Policies & Procedures Manual and Operations Handbooks: Section 8

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Updated November 2021



The Member and Geographic Activities Board (MGA) shall be chaired by the vice president for member and geographic activities as provided in the bylaws. Voting membership shall also include the MGA Board Representative, as elected by MGA Board, and the following members appointed by the vice president: the vice chair for Geographic Activities, vice chair for Awards and Recognition, vice chair for Students and Young Professionals, the vice chair for the Special Technical Communities (STC) and up to two additional at-large members. Voting members of MGA must be members of the IEEE Computer Society and shall be encouraged to be members of the IEEE. In addition, the president and executive director shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the MGA.

8.1.1 Liaison Representatives

The vice presidents of other Computer Society boards may appoint an ex officio, non-voting representative to the MGA.

8.1.2 MGA Board Representative

The MGA Board will elect the MGA Board Representative to serve on the Board of Governors as outlined in the bylaws. Each MGA Board Vice Chair may add up to two candidates to the slate for consideration. The candidates must be of Graduate Student Member grade or higher, currently serving on that Vice Chair’s committee (or a sub-committee under it), and must have experience serving in MGA Board positions (excluding chapter based roles). Candidates who have previously served on the Board of Governors for a period exceeding six months, in any capacity, are ineligible for this role. The election of the MGA Board Representative shall take place in the final months of the year, with the candidate taking up the position at the start of the new year for the duration of that calendar year. MGA Board may fill a casual vacancy at any time, should one occur. Additional rules and processes may be specified in the MGA Board Handbook.


The MGA shall provide leadership in the Society for member development and member-related activities including member services, programs to support chapters, and such other promotional or retention activities as may be assigned by the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee, or the president. MGA shall actively foster inclusiveness and diversity within the membership and active volunteers under its purview and specifically within its own appointments.


The membership of each standing committee shall consist of the chair, and a minimum of two additional members who they appoint, in consultation with the vice president for MGA.

The major standing committees shall be Awards and Recognition, Geographic Activities, Special Technical Communities, and Student and Young Professionals. The Chair of each of these committees shall be a Vice Chair of the MGA Board and shall be appointed by the Vice President for MGA. Each Vice Chair of MGA Board has the authority to appoint chairs of the standing committees that report to their committee, in consultation with the Vice President for MGA.

8.3.1 Geographic Activities Committee (GAC)

The Geographic Activities Committee (GAC) shall promote membership activities within the Society, at the student branch chapter, section chapter, student branch, section, regional and international levels. GAC, directly and through its standing committees, shall support and oversee all local chapters of the IEEE Computer Society including chapters within Student Branches, Sections, Councils or Regions. GAC directly and through its standing committees shall authorize and run geographically based membership activities for the society. GAC may also run global membership activities, except for those focused on Students and/or Young Professionals (see SYP).

In addition to the chair, GAC will have a vice chair, a regional coordinator for each geographic region (which may cover one or more IEEE regions), a Student and Young Professionals representative, and up to three general members who will propose and undertake work in a particular portfolio area as agreed with the GAC Chair. The Vice President MGA, chair of SYP, and chair of ARC are ex-officio non-voting members of GAC.

8.3.2 Student and Young Professional Activities (SYP) Committee

The Students and Young Professionals (SYP) Committee shall promote membership activities within the Society to specifically address the needs of students and young professionals. The SYP Committee shall authorize and run global membership activities which are specifically designed for students and / or young professionals. The SYP Committee may also design and recommend activities to address the needs of students and / or young professionals at the local level. The SYP Chair shall represent the Society to the IEEE Students and Young Professionals Affinity Group and shall be the CS representative to the TA committee on Young Professionals. The Chair of SYP shall be an early career professional as defined by IEEE.

8.3.3 Awards and Recognition Committee (ARC)

The Awards and Recognition Committee (ARC) shall be responsible for MGA awards and recognition programs, scholarships, fellowships, contests, member grade recognition, the Distinguished Visitors Program (DVP), and the Distinguished Contributors recognition program. Funding for ARC programs should be allocated from the MGA budget. Distinguished Visitors Program (DVP) Committee

The Distinguished Visitors Program (DVP) Committee shall administer a program offering speakers for Section Chapter and Student Branch Chapter visits. The DVP Chair shall appoint up to eight other members to the committee , as deemed necessary to carry out the new speaker selection process and the oversight of the program including the allocation of resources. In addition to ensuring speakers are experts in their field and high-quality presenters, the committee shall ensure diversity of the speakers based on IEEE geographic region, gender, and technical areas of expertise. The committee shall ensure there is annual renewal of the program through the appointment of new speakers on new topics in a geographically dispersed manner. The allocation of resources to speakers shall be done in a manner that is fair to both the speakers and the requesting chapters.

Details about the procedures to select DVP speakers and request chapter visits shall be posted on computer.org, along with a list of available speakers by region and technical topic. Distinguished Contributor Recognition

Members, including affiliate members, shall be eligible for recognition as Distinguished Contributors to the Computer Society.  The criteria for selection as a Distinguished Contributor are a combination of membership requirements, a completed application which is scored using the rubric as described in the MGA Handbook, and the final determination by the Distinguished Contributor Committee.  Certain members shall be automatically recognized by virtue of IEEE Fellow status, or elevation, and other technical awards they have received.  Members may also be designated as Distinguished Contributors based on their appointment as a Distinguished Visitor and recommendation of the Distinguished Visitor Program. There shall be a limit on the fraction of membership that can be recognized through the committee in a given year. Distinguished Contributor Program Committee

The Distinguished Contributor Program (DCP) Committee shall administer the Distinguished Contributor (DC) program. The committee shall maintain policies and procedures for solicitation, review and approval of Distinguished Contributor applications. The committee shall consist of a chair appointed by the A&R chair and a minimum of five voting committee members. The chair and voting members shall be DCs. The committee may also include reviewers, who are non-voting members of the committee, for the purpose of assisting with the applications review and scoring process. Reviewers should preferably be DCs but other members may be appointed if required.

