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New ARRL Chief Executive Officer Elected by Board of Directors

08/27/2018

The ARRL Board of Directors has elected Howard E. Michel, WB2ITX, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to be ARRL’s new Chief Executive Officer, starting on October 15. Michel (his name rhymes with "nickel") is currently Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, and Senior Vice President of UBTECH Robotics, a $5 billion Shenzhen, China, artificial intelligence and robotics company. As the Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, Michel helped build this company from a startup in China to $100 million in valuation.

“I have Amateur Radio to thank for starting me on a very successful career, and I’m excited about the opportunity to further ARRL’s goals as CEO. Leading the League will allow me to ‘give back’ to a great community and provide similar opportunity for future generations,” Michel said. “I have been a licensed ham for 50 years, and I’ve seen many changes in the hobby. One of my top priorities as CEO will be to develop new products and services so all licensed hams, whatever their license class or interest, find value in League membership,” he added.

Michel was first licensed as WN2ITX when he was about 16 years old and upgraded to General and Advanced within a year. He earned his Amateur Extra-class license in 2000. He notes that he has always had a strong interest in building and repairing radio equipment. “I’ve operated CW/AM/FM/SSB/digital on 80/40/20/15/10/2 on equipment that I have either built, repaired, or modified.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said, “We are excited to have someone of Howard’s qualifications to lead this organization. Howard’s management experience, along with his experience at leading a membership-driven association, makes him an ideal person to move this organization forward.”

In 2015, Michel was the volunteer president and CEO of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a volunteer-led IRS 501(c)(3) association advancing technology.

“In any large membership-led organization such as ARRL, its members and volunteers are its greatest asset, and a good staff-volunteer relationship is crucial to its success,” Michel said. “I intend to build on this relationship and multiply and amplify the efforts of both staff and volunteers in furthering ARRL’s goals to advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio.”

Michel is a retired US Air Force officer, having served as a pilot, satellite launch director, engineer, and engineering manager, including a tour in the People’s Republic of China where he served as a senior US government technical representative enforcing technology-transfer control plans and procedures during two satellite launch operations.

He notes that during his time in the military, wherever he could set up an antenna, he took the opportunity to operate.

Michel earned his bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in electronic and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He holds a PhD in computer science and engineering from Wright State University.

His noteworthy academic background further includes current service as a visiting professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Previously, he was on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and of the University of Dayton.

Michel says that some of his favorite activities include attending hamfests to find old stuff to repair or repurpose, contest operating, and DXing, especially on 80/40 meters. He adds that he is a Life Member of the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association.

Michel will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who had been serving as ARRL’s CEO since January of 2018 following the resignation of Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. Shelley had been ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer since January of 1992.



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