IEEE SIGHTSteering Committee

The SIGHT Steering Committee (SSC) is composed of volunteers that work to further the SIGHT mission by guiding the formation of new SIGHT groups, supporting the activities of existing groups, providing educational content to strengthen volunteers’ professional skills and equip them with the knowledge necessary to facilitate sustainable development initiatives at a grassroots level, evaluating requests for project funding, and communicating SIGHT activities within SIGHT and across IEEE.

 

2022 IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee and Staff Support

Lwanga Herbert | Chair, IEEE SIGHT

Lwanga Herbert currently serves as Chair of the 2021 IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee. As such, he is a member of the Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) established by the IEEE Board of Directors.

Mr. Herbert is an innovation and technology enthusiast and practitioner inspired by technological solutions to diverse problems and challenges. He is the Co-founder of M/S LOG`EL GROUP LTD, an IT company based in Uganda and the co-founder of Log`el Science Foundation, a civil society organization which conducts research and development in science and technology. Lwanga Herbert was a beneficiary of the presidential innovation fund in Uganda from 2000-2005, which allowed him to develop a variety of innovations to address corresponding community challenges. These innovations were patented with the support of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology. He has made several contributions within the IEEE community, which includes co-founding the IEEE Uganda Section and implementing humanitarian projects and programs in Uganda with IEEE support.

Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan | Past Chair, IEEE SIGHT

Mr. Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan is a renowned technologist known for his innovations in addressing global humanitarian and sustainable development challenges. He currently serves as Chair of the 2021 IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC). Prior to serving as the 2021 HAC Chair, Sampath was the 2019-2020 IEEE SIGHT Chair, leading the program to record-breaking growth through high-impact, technology-driven sustainable programs benefiting members in 115+ countries.
In 2020, Sampath was an expert in the Broadband Commission working group on school connectivity co-chaired by UNESCO, UNICEF and ITU to drive “GIGA,” a Global School Connectivity Initiative. He is the founder and president of “The Brahmam,” a humanitarian program delivering next-generation social innovations to achieve sustainable development goals and benefit marginalized communities. He currently works as a senior technology and program management leader with Alexa Artificial Intelligence Group at Amazon. Sampath was recently accredited with the 2020 IEEE Theodore W. Hissey Outstanding Young Professional Award.

Anis Ben Arfi | Member, IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee

Dr. Anis Ben Arfi received his PhD from the University of Calgary and currently works at Analog Devices in Ottawa where he focuses on 5G Wireless Systems and digital processing algorithms. Anis has been involved in IEEE humanitarian technology since 2014. He found his passion volunteering with the IEEE Southern Alberta Section, and served as the 2015 IEEE Southern Alberta SIGHT chair. From 2018, Ben Arfi has been leading the IEEE Canada Humanitarian Initiatives and has been instrumental in organizing events, encouraging projects as well as giving lectures. He also volunteers with IEEE Ottawa Section, IEEE HKN, IEEE MTT-S, and IEEE Rising Stars Conference. Anis has participated in several national and international events and conferences and has won prestigious awards.

Constance Anne Kelly | Member, IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee

Coming soon.

Mohamed Essaadi | Member, IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee

Prof. Mohamed Essaaidi is an IEEE Senior Member, Chief of Party of Interactive Digital Center Morocco and a Professor and past Dean of ENSIAS College of IT Engineering of Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco, Past Director of International Cooperation at the Ministry of General Affairs & Governance, Morocco (2019).

He was the IEEE IoT Global Cities Alliance, MEA Chairman (2020-2021), IEEE HAC Assessment Committee Member (2021-2022), IEEE EAB Teaching Excellence Editorial Hub, Member (2021-2022), and a member of Committee of Global Accreditation activities (2017-2018). He was also the founder and past Chairman of the IEEE Morocco Section (2005-2016). Moreover, in the framework of his position as the director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of General Affairs and Governance, he was extensively involved in the coordination of the World Bank Morocco Country Partnership Framework (2019-2024) and OECD Morocco Country Program (2019-2021).

Timothy Gitau | Member, IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee

Tim Gitau has over ten years of experience is volunteering within IEEE. As an Electrical engineering student, he was involved in mentoring high school students and IEEE Robotics challenges as part of the University of Missouri IEEE Robotics team. After relocating to Nairobi, Kenya, he served as the Kenya IEEE Section’s treasurer and the Africa Council treasurer. Tim currently serves as the Technical Activities Vice-Chair in the IEEE Africa Council. Tim has international work experience and professional background as an electrical and computer engineer in the energy and manufacturing industries. Tim is now located in Boston, Massachusetts, while working on his master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Vydeki Vijayakumar | Member, IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee

Dr. Vydeki Vijayakumar has a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering, a post-graduate degree in Communication Systems Engineering, and 18 years of teaching experience at engineering universities in Tamilnadu, India. She has published 30+ papers through IEEE Conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Vijayakumar has volunteered for 15+ years with IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) and is a past Chair of the IEEE Madras Section WIE affinity group. Recently, Dr. Vijayakumar has served on the SIGHT Projects Subcommittee, the IEEE HAC MGA Partnerships Committee, and the HAC Projects Committee.

Dr. Vijayakumar is an associate professor in the School of Electronics Engineering at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Chennai, India, where she serves as the IEEE Student Branch (STB) Counselor. In 2020, she received the “Outstanding IEEE STB Counselor and Branch Chapter Advisor Award.” She is keen to fulfill the IEEE mission by motivating students to develop technical solutions to everyday issues.

Julianna Pichardo | IEEE SIGHT Program Specialist

Julianna Pichardo joined the Humanitarian & Sustainable Development Activities team at IEEE in 2018 after returning to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic.  While in the DR, she worked with Esperanza International, a microfinance nonprofit dedicated to poverty alleviation. At Esperanza, Julianna held positions in communications and operations analysis, working closely with diverse stakeholders, from board members to program staff to donors to micro-entrepreneurs, to increase long-term impact for 10,000+ clients. A fluent Spanish speaker, she has studied in Valparaiso, Chile and serves on the Board of Generation to Generation Network, a Guatemalan NGO focused on building capacity among local non-profit leaders.

As the IEEE SIGHT Program Specialist, Julianna supports the IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee in its mission to empower a global network of IEEE volunteers partnering with underserved communities & local organizations to leverage technology for sustainable development.

Betsy Toland | IEEE SIGHT Administrative Support

Ms. Betsy Toland is the Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) program Administrator. She joined the team in March 2016 and is responsible for performing and managing operational duties in support of SIGHT team. She is also responsible for management of IEEE SIGHT promotional material, processing of expense reports, tracking of expenses as well as other ad hoc projects.

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