Tuesday, November 6, 2018

WB2ITX Takes Helm as ARRL CEO; Looks to Broaden League's Appeal

Howard Michel, WB2ITX, began work as the ARRL's new Chief Executive Officer in mid-October, the third new CEO since the retirement of Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, in 2016. Michel, who previously worked in the robotics and artificial intelligence industries, also served as volunteer president and CEO of IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 

According to the ARRL Letter, Michel believes the League needs to embrace new technologies in amateur radio, such as FT8, but "in a way that those who don't adopt the new technology won't feel abandoned." He also called for the ARRL to seek partnerships with other like-minded organizations and to find new ways of reaching out to younger hams.

ARRL Executive Committee: Too Much Silence from the FCC

ARRL staff members didn't have much news from the FCC to present to the League's Executive Committee at its October meeting. At that time, reports the ARRL Letter, there had still been no clarification from the Commission staff on an Enforcement Bureau memo that appeared to tell hams they could not use certain imported transceivers - even on the amateur bands - unless those radios operated exclusively on amateur frequencies. 

Plus, there had been no FCC action on either the League's "symbol rate" petition, filed in 2016, or its Technician Enhancement proposal from earlier this year, which hasn't yet been put on public notice for comment. 

The League is also waiting for the FCC to sign off on a new Memorandum of Understanding on the Amateur Auxiliary as part of its plan to replace the Official Observer program with new Volunteer Monitors.

The committee also reviewed two proposed rewrites of the ARRL's controversial "code of conduct" for directors and vice directors, voting to kick the ball downfield and submit both drafts to the full board of directors at its January meeting.

U.S. Ham is First Woman Elected to ITU Leadership Role

Doreen Bodgan-Martin, KD2JTX, Director of the ITU
Telecommunication Development Bureau (ITU Photo)
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, KD2JTX, has been elected to head the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU's) Telecommunication Development Bureau. According to the ITU, Ms. Bogdan-Martin is the first woman elected to a top leadership position in the UN agency's 153-year history (The ITU predates the United Nations - ed.). 

Bogdan-Martin has been involved with ITU at various levels for more than 20 years, according to the ARRL, which notes that she also launched an international program to bring more women into technology and directed the first ITU global youth summit. She was elected at the ITU's 20th Plenitotentiary Conference in Dubai on November 1. 

The delegates also re-elected Houlin Zhao of China as Secretary-General and the U.K.'s Malcolm Johnson as Deputy Secretary-General.