IEEE Smart Village Executive Committee

IEEE Smart Village stimulates social enterprise by providing renewable electrical systems, start-up training and ongoing support to help poor, energy-deprived communities globally build toward sustainable prosperity.

Ray Larsen Ray Larsen is one of the co-founders of IEEE Smart Village, which combines the talents of over 400,000 IEEE members with partners in education, business and technologies to help entrepreneurs in off-grid regions create self-sustaining, community-owned and -operated micro-utilities. As a co-chair of the organization’s executive committee, Ray is one of the primary people responsible for overseeing how IEEE Smart Village funds are spent. One of Ray’s specific areas of focus in IEEE Smart Village’s work is nurturing partnerships with local organizations to more efficiently and widely deliver equipment to the remote communities that IEEE Smart Village serves. Recipient of the 2015 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award and IEEE Life Fellow, Ray is the special projects engineering manager at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University in Menlo Park, California.
Dr. Robin Podmore Dr. Robin Podmore is a co-founder and co-chair of IEEE Smart Village (previously known as “Community Solutions Initiative”), as well as vice president for IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) new initiatives and outreach. He is also the founder and president of Incremental Systems Corp. (IncSys), a private company that helps organizations train system operators to ensure reliability of the bulk power system. No one is more passionate than Robin about using his expertise to help energy-impoverished communities build toward sustainable prosperity. In the markets that IEEE Smart Village serves, he is deeply involved in helping to find local manufacturers for IEEE Smart Village’s open-source products and in encouraging industry to participate in open, consensus development of the technology-interoperability standards that are so crucially needed.
Dr. Henry Louie Dr. Henry Louie is on the Governing Board of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), where he has served as Vice President of Membership & Image and as Member-at-Large. Henry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seattle University, where he researches electrification in the context of less economically-developed countries. Henry is co-founder of KiloWatts for Humanity, a non-profit organization seeking to bring electricity to the energy impoverished. He is the recipient of a 2015/2016 Fulbright Scholarship to the Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia.
Patrick Lee Patrick Lee is a member of the steering committee for IEEE Smart Village’s $10 million fundraising campaign. As vice president of major project controls for Sempra Energy, Patrick supports the Sempra Energy family of companies, providing oversight and governance for large construction projects, including standardizing processes, controls and reporting. Previously, Lee was senior vice president of customer services, innovation and business strategy for SoCalGas, was responsible for all SoCalGas customer services and programs, as well as strategic planning and development of new businesses and technologies. Prior to that, Lee oversaw public affairs, environmental, land services, engineering, procurement and construction of the $1.9 billion, 500-kilovolt Sunrise Powerlink transmission line – the largest capital infrastructure project in San Diego Gas and Electric’s history. Lee is a member of the California Council on Science and Technology and serves as a trustee on the California State Parks Foundation board, and a registered professional electrical engineer in California.
Derek Welbourn Derek Welbourn is a major contributor to IEEE Smart Village’s unique business model, in which local people in off-grid communities build local electricity companies that utilize local resources to deliver local solutions at no additional cost to local buyers. First deployed in post-quake Haiti, this model has now been introduced to several African countries and has proven sustainable once established with one-time philanthropic seed funding and IEEE volunteer development support. Derek has helped present on IEEE Smart Village at both the 2013 and 2014 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, as well as other events. He is chief executive officer of inhaus Surfaces Limited in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dr. Dan Wessner Dr. Dan Wessner works extensively among international nonprofits committed to just and sustainable development. He works with IEEE Smart Village on its goal of Learning Beyond the Light Bulb through educational opportunities that link North American campuses and engineers to communities that now enjoy electricity and connectivity through partnership with IEEE. Dan serves on the board of the Posner Center for International Development, a consortium of 60 nonprofit and for-profit tenant organizations based in Denver, Colorado. He is a professor of politics at Regis University in Denver, and holds degrees in international development, theology, law and history.