Saturday 19 November 2011

IEEE CIS Regional Ambassador Program (New Initiative)

Regional Ambassador Program, an initiative approved by ADCOM in June, 2011
I.       Overview       
The main goal of the IEEE CIS Regional Ambassador Program (RAP) initiative is to increase and strengthen local and regional cooperation among members by providing them access to a wide array of regional experts in an easy and expedited way. The RAP initiative also includes the goals of serving CIS chapters, fostering cooperation between chapters, helping to create new chapters, and stimulating member recruitment.
The RAP will be run first as a pilot project in IEEE Region 9, Latin-America, for a year under new initiative funding. Following the first year, the impact of the RAP will be evaluated in order to decide whether it should continue as a permanent program of the IEEE CIS.
II.    Mission
The RAP initiative aims to foster cooperation between and among CIS Chapters within the same IEEE region, in order to organize visits of regional ambassadors (RAs). The program also supports CIS members residing in IEEE sections where although there are no CIS chapters, there is the potential to create new chapter(s).
A RA visit should be actively pursued as an opportunity for membership recruitment and CIS promotion, and chapter formation when applicable. The RAs will include a short presentation about the IEEE CIS during their talks. This program, however, is not intended to provide speakers for conferences, workshops, or symposia. 
III.    Policies and Procedures
A. There are two ways to request a regional ambassador:
1) Two CIS chapters belonging to the same IEEE region, but different IEEE sections, agree to cooperate. The lead chapter organizes an event and initiates the RA invitation, and the other provides the ambassador. Student chapters can participate as one of the two chapters requesting an ambassador.
2) A group of at least six IEEE CIS members (graduate student members, members, senior members or fellows) from an IEEE Section where there is no CIS chapter requests a RA from a CIS chapter, belonging to the same IEEE region. The group of members must select/agree on a chapter formation champion who should contact the chair of the IEEE CIS chapters subcommittee and begin the process of collecting signatures on the chapter formation petition before or at the time of the RAP application. In the following proposed procedures, a Group of Members refers to a group of CIS members satisfying the requirements of point 2).
3) All requests should be sent to the chair of the RAP subcommittee (see section VI). Requests should include:
    --RAP application form
    --Email from participating chapter chairs or group of members supporting the application
    --In case of a request coming from a group of members, it must include documentation about a chapter petition form in progress with a minimum of six signatures of IEEE CIS members belonging to their IEEE section. A confirmation note from the chair of the CIS chapters subcommittee must be included, indicating that the chapter formation process has been initiated and that at least six signatures of IEEE CIS members in good standing are supporting chapter formation.
    --Regional ambassador´s resumé. The nomination package may include addresses of the ambassador web site.
    --Signed RA duties form where the candidate expresses his/her willingness to serve as an RA and complete the respective duties.
    --Title and abstract of the lecture.
    --Date and location.
    --Estimated costs.
B. To organize a regional ambassador activity the CIS Chapter Chairs, or alternatively a Group of Members, should perform the following steps:
1.    Based on the interests of the members, choose an ambassador and a topic. The ambassador must be a CIS member residing in the same IEEE region as the chapter chairs. The chapter chair or a group of members should contact the RA directly, and work out preliminary details of the visit (tour event, date, location, financial arrangements, etc.).
2.    This preliminary information should be included in the RAP Application Form, to be sent to the chair of the RAP subcommittee. In general, the RAP covers the RA’s inter-city travel expenses. Chapters or group of members should cover the local expenses such as accommodation, meals, and transportation.
3.  The chapter chair, or group of members, should make timely arrangements well in advance of the planned visit. Requests are evaluated continuously and on a first-come first-served basis, and members are encouraged to make their requests for approval of the RA visit early in the year.
4.  RAs will include a short presentation about the IEEE CIS in their talks. The MA committee will develop a standard high-quality 15-minute slide presentation for RAs to use. If the RA activity has been initiated by a group of members, the RA visit has the important additional goal of stimulating the collection of the additional signatures needed to complete the chapter petition form.
5. The RA will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1,000, in order to (partially) cover the air-fare to the location where the RAP talk is to be given, as well as other related travel expenses of the RA. A RA may have at most two RAP trips during a calendar year, depending on the availability of funds, but the second trip has lower priority.
