Executive Forum 2014 has ended. Please enjoy a retrospective look at the event. Information about Executive Forum 2015, 23 March in Los Angeles, CA, will be posted in August 2014.

Connecting and Inspiring Leaders in Optical Communications – Executive Forum 2014

Speaker Profiles

Najam Ahmad

 Najam Ahmad, Director Network Engineering, Facebook

A director of engineering at Facebook, Najam Ahmad oversees all aspects of the development and operation of a global network infrastructure that serves more than a billion people around the world.

Prior to joining Facebook, Najam was the general manager of global networking services at Microsoft. In that role, he was responsible for the overall architecture, implementation, and operations of Microsoft's global online network. Najam's other experience includes management and engineering roles at MCI/UUNET and Netrix Corporation.

Najam holds an MS in telecommunication protocols and computer science from The George Washington University and a BE in Electrical Engineering from the NED University of Engineering and Technology.

Rob BathRob Bath, Vice President of Engineering, EMEA, Digital Realty
Rob Bath has worked in the data center sector since 2006. Since then he has been heavily involved in the strategic and evolutionary design, build and expansion planning of major UK and European sites for a number of data center owners and operators.  Bath joined Digital Realty in early 2011 as Director of Engineering. His principal focus is on engineering data center solutions for clients within the Digital European property portfolio. This remit spans property acquisition, design and construction, technology deployment and sales. Bath holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and is a Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council, UK.

Andreas BechtolsheimAndreas Bechtolsheim, Chairman, Arista Networks
Andreas Bechtolsheim (Andy) is Chairman and Chief Development Officer of Arista Networks, a company he co-founded in 2004. Previously he was a General Manager of the Gigabit Switching Business Unit at Cisco Systems, and before that he was a Co-founder and Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems.

Aref ChowdhuryAref Chowdhury, Chief Technology Officer, Optics, Alcatel-Lucent
Dr. Aref Chowdhury is the Chief Technology Officer Optics at Alcatel-Lucent. He received his Bachelor of Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1994 in electrical engineering and applied mathematics and statistics, and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001. From 1995 to 1997, he worked as a Senior Engineer for Alcatel CIT. After his Ph.D., he joined the Optical Physics Research Department of Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA as a Member of Technical Staff in 2001. He has pursued research in the areas of nonlinear optics, negative refractive index metamaterials, and optical fiber communication. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Senior Manager of Intellectual Property and Standards at Alcatel-Lucent.

In 2010 he was appointed as the CTO Advisor on Optical Technologies, and in 2011, he was appointed to his current position as CTO Optics of Alcatel-Lucent. Dr. Chowdhury’s responsibilities include identifying optical technologies that will enable future generations of optical communication systems, transferring research ideas from Bell Labs to the Business Line, and developing long term strategy. Dr. Chowdhury is widely published, has numerous patents, and, among his awards, is the recipient of the MIT TR100 Award. He currently serves as the Chair of the Photonics and Optoelectronics Division of the Optical Society of America and is a member of the National Photonics Initiative of the United States.

John ConsidineJohn Considine, Chief Technology Officer, Terremark

As Terremark'™s chief technology officer, John Considine is responsible for the alignment of technology vision with the organizational strategies and the integration of the processes with their appropriate technologies. Considine is also responsible for leading the research and development efforts that ensure the execution of the company's long-term vision. Formerly the cofounder of CloudSwitch, a leading enablement software company acquired by Verizon in August 2011, Considine has spent the last three years developing and delivering technologies that enable enterprises to seamlessly and securely integrate public cloud resources into their existing IT infrastructure without re-architecting the applications or changing their management tools and policies.

Considine has more than two decades of technology vision and proven experience in complex enterprise system development, integration and product delivery. Before founding CloudSwitch, he was Director of the Platform Products Group at Sun Microsystems, where he was responsible for the 69xx virtualized block storage system, 53xx NAS products, the 5800 Object Archive system, as well as the next generation NAS portfolio. Considine came to Sun through the acquisition of Pirus Networks, where he was part of the early engineering team responsible for the development and release of the Pirus NAS product, including advanced development of parallel NAS functions and the Segmented File System. He has started and boot-strapped a number of start-ups with breakthrough technology in high-performance distributed systems and image processing. Considine has been granted patents for RAID and distributed file system technology.

Considine began his career as an engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems, and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Patrick DiPietroPatrick DiPietro, Chief Executive Officer, Coriant 
Pat DiPietro is Chief Executive Officer at Coriant, an innovator in end-to-end packet optical networking founded on the distinguished heritage of industry-leading solutions from Nokia Siemens Networks Optical Networks, Sycamore Networks, and Tellabs. Over the course of a career in technology spanning over 30 years, DiPietro has launched several highly successful networking products and start-up ventures. DiPietro brings to his role extensive executive management and R&D experience in the telecommunications and technology industries, including senior leadership roles at Nortel and Bell Northern Research. As an Operating Partner and Group President Telecom at Marlin Equity Partners, DiPietro has managed investment opportunities in telecommunications and technology industries, bringing 30+ years of operating experience and venture capital expertise. Prior to his role at Marlin, DiPietro was Managing Partner at Canada’s VG Partners, overseeing the Technology Fund. As a venture capitalist, he managed large portfolios and teams and sat on numerous Boards, including Sandvine, SiGe, Continuous Computing and BelAir Networks.  Additionally, he founded The Ottawa Network, a not-for-profit startup accelerator, was Board member of Invest Ottawa and has been an angel investor in technology startups.  DiPietro’s credentials include a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Queen's University, and Masters in Telecommunications Management from Carleton University.

