The IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference is a merger of the International Power Modulator Symposium and the High Voltage Workshop. Both meetings have had a long history. The Power Modulator Symposium's first meeting was in 1950, when it was known as the Hydrogen Thyratron Symposium and organized by the US Army. Its 25th meeting was held in 2002. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory organized the first High Voltage Workshop in 1965, when it was called the Workshop on Voltage Breakdown in Electronic Equipment at Low Air Pressures. The 19th High Voltage Workshop was held in 2002.
In 2002, the International Power Modulator Symposium and the High Voltage Workshop were conducted jointly for the first time, under the name International Power Modulator Conference. After a successful first endeavor, it was decided to hold the joint meeting in even numbered years, with the second International Power Modulator Conference in 2004. Starting in 2006, the International Power Modulator Conference has been under the full sponsorship of the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS), along with supporting technical co-sponsorship from the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) and the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS). Shortly after the 2008 International Power Modulator Conference, the conference was officially renamed as the IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference, in order to recognize the legacy and tradition of both predecessor meetings.