SECEDHA was the first regional organization of EE Department Heads in the country. It was originally called the the Southeastern Association of EE Department Heads (SAEEDH). The first stand-alone meeting was organized by Billie J. Ball (Mississippi State University) in 1967. The group was very supportive of forming a national EE department heads organization. This group held a meeting on May 15-16, 1969 at the Air Host Inn, Atlanta, Georgia, with 14 schools represented: Alabama, Auburn, Christian Brothers, Florida, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Tennessee A&I, Tennessee Tech, Tuskegee, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt. Topics discussed included: graduate student recruitment, student unrest, engineering program orientation, exchange of faculty between universities, curriculum and information to high schools. The elected officers of this regional group for 1969-71 were William A. Blackwell, Virginia Tech (Chairman) and Wayne H. Chen, Univ. of Florida (Vice-Chairman).
The first meeting of national EE department heads was in Philadelphia, PA, on June 20, 1963. Forty-seven campuses were represented. The organization was originally called AEEDH, standing for Association of Electrical Engineering Department Heads, and later EEDHA. Most AEEDH meetings were held at ASEE Annual Meetings and, starting in 1971, at the annual Frontiers in Education conference. In 1985 the organization held its first stand-alone meeting apart from ASEE or FIE, and in 1986 changed its name to NEEDHA, standing for National Electrical Engineering Department Heads Association. Since 1985 it has met annually. In 2001 the name was changed to ECEDHA, partly to recognize the importance of computer engineering, and partly to encourage participation from departments outside the United States.