Howard Xia ,
Ph.D.

Director, Vodafone Group Technology Strategy; Non-Executive Director, II-VI Inc.

Howard Xia

Polytechnic Alumni Association - International Board of Directors (Term ending August 31, 2021)

Since he received his post-graduate degrees from New York University Tandon School of Engineering (then known as Polytechnic University), Howard has been playing the roles of an engineer, a Corporate planner and a Corporate Executive for a few largest global Telecom operators over the last 25 years. Howard joined the then most promising mobile industry through Pacific Telesis, and subsequently its spin-off AirTouch, even four months before he officially received his Ph.D. from Poly in January 1991. As an engineer with RF expertise, Howard had chances to participate in a few key events in the industry which included the analog to digital transition in the US, 2G deployment in Europe and Asia, and 2G and 3G standard setting. Some of his works over this period have been published in a few highly influential papers which include the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society's 1993 Neal Shepherd Award for best paper. After the Vodafone and AirTouch merger in 1999, Howard became a Director of the Vodafone Group Technology Strategy engaged in 3G strategy and planning and the integration of the technology functions.

Howard was assigned to set up Vodafone’s presence in China in 2001 and had since managed its China operation and its strategic investment/divestment in China Mobile and the strategic partnership with China Mobile until 2014. He is fortunate to have a chance to witness and participate in the explosive growth of China’s mobile users to more than one billion, and even more exciting the rapid smart-phone penetration recently. As part of the China job, Howard, together with the Vodafone appointed Non-Executive Director, attended the China Mobile Limited (CML) Board meetings as a non-voting member until the divestment happened in 2010. Howard had also sat on the Board of ASPire, a mobile Internet Joint Venture between China Mobile/Vodafone/Merrill Lynch/HP, from 2005 to 2014. In April 2011, Howard joined the II-VI Incorporated Board as a Non-Executive Director and most recently chairs its Subsidiaries Committee. II-VI Inc., a NASDA listed company, is a vertically-integrated manufacturing company that creates and markets products for diversified markets including industrial manufacturing.

Polytechnic University '86

Master of Science, Physics

Polytechnic University '88

Master of Science, Electrical Engineering

Polytechnic University '91

Doctor of Philosophy, Electrophysics