Karen S. Pedersen, P.E. – 2017 President, IEEE-USA

Karen S. Pedersen Headshot

Karen Pedersen, P.E., F.N.S.P.E. has over 35 years in the Utility Industry; as a planner and rate research engineer in three large utilities in Iowa and Massachusetts. She led teams of engineers on electric system projects to build transmission and distribution substations costing millions of dollars.

Karen taught Power Systems Analysis online as Adjunct Professor for the University of Alaska in Anchorage. She is an Instructor for Wentworth Technology in Boston teaching online continuing education courses (Electric Motor Controls, Power System Analysis, and Transients).

Karen was President of the Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers in Boston. She is an National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Fellow and served 7 years on the NSPE Foundation Board.

She received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University. She received an M.B.A. from Bentley College in Massachusetts.  A member of HKN, she was inducted into the Nu Chapter of Iowa State University on 2 May 1976.

Karen is currently licensed as a Professional Engineer (Iowa-10074), Licensed Professional Engineer (Illinois-062-052517), and a Registered Professional Engineer (Massachusetts-32371).

IEEE Accomplishments & Activities: (S’76-AF’94-M’99-SM’03)

IEEE Boards & Committees:

  • IEEE-USA Board of Directors, Director Region 4 (2 terms), 2011-2012, 2013-2014
  • IEEE-USA Ad Hoc External Award Chair, 2011
  • IEEE-USA Awards Committee Member, 2007-2010
  • IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, 2015
  • IEEE Ad Hoc Code of Conduct and Policy Review Committee, 2014
  • IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, IEEE BOD Liaison, 2014
  • IEEE Board of Directors, Region 4 Director, 2013-2014
  • IEEE Ad Hoc Ethics and Compliance Management Committee, 2013
  • IEEE Awards Board, IEEE BOD Liaison, 2013
  • MGA “Practitioners” Ad Hoc, Member, 2015
  • MGA GUOS (Geographic Unit Operations Support) Committee, 2015
  • MGA Ad Hoc: Metro Area Workshop in a Box, Project Lead, 2014-2015

Chaired the IEEE Code of Conduct and Policy Review Committee in 2014. Produced a new Code of Conduct and set in place training to be used by all volunteer leadership. Policies related to ethics and Code of Conduct were updated and are consistent, and duplications have been removed.

Region 4

Director, Region 4, 2013-2014

As Region 4 Director, modified structure of Region 4 January Annual Meeting to add value for Section leadership in the Region. Three training sessions were offered to Section leadership on the use of, VTools, NetSuite, and best practices for Section leadership. This was in response to concerns of Section leadership. The attendees voted it a success by staying the whole 90 minutes and asking for SAMIEEE training.

As Region 4 Director, placed Young Professionals and mid-career volunteers in Region 4 chair positions while retaining more mature volunteers in appropriate positions. The goal was to maintain a continuity in experience while bringing in new young professionals.

Sections & Chapters: 

  • Women in Engineering, Member, 2015
  • Cedar Rapids Section S.L., Member, 2009-present
  • Iowa-Illinois Section, Chair, 2003
  • Central Iowa Section, Chair, 1983-1984


  • Power and Energy Chapter Chair, 2007-2009