE ComSoc Vice President for Member and Global Activities, in her capacity as Chair of the Sister and Related Societies (SRS) Ad-Hoc Committee.

Ana García Armada is a Professor at University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain. She has published more than 250 papers in international journals and conference proceedings and she holds five granted patents. She is serving on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Communications, and IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society. She has been a member of the organizing committee of several conferences and the General Chair of IEEE Globecom 2021. She has been a Member at Large of the Board of Governors, Director of Online Content and member of several management committees in the IEEE Communications Society, where she is now the VP of Member and Global Activities.

The Sister and Related Societies Committee was created at the beginning of 2022 by the IEEE ComSoc President Sherman Shen to develop the strategy, formulate the process, and engage with the ComSoc Sister and Related Societies (SRS) to promote additional cooperation through joint activities. Currently, the members of the SRS Committee for term 2022–2023 are the following:

  • Ana Garcia Armada, VP MGA, Chair

  • Tomoaki Otsuki, MGA Council

  • Stefano Bregni, Conferences Council

  • Zhisheng Niu, Technical and Education Activities Council

  • Octavia Dobre, Publications Council

  • Karen Pannullo, Staff

Stefano: Hello Ana! I would begin our interview by introducing first what are the Sister Societies and the Related Societies. In particular, what is the difference between them?

Ana: Sister Societies are associations or societies of similar areas of interest and technical scope as IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc), with which ComSoc has established relationships. Examples of Sister Societies are China Institute of Communications (CIC), the Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences (KICS), the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE-CS) and Sociedade Brasileira de Telecomunicações (SBRT).

Related Societies are national or international professional/learned associations with status/charter similar to ComSoc, but complementary in technical scope. Examples of Related Societies are the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Stefano: Is there a standard process to establish and manage relations between ComSoc and SRS?

Ana: ComSoc signs with each SRS a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), where the conditions of each relationship are agreed. In this way, we enter a formal relationship to strive to achieve the mutual goals of both organizations.

The MoU should be periodically reviewed and updated according to the evolution of the relationship and common interests.

Stefano: Are there any advantages for SRS and ComSoc members, because of the MoU agreement signed?

Ana: The MoU usually establishes cooperation and benefits for each other’s members.

For example, membership to the sister organization is advertised and promoted to current members of each of the societies and membership fees may be discounted. Registration fees to the sponsored events by each sister society may be done at each other’s member rates. Training courses may be offered at discounted prices.

Stefano: Is it possible for ComSoc and SRS to organize jointly events?

Ana: Jointly sponsored events may be organized on topics of mutual agreement at appropriate technical, professional, and student conferences and events held by each organization.

ComSoc may provide technical co-sponsorship to well established events sponsored by the sister society, always following the ComSoc review process, and waiving the technical co-sponsorship application.

Speakers may be recommended to each other for sessions or events, or activities may be conducted at each other’s events with the agreement of both parties.

Stefano: There are also co-sponsored publications? Or do Members get special rates to subscribe ComSoc or SRS publications?

Ana: Through cooperative agreements, ComSoc members can subscribe to several outstanding journals published by the sister societies at discounted subscription rates. The following are some examples:

  • Journal of Communication and Information Systems (SBrT)

  • IEICE Transactions (IEICE)

  • IEEE/KICS The Journal of Communications and Networks (KICS)

  • European Transactions on Telecommunications (AEIT)

Stefano: With how many Sister and Related Societies has ComSoc signed agreements?

Ana: ComSoc has established MoUs with 25 Sister Societies and 7 Related Societies. These agreements represent 22 countries and span a wide technical area of expertise. Of these, 17 have been recently renewed or are in process of renewal.

Stefano: Very good. Would you make any special remark to conclude our conversation? Anything in particular you wish to highlight to the attention of GCN readers?

Ana: ComSoc has a long tradition of global outreach and some of these societies are important for our members in their local or regional communities. By preserving the relationships with them, ComSoc pursues its vision of bringing the world together in harmony through communications and networking technology research, application, education, and incubation of new ideas.

I would like to finish thanking the members of the SRS Committee for their work and commitment, namely Stefano Bregni, Octavia Dobre, Zhisheng Niu and Tomoaki Otsuki.