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Recently, I met with IPC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Fern Abrams. In the course of our conversation, we delved into everything from what her role entails and recent regulatory matters, to some of the group’s successes and why companies need to get involved (it matters to your representatives in Congress or Parliament).
Patty Goldman: Fern, tell me about your position at IPC, and what you do.
Fern Abrams: Regarding my title, I am currently the director of regulatory affairs and government relations. Our vice president for government relations, John Hasselmann, wanted to emphasize the regulatory aspects of our work, hence, the reason for the title change.
Goldman: And what have you been doing lately?
Abrams: This week I’ve been here at SMTA, where we’re holding our IPC fall meetings. On Monday we recognized the 2-18h Conflict Mineral Due Diligence Committee, for which I am the staff liaison, for publishing a conflict minerals due diligence guide that was a long time in the making, and I think they’re pretty pleased. It’s a celebration well-earned. Then I gave a presentation to the EMS Executive Council. They had a meeting in conjunction with the fall meetings, and I delivered an update on some of the issues that I’ve been working on. The rest of the week I’ve been working as a staff liaison during committee meetings that are pertinent to the work I do. In addition to the due diligence committee, we have a number of standards committees, mostly in the areas of what we call data exchange standards, and they help companies define the information that they pass up and down through the supply chain. So many regulations, especially international, such as REACH and RoHS, and now conflict minerals, require companies to be responsible for not just what they make, but all through their supply chain. That data has to move up and down the supply chain, and that’s what those data exchange standards facilitate.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of The PCB Magazine.