Sections are the smallest geographic sub-units of the IEEE, and members are automatically assigned to the section where they live. Under certain circumstances they can transfer to another section where they work or attend school.

The Northern VA Section has about 4500 members in Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Frederick, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties, as well as the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester. Just west of the nation’s capital, the area boasts many excellent schools, cultural attractions, and ethnic diversity. Many industries are based or have offices here, especially finance, government, health, and telecommunications.

Sections can join together to form areas. For example, many Northern VA members work in or around the Washington (DC) Section, which includes the District of Columbia and nearby parts of Maryland and West Virginia. Also, many members of their section work in ours, so together we are the National Capital Area – forming joint technical chapters, publishing the Scanner, and hosting the Awards Banquet.

Sections can be part of multiple areas. Many members commute between the National Capital Area and Baltimore, MD, which together form the South Area of IEEE Region 2. Region 2 also has North, West, and East areas containing 18 other sections in Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

IEEE Region 2, along with Region 1 and Regions 3-6, cover the United States and constitute IEEE-USA. Regions 7-10 span the rest of the world to complete the IEEE’s global membership. For visual learners a Venn diagram is shown below, with areas shaded for clarity.

Sections have their own local leaders, and the IEEE encourages members within local geographic regions to form smaller groups based on common interests. To see the other types of groups Northern VA Section members work in and with, visit the other options in this Groups pull-down menu.