Chris DoerrChristopher Doerr, Director of Photonic Integration, Acacia Communications
Christopher R. Doerr joined Acacia Communications as Director of Integrated Photonics in 2011. He earned a B.S. in aeronautical engineering and a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since coming to Bell Labs in 1995, Doerr’s research has focused on integrated devices for optical communication.  He has created many photonic circuits in InP, silica, and silicon and has over 130 patents.  He received the OSA Engineering Excellence Award in 2002, and became an IEEE Fellow in 2006, an OSA Fellow in 2009, and a Bell Labs Fellow in 2011.  Doerr was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters from 2007-2009.  Doerr was awarded the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award in 2009. He is currently an Associate Editor for the IEEE Photonics Technology Letters.  He is currently a program chair for the Optical Fiber Communication Conference.

Pedro Florez Miñambres (Pedro Florez), Head of IP & Transport in Telefónica GCT, Telefónica S.A.
Pedro Florez joined Telefonica de España in 1988. Since 2011 he is the head of the team responsible for global design of IP &Transport solutions within the Global CTO Office in Telefónica S.A. In the last decade he has led the development of IP networks in Telefónica España  to cope with  the rapid growth of fixed and mobile broadband markets. In his current position extending  Mobile Backhaul, Metro Aggregation, core IP Network and Transmission (CDWM/DWDM and Micro Waves):  convergence, simplification, and automation are the key drivers of network evolution in his agenda. He sees convergence as a major challenge ahead for all the players in the value chain:  “It is time for the industry to deliver”.

Derek GarnierDerek Garnier, CEO, Layer42 Networks
Derek Garnier is the CEO of Layer42 Networks. He is a 25 year industry veteran, having worked in sales, business and engineering management roles for top datacenter, network and managed service providers including QTS Datacenters, AboveNet Communications, SiteSmith, Global Center, MFS Datanet, and Cabletron Systems.

Ron JohnsonRon Johnson, Director Product Line Management, High End Routing and Optical, Cisco Systems
Ron Johnson manages Cisco’s optical portfolio and the integration of IP and Optical.  He has held this position for 6 years and has worked with Cisco’s optical group for more than 14 years.  He holds multiple patents related to Cisco’s ROADM product offerings.  Johnson’s team is responsible for recent innovation and integration in DWDM, Packet and TDM technologies. Johnson has been in telecom for the last 18 years.  Starting out in Pacific Bell/SBC where he obtained a large carrier operational perspective that has found it’s way into Cisco’s IP+Optical portfolio.

Andrew LordAndrew Lord, Head of Optical Research, British Telecom
Andrew Lord joined BT in 1985 after a degree in Physics from Oxford University. He has worked on a wide range of optical network systems and technologies, including long haul subsea and terrestrial DWDM networks. He currently heads BT’s optical core and access research. He has had many years of European project coordination and currently helps lead the Idealist FP7 project. He publishes more than 10 papers per year, regularly speaks at conferences and is Technical Program Chair for OFC 2015. He is an associate Editor of Journal of Optical Communications and Networking (JOCN) and also Visiting Professor at Essex University.

Inder MongaInder Monga, Chief Technologist and Area Lead, Energy Sciences Network, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Indermohan (Inder) S. Monga serves as the Chief Technologist and Area Lead of network engineering, tools and research at Energy Sciences Network. Monga plays a key role in developing and deploying advanced networking services for collaborative and distributed “big-data” science. Monga’s research interests include network virtualization, software-defined networking, energy efficiency and distributed computing, he serves as co-chair of Network Services Interface working group as well as is appointed as ONF Research Associate.

Jerry RawlsJerry Rawls, Executive Chairman of the Board, Finisar Corporation
Jerry Rawls was elected Chairman of the Board in 2006. He has also served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors for Finisar Corporation from 1989 to 2008. From 1968 to 1989, he was employed by Raychem Corporation, a materials science and engineering company. At Raychem he held various management positions including Manager of Product Marketing, National Sales Manager, General Manager of the Aerospace Products Division, and General Manager of the Interconnection Systems Division. Rawls holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University and an M.S. in Industrial Administration from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma engineering honorary societies.

Chris RustChristopher J. Rust, Early Stage Venture Investor, Multiple Stealth Mode Startups
Chris Rust has been an active participant in the communications and networking industry since 1987. From 1987 to 1995 he worked as an EE on large-scale communications infrastructure build-outs at MITRE, USWEST Advanced Technologies, and broadband services pioneer Time Warner Roadrunner where he was a Co-Founder and lead architect. From 1996 to 1998 Rust ran product management at three startups; Sourcecom (acquired by ACT Networks), ComCore (acquired by National Semi), and Carrier Access (IPO CACS). From 1998 to 2002 he was an early stage VC at Sequoia Capital. From 2002 to 2004 Rust was CEO of the Sequoia portfolio company Mahi Networks. Mahi acquired ROADM pioneer Photuris, merged with Meriton, then was then acquired by Xtera. From 2005 to 2013 he was an early stage VC at USVP. Rust is currently working closely with two stealth mode startups.

Paul SilversteinPaul Silverstein, Managing Director, Cowen and Company, LLC
Paul Silverstein is a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Cowen and