6. After the visit is approved by the RAP subcommittee (see item VI), the chapter chair or group of members should contact the RA to finalize arrangements. A copy of the approval email should be send to the VP of Finances, indicating the amount awarded, date, location, and name of the RA, as well as the participating CIS chapters. The lecture should be open to all members of the IEEE, and non-members as well. The chapter chairs are expected to publicize the event in the chapter newsletter and/or by special mailings to all members of the chapter, as well as in their IEEE Section. The event must be announced as "Sponsored by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society under its Regional Ambassador Program". If other IEEE societies or organizations have offered to support this Chapter activity, then proper acknowledgment should also be given.
7. Immediately following the event, the chapter chair, or group of members, should send a summary report to the chair of the RAP subcommittee including information on the lecture date/title, attendee statistics, a copy of the announcement, photos, etc.
8. The RA should retain receipts of the approved travel. Following the event, the RA should complete the IEEE travel reimbursement form (available at and send it electronically to the VP of Finances with a copy to the VP of Members Activities. After approval from the VP of Finances, the spreadsheet and scanned original receipts should be sent by email to the IEEE CIS Executive Administrator.
9. Chapters may participate in more than one RAP activity, but the RAP subcommittee will rank the requests, and give preference to chapters not previously having an RA assigned, in order to maximize the coverage of the program. Depending on the availability of funds, a chapter may have a second RA assigned to it.
IV.         Regional Ambassadors Eligibility
The Regional Ambassadors are recognized experts in their respective fields. The RAs should be IEEE Senior Members or Fellows with IEEE CIS membership. There will be no list of appointed ambassadors. Ambassadors should be proposed by a CIS chapter chair organizing a lecture, and should count on the support of the chair of the CIS chapter in which the proposed ambassador is a member. Alternatively, ambassadors can be proposed by the chair of the CIS chapter in which the ambassador is a member, and requested by a group of members of an IEEE section where there is no CIS chapter. Ambassadors will be approved upon request on a case-by-case basis by the RAP subcommittee.
V.         Regional Ambassador Program Subcommittee
A subcommittee of the Members Activities Committee will be in charge of running the RAP during its first year of execution. The subcommittee will be composed of the Chapters Subcommittee Chair, Distinguished Lecturer Program Subcommittee Chair, Senior Members Subcommittee Chair, Industry Liaison Subcommittee Chair and the Vice-president of Members Activities (who will act as the subcommittee chair during the first year of the RAP initiative).
The role of the RAP subcommittee is threefold:
    --Approve regional ambassadors upon request using the RA selection criteria listed below
    --Suggest potential regional ambassadors to chapter chairs
    --Publicize the Regional Ambassador Program
1. RA Selection Criteria*
*Quantitative measures in italics are recommendations in the competency of the RAP subcommittee
a.       Leadership & public lecture accomplishments in CIS related fields:
Criterion: number of keynote/plenary/tutorial/invited talks at regional or international events during the 5 years preceding the nomination.
b.      Elected members of the CIS, such as Adcom/Excom members, EiCs, chairs of CIS committees/subcommittees, Chapter chairs are highly respected researchers and active volunteers, and they can be directly requested as RAP speakers.
Criterion: service to CIS in at least one of the above positions during the last 5 years.
c.       Other RAP speakers can be suggested, if they are leading experts of their field, either in academia, or in industry and government, and have also demonstrated active involvement in CIS
Criterion: ISI journal papers and/or patents and/or awards, and leading positions in the last 5 years.
d.      Serving as an ambassador of the society:
The RA should be committed to the duty of representing the society at various public events, and to participating in chapter formation when applicable, membership recruitment and development as part of the RAP presentation.
Criterion: active member in IEEE CIS, with a signed and submitted RA duties form.
VI.  Regional Ambassador Program Evaluation
Joint chapter activities funded by RAP must be reported for all chapters participating in the activity through VTools. RAP activities must be properly reported on the chapters’ and CIS websites, E-Letter, and the EMaC tool.
At the end of the first year, the RAP will be evaluated using the following parameters:
    --Number of RAP activities per year
    --Number of RAP activities reported by chapters in VTools
    --Progress report on chapter formation as a result of the RAP program within the region
    --Opinions of CIS Chapter Chairs in IEEE Region 9
    --Survey applied to attendants of RA lectures
    --Total number of attendees at RA lectures
    --Number of visits to the RAP website
Finally, a report about the RAP experience will be written for CIM.
VIII. RAP Time Table
·      June 3, 2011, Motion to be voted on by MA Committee
·      June 5, 2011, the RAP initiative  to be voted on by ADCOM
·      October 2011, setting up of RAP subcommittee and website
·      October-December 2011, Publicity of the RAP initiative in IEEE Region 9
·      January 1- December 31, 2012, Execution of RAP initiative

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