OSA Elects Alan E. Willner as 2014 Vice President


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Elects Alan E. Willner as 2014 Vice President

Willner to serve as president during OSA 100th Anniversary in 2016

Alan WillnerORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 8, 2013—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to announce that its members have elected Alan E. Willner of the University of Southern California, USA, as its 2014 vice president. Three directors at large were also chosen during this year's election:  Anne Tropper of the University of Southampton, UK; Adam Wax of Duke University, USA; and Xi-Cheng Zhang of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, USA.

By accepting the vice presidency, Willner makes a four-year commitment to OSA's Board of Directors. He will serve one year as vice president followed by one year as president-elect in 2015. Willner will serve a one year term as president during OSA’s 100 year anniversary in 2016, followed by one year as past president in 2017.  

“Alan’s approach to service in the optics and photonics community is one of inclusiveness and cooperation with a capacity to find consensus on the most critical of issues,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “The year of his presidency will be a momentous one as we celebrate OSA’s centennial anniversary. OSA is honored that Alan is willing to invest his time in this role and appreciate the leadership he will bring to the community.”

Willner has been an active OSA member, including having served on the Board of Directors from 2002-2003 and co-chairing the Science & Engineering Council.  He has received many awards and honors, including the OSA Paul Forman Engineering Excellence Award and Robert Hopkins Leadership Award; IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award; IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award and Distinguished Lecturer Award; International Fellow of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering; Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House; Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship; Packard Foundation Fellowship; Fulbright Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship; SPIE President's Award; Honorary Doctorate from Yeshiva University; and more. Willner has also served as President of the IEEE Photonics Society, Co-Chair of the U.S. National Academies Study on Optics & Photonics and editor-in-chief of three international optics journals (e.g., OSA’s Optics Letters), and he has held many OSA chair positions.  Willner has more than 1,000 publications, including 24 U.S. patents, on his research in optical communications, signal processing and networks.

Willner received a B.A. in Physics from Yeshiva University in 1982 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University in 1988. After earning his doctorate, Willner was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs and a member of technical staff at Bellcore. He joined the University of Southern California in 1992 and is currently the Steven & Kathryn Sample Chaired Professor in Engineering there.

Along with Willner, the new directors at large, Tropper, Wax, and Zhang, will begin their terms on January 1, 2014. They will hold their positions for three years.

"OSA is pleased to welcome Anne, Adam, and Xi-Cheng to the Board," said Rogan. "These three talented members will bring a distinct range of educational, technical, and corporate business experiences and skills to OSA leadership."


About OSA

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light.  Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.