COVID-19 Travel Updates

1) Update January 2021: IEEE Finance Committee Memo to IEEE Volunteers on Travel

2) Letter from 2020 IEEE President and CEO Toshio Fukuda and IEEE Executive Direcor Stephen Welby


** This message is being sent on behalf of Gerardo Barbosa, IEEE MGA Treasurer**

Dear Fellow IEEE Volunteers,

The following is an update to the prior communication on travel to IEEE volunteers from IEEE Treasurer, Mary Ellen Randall


This message is being sent to the IEEE MGA Board, Region Director-Elects, Region Treasurers,  MGA and MGA/IEEE Committee Chairs,  Geographic Council, Section and SubSection Chairs and Treasurers.

Kindly direct any questions to


Please stay safe and well.



To: IEEE Finance Committee Members with copy to IEEE Board of Directors

Please distribute this information to the treasurers in your operating unit and ask that they spread the message.

Due to the travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the IEEE travel policy remains unchanged from 2020 and is restricted to mission critical travel only.  This policy was last communicated/updated by Joe Lillie, 2020 IEEE Treasurer on 26 October 2020.  The intent of this process is to promote safe travel for IEEE Volunteers; therefore, this applies to ALL IEEE VOLUNTEER TRAVEL, including conferences.

As a reminder, the current IEEE travel guidance includes the following:

1. All IEEE Volunteer travel and associated meetings must adhere to all appropriate guidance from cognizant local public health authorities.

2. Given continuing global pandemic risk, only mission critical travel should be conducted at this time.

3.  All requests for reimbursable mission critical IEEE volunteer travel must be pre-approved at the IEEE Volunteer OU President/Vice-President level (TAB Vice President, MGA Vice President, PSPB Vice President, EAB Vice President. Awards Board Chair, Standards Board President and the IEEE-USA President).

OU Presidents/Vice-Presidents may delegate this authority to another volunteer, but should ensure that travel is reviewed to ensure that it is critical, necessary, effective and that other alternatives have been considered.

4. Volunteers engaged in mission critical IEEE travel at this time voluntarily elect to participate in the activity with knowledge of the dangers involved, and are agreeing to accept and assume any and all risks of property damage, personal injury, or death associated with IEEE related travel. Volunteers should understand that IEEE will not indemnify them for any health risk or economic or other loss resulting from exposure to COVID-19 during travel.

5. IEEE will not reimburse costs associated with mandatory or self-quarantine or isolation associated with IEEE volunteer travel. If there is a risk of quarantine on entering or departing an area, IEEE volunteers should instead plan to participate virtually using IEEE video and teleconferencing tools.  

6. IEEE continues to provide video-conferencing, tele-conferencing and online meeting facilities to provide alternatives to high-risk travel.

7. Domestic and International rules remain fluid and subject to change. Until further notice, volunteers should take steps to ensure that travel arrangements are flexible and subject to change, credit or refund if plans are disrupted, in accordance with previously issued IEEE guidance.

8. IEEE recommends that If you have any questions, please contact your OU staff business solutions manager or OU volunteer leadership. Further communication will be sent when normal travel plans can be resumed.

Please stay safe and thank you for your assistance and understanding in these difficult times.

Best Wishes,

Mary Ellen Randall

IEEE Treasurer
MOVE Community Outreach Program Director
(919) 388-1776



Letter From 2020 IEEE President and CEO Toshio Fukuda and IEEE Executive Director Stephen Welby

As you are aware, last week the World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus COVID-19 a pandemic. This global health crisis is a unique challenge that has impacted many members of the IEEE family. We would like to express our concern and support for all the members of the IEEE community, our staff, our families and all others affected by this outbreak.

Governments around the world are now issuing restrictions on travel, gatherings, and meetings in an effort to limit and slow the spread of the virus. The health and safety of the IEEE community is our first priority and IEEE is supporting these efforts.

We request that all members avoid conducting in-person IEEE activities in areas impacted by the coronavirus threat and instead maximize the use of our online and virtual alternatives. IEEE provides many tools to support our membership with virtual engagement, including our online collaboration space IEEE Collabratec.

Following the advice of local authorities, most upcoming IEEE conferences and meetings have already been postponed or replaced with virtual meetings.

IEEE publications continue to accept submissions and publish impactful cutting-edge research. Our online publications remain available to researchers and students around the world.

IEEE standards development also continues, using online collaboration to replace in-person working groups.

IEEE educational activities continue to offer online instruction and IEEE’s pre-university educational resources may be of assistance to families of students whose classroom activities have been disrupted.

All IEEE operations are continuing. At many of our global offices, IEEE staff will support IEEE’s mission while teleworking from their homes to minimize risk. As of this time, on the advice of local authorities, IEEE offices in China and India remain open.

We know that many of you are directly and indirectly engaged in the fight against this disease: supporting biomedical research and applications, supporting data analysis and modeling, maintaining critical communications and power infrastructure, and caring for each other. We are grateful for your work.

We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of our IEEE members for your understanding. These are difficult times, but we will get through them by working together. Thank you for your support of our shared mission to advance technology for humanity.

Please stay safe and well.

Toshio Fukuda, 2020 IEEE President and CEO

Stephen Welby, IEEE Executive Director