Lina Bertling Tjernberg, Secretary and Christopher Root, Treasurer
About the roles
The Secretary’s primary task in support of the President is preparing and following up agenda items from Governing Board meetings. The Secretary leads two committees; the Constitution & Bylaws Committee chaired by Nirmal Nair and the History Committee chaired by Bob Dent. The Treasurer’s primary responsibilities are the oversight of the finances of the PES and the preparing and monitoring of the annual budget. The Treasurer chairs the PES Finance Committee (FINCOM), which includes the President, the President-elect, the Vice Presidents of Meetings and Publications and the Executive Director.
The initial meeting of the 2014 Governing Board (GB) was held in January in New Orleans. Prior to the GB meeting, the annual Joint Technical Committees meetings had been held at the same venue. PES board meetings are typically located in conjunction with other meetings to provide interactions with other committees and volunteer activities.
The following paragraphs provide examples of strategic areas to be focused upon during the year, as well as an overview of the PES finances.
The President-elect Damir Novosel, who chairs the Long Range Planning Committee (LRP), leads the strategic long-term plan of PES. The LRP has two physical meetings annually which are held prior to the GB meetings. A key theme of the PES Strategic Plan is to further increase our global presence and the value to our global membership. One of the outcomes from the LRP and GB meeting in January was to highlight Education as a strategic area to be focused upon. As a result, LRP created the Education Strategic sub-committee, headed by Vice President of Education, Pete Sauer.
Publications are a key function of PES. Among the strategic areas within publications today are ongoing developments for closer collaboration and exchange with Chinese publications, development of the IEEE Xplore database in order to handle new publications, and publication in multiple languages. Recent news on publications involved the impact factors for the two newest PES transactions. The IEEE Top Journals on Electrical and Electronic Engineering listed the Transactions on Smart Grid as number 13, and the Transactions on Sustainable Energy as number 15. Moreover the IEEE Transaction on Smart Grid, led by Editor-in-Chief Mohammad Shahidehpour, received the 5 year impact factor of 5.776, which is the highest ever for PES.
Smart Grid continues to be an area with special strategic importance of IEEE and PES. During this year there has been a focus on development of an IEEE Smart Grid Program, which is led by PES together with several other IEEE Societies. Some of the activities within the program involve social media, and substantial activities on the web portals, newsletters, and conferences such as Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT). The IEEE Smart Grid Program is today successfully directed by Massoud Amin.
The Scholarship Plus Initiative has successfully been developed in North America providing scholarship, internship and mentorship for the future electric power engineering work force. One of the strategic areas is to extend this program into Regions 8-10 which include Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South and Latin America. This is a long-term project requiring different scholarship and sponsorship models adopted for local needs.
Community Solutions Initiative (CSI) is a strategic work initiative within IEEE, which PES strongly supports. CSI is committed to the open-source design and eventual delivery of energy solutions to the world’s poorest and most energy-deprived populations. There have been several successful projects within CSI e.g. in Haiti and in Africa providing electricity in areas of need. During 2014 a feasibility study was conducted to decide on the future possibilities for extending the CSI Program. PES Vice President of New Initiatives and Outreach, Robin Podmore, is leading this effort for PES and has been awarded a $500,000 USD expansion grant from PES. This seed funding, together with funds from other IEEE entities, is intended to help scale up the program and raise outside funds of approximately 10 million USD.
PES as an organization serving its members is actually a fairly large business to run. The appointed and elected officers of the Governing Board oversee the business. The total net worth of the Society’s Balance Sheet is over $18 Million. The annual income is slightly over $16 Million in 2014. The income comes primarily from publications and periodicals, and from the many conferences which PES sponsors. These sources set the funding level of the many services PES provides for its members.
The PES budget and finances are done on an annual basis within guidelines developed by IEEE. PES is unusual as compared to other IEEE Societies, in that our largest conference, the IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Conference and Exposition is held every other year. This conference draws over 14,000 people and has over 240,000 square feet of the latest power related technologies and vendors. This makes our finances look very different every other year.
In years when the T&D Conference is held, the budget has allowed for funding for the various programs important to members. Contributions to the Scholarship Plus Initiative, the Community Solutions Initiative (CSI), improvements to the web infrastructure of PES and this year the ability to develop a response to the US President Obama’s call for the government to perform a review of the energy infrastructure in US. This year we were also able to increase our funding for “Women in Power” efforts to increase the number of women entering and staying in our field and our support for students attending PES events from Regions 8-10.
The financial health of the Society is very good. The Treasurer and a subcommittee of the Governing Board (FINCOM) meet monthly throughout the year, monitoring the income and the expenses to ensure the Society is prudentially being financially managed. The IEEE monitors the various societies and identifies ones that may be at risk financially. PES is not one of the Societies. Our growth in membership and the increasing interest in our publications and conferences around the world continue to be positive. This allows PES to expand the services, which support our members.