CUAA Special Election 2015 for Alumni Trustees

Mark A. Vasquez

Mark A Vasquez ME'88
Mechanical Engineering  1988
Edison, NJ

Current Position, Organization:
Sr. Manager, Community Engagement & Innovation, IEEE

Relevant Skills:

Association governance. Non-profit management. Strategic planning. Relationship development. Idea generation. Bridge building (in the people sense, NOT the civil engineering sense 🙂 )

Professional Qualifications:

Certified Association Executive (CAE) with 20+ years of experience in non-profit association management. In his long career with IEEE — the world’s largest association for technology professionals — supported numerous Board-level committees and activities, managed a major product line from a loss leader into a $25 million revenue generator, led several product development and strategic planning efforts, and established relationships with many key partners (entrepreneurs, media companies, educational institutions, government entities, etc.). Recent achievements include collaborating with National Geographic on a film on humanoid robots ( and contributing to IEEE’s presence at SXSW, mostly via social media and multimedia support ( Presented with the award for Outstanding Service to the School at graduation, due to serving on the Senior Council, establishing the school’s first association for Hispanic students, being a freshman counselor multiple times, and more. Continued to serve after graduation by being elected to the Alumni Council for two 3-year terms. Has also been a Class Rep and served on the CUAA Events Committee and Art Auction & Casino Night Committee.

Personal Statement:

The last several years have been incredibly difficult and emotional ones in Cooper’s history. I will admit to being heartbroken about what has transpired. And not just because of the introduction of tuition. Confirmation of decades of a clear lack of transparency and ongoing mismanagement. Fractured relationships between volunteers, staff, alumni and the broader Cooper community. Political grandstanding and personal agendas. These have all had an impact. My current focus at IEEE has been on establishing key strategic relationships with both internal and external partners. These have included working directly with scores of organizations and individuals in the spaces of technology and the arts, while also establishing and reestablishing key partnerships with others within IEEE (staff and volunteers). I mention this because I believe strongly in the “union” part of Cooper Union. It is through unity that we will be able to best formulate and implement our goals. In my role as Alumni Trustee, I will work to (re)build relationships so that we can remedy what ails us and continue to excel at what we do well, all while remaining dedicated to the intended goal of returning fully to Peter Cooper’s original vision – a vision that spoke directly to me as a 15-year-old freshman from the inner city. I am honored to be considered for this position and look forward to working with all parties to keep moving our beloved Cooper Union toward an even greater future.

Additional Information:

  • I believe returning to Peter Cooper’s vision should serve as the context for all discussions on matters that would impact or be impacted by that vision…and the level of progress on returning to that vision should not hijack our opportunities to continue evolving.
  • I care strongly about working together, openly sharing and debating ideas, actively listening, and, ultimately, respecting one another.
  • I’m no “politician.” I’m just a guy who cares deeply about his beloved alma mater and believes his experience and ability to listen and process things in the context of the big picture can be of help.