Biography of Monisha Ghosh

This September, IEEE will host the 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum. This virtual conference will explore advancements and challenges related to 5G technology. As 5G wireless networks play an increasingly important role in society, the 5G World Forum will bring together experts from industry, academia, and research to speak on 5G innovation and share their visions for cultivating and harnessing the benefits of this wireless technology. 

This article provides a biography of Dr. Monisha Ghosh, the chief technology officer (CTO) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and a keynote speaker at the 5G World Forum. It reviews Dr. Ghosh’s extensive background in electrical engineering and delves into her career accomplishments, including her patents and research publications.

Background in electrical engineering

Dr. Ghosh has dedicated her career to advancing the field of electrical engineering, making important contributions to the field through her research interest in communication systems.


Dr. Ghosh graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) in 1986 with a bachelor of technology degree in electronics and electrical engineering. After graduating from IIT Kharagpur, Dr. Ghosh began her PhD program at the University of Southern California. Her doctoral thesis addressed an optimal approach to blind equalization and developed a new method for equalizing data transmission channels, helping to create a more reliable way to transmit data. Upon graduating with her doctorate, Dr. Ghosh transitioned to a career in research. 

Work history

Her research career started at Philips Research, where she was part of the team that established the first digital broadcast high-definition television system. From there, she began work as a technical staff member at Bell Laboratories, where she specialized in orthogonal frequency-division multiple access for cellular systems. 

In 2015, Dr. Ghosh joined the University of Chicago as a research professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, an associate member of the computer science department, and an affiliate at Argonne National Laboratory. Here, she researched and helped improve sensor networks for agriculture.


While advancing her research career, Dr. Ghosh has acquired many patents. In 1994, she filed her first patent for a rejection filter for an advanced television receiver that filters interference and keeps noise levels low. 

Following this initial patent, Dr. Ghosh proceeded to file upwards of fifty more. Notably, she has filed a patent for a multiband operation for wireless local-area network systems, as well as a method for the authentication and authorization of cognitive radio devices. Most recently, she has filed a patent for a method of adapting clear channel assessment thresholds. 

Notable accomplishments

Even beyond these patents, Dr. Ghosh has accomplished a great deal in her career. Her research in signal processing and wireless communications has pushed cutting-edge advancements in academia and industry. Notably, for example, she contributed to IEEE 802.22, which is the first worldwide wireless standard based on cognitive radios.

In recognition of her contributions to cognitive radio and signal processing for communication systems, IEEE named Dr. Ghosh a Fellow of the IEEE in 2015. The honor of becoming an IEEE fellow is reserved for a small fraction of IEEE members with extraordinary accomplishments in one of IEEE’s fields of interest, making this a highly respected distinction. 

Research publications

In addition to earning distinctions for her research work, Dr. Ghosh has produced many journal articles. She has published work in a wide array of journals dedicated to electronics and electrical engineering, including IEEE publications such as IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking and the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing.

Fitting with her research, Dr. Ghosh’s publications delve into communication networks and signal processing. Most recently, she helped produce an article on the coexistence of small-cell unlicensed long-term evolution (LTE-U) and Wi-Fi networks. Her publications have not only provided valuable insight into wireless communication but also propelled her career forward.

Current work and position

Her research, coupled with her written accomplishments, has secured Dr. Ghosh a position at the FCC under FCC chairman Ajit Pai. 

Current position

In 2019, Dr. Ghosh became the first female CTO of the FCC. In this role, she advises chairman Pai and works with the Office of Engineering and Technology. Her research on cellular wireless networks, Wi-Fi systems, and spectrum coexistence made her an ideal candidate for the role.


Dr. Ghosh’s expertise in wireless networks helps fuel the 5G advancements that the FCC is currently striving for. Under chairman Pai, the FCC is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to facilitate America’s superiority in 5G technology, or the 5G FAST Plan. With this plan, the FCC aims to increase 5G spectrum availability and fortify infrastructure policy, making revolutionary 5G technology available to all Americans.

Importantly, this 5G initiative will help bridge the digital divide and connect Americans with each other and the world. This will spur advancements in critical fields such as telehealth, cutting costs for patients and health-care providers. 

The 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum

Ultimately, as the world shifts toward 5G technology, Dr. Ghosh’s experience proves invaluable. Her impressive career has advanced wireless technology and communication, and her accomplishments have resulted in her prominent role as the CTO of the FCC. 

This year, Dr. Ghosh will share her essential knowledge in the expanding 5G field at the 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum. Register now to join Dr. Ghosh and learn more about the expanding 5G field and its importance at this event.

Interested in becoming an IEEE member? Joining this community of over 420,000 technology and engineering professionals will give you access to the resources and opportunities you need to keep on top of changes in technology, as well as help you get involved in standards development, network with other professionals in your local area or within a specific technical interest, mentor the next generation of engineers and technologists, and so much more.

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