The chair of the DCP committee may appoint as many reviewers as deemed necessary to accomplish the review and scoring process, and may nominate members, as necessary, to staff the voting member positions within the DCP. All committee member appointments are based upon, and expire with, the end of the calendar year. Membership Requirements and Application Process

At time of application, a candidate for DC must be a current regular member or affiliate member of the Computer Society with a least five years continuous membership and 10 years of membership in total. The membership time will include all time as an affiliate member, Graduate Student Member, Senior Member, Fellow or any category of life membership. Any periods of time as a Student Member will not count.

The scoring rubric, recorded in the MGA Handbook, shall indicate the minimum qualifying criteria for an application to be considered. The applicant shall provide evidence of their contributions as requested in the application.

A candidate shall also provide a curriculum vitae or resume documenting general career accomplishments. From the pool of qualified candidates, the Distinguished Contributor Committee will select Distinguished Contributors that demonstrate specific accomplishments.

A list of common contributions and their evaluation shall be described in the MGA Handbook. Revisions to these evaluation criteria shall be proposed by the DCP Committee, endorsed by the ARC and approved by the MGA Board as a revision to the Handbook. The VP MGA shall report approved revisions to the Board of Governors.

At the time the program is established, all IEEE Fellows who are members of the Computer Society, and members who have received a Computer Society-level technical award, other than service awards, shall automatically be named Distinguished Contributors. These members, as well as additional appointments at that time nominated by the DVP chair and the DCP chair, shall be known as charter members. All charter members must meet the minimum Computer Society membership requirements above at the time of their appointment.

Fellows and recipients of named awards who do not meet the membership requirements shall be named Distinguished Contributors upon satisfying the membership requirements and requesting DC recognition (they do not need to complete the normal application). Future recipients of the Fellow designation or named technical awards are automatically named DCs if they meet the membership requirement, or may request DC status later upon meeting the criteria. In no cases do these automatic appointments count against the threshold for a year. Charter Members

In the first year of the DCP, DVP participants who have previously been appointed as DVPs may also be recognized as Charter members. These members may be recommended by the DVP chair and approved by the DCP chair. In subsequent years, members selected as Distinguished Visitors may be nominated by the DVP chair, and approved by the DCP chair, for receipt of the Distinguished Contributors Recognition.

In the first year of the program, the DCP chair may recommend up to 20 members for immediate recognition as Distinguished Contributors, prior to the first evaluation period. This will help to seed the pool of DCs with qualified members willing to help evaluate the initial applications. The VP MGA will appoint a member of the Society Executive Committee who would automatically qualify for the Distinguished Contributor Recognition to review these nominations and approve any or all of them for appointment as Charter Members of the Distinguished Contributor Program. Limitations

In the first year, the Distinguished Contributor Committee may select up to 2% of the Computer Society membership as Distinguished Contributors. In subsequent years, the committee may select up to 0.5% of the Computer Society membership. Both of these thresholds shall include those recognized as a result of DV appointment and those by direct appointment by the DCP chair. The thresholds do not include those receiving recognition due to being an IEEE Fellow or award recipient. Recognition Deliverables

The recognition will consist of a Distinguished Contributor pin and plaque. Individual names will be included in a master list maintained by the MGA Board. Approved candidates will be annually publicized to the Computer Society membership.

8.3.4 Special Technical Communities (STC) Committee Membership

Special Technical Communities (STC) Committee shall be chaired by a vice chair of the MGA and shall consist of chairs of each STC and a STC deputy chair. The STC deputy chair shall be the formally appointed liaison from the Technical Activities Committee of the Technical and Conference Activities Board as appointed by the vice president for technical and conference activities (TAC liaison ). All other members shall be appointed by the vice president for MGA. The vice president may delegate such appointment authority to the chair for the STC Committee. Responsibilities

STCs shall be self-sustaining (revenue-generating) online communities of computing professionals (including students) who share a common technical, geographic, career, or other interest. STCs may be created around any set of ideas that are relevant to the Society’s field of interest. Each STCs shall capitalize on supported or approved social networking facilities of the Computer Society in order to realize their objectives. STCs should reflect agile entities that are relatively easy to create and organize, and that can develop new products and services to realize their communities’ goals and objectives.

The STC Committee shall be responsible for reviewing all applications for new STCs and approving or rejecting such applications. They will oversee the review processes to assess the overall vitality of all existing STCs and approve their continuation or termination. The STC Committee shall be responsible for maintaining a handbook with detailed procedures for the conduct of the STC program will be set forth. Chair Responsibilities

The chair for the STC Committee shall work with the vice president to agree the overall strategic direction of the MGA, by offering informed strategies reflecting the opportunities and challenges identified by the chair and members of each STC. In addition, the chair shall be responsible for all strategic and operational matters related to the vitality of STCs. The chair shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining quality standards and operating infrastructures necessary to govern and support STCs.


Other ad hoc committees may be created by action of the MGA. Unless otherwise provided by the action of the MGA, the chair and the members of any ad hoc committee shall be appointed by the vice president for MGA and serve on an annual basis.


MGA shall create and maintain a handbook that sets forth detailed procedures for the operation of the Society’s membership and geographic activities program, including the STC handbook. MGA may modify its procedures by majority vote of MGA members without Board of Governors approval provided that its procedures are consistent with IEEE and IEEE Computer Society policies and procedures. However, the vice president for MGA is responsible for seeing that a copy of the current MGA Handbook is posted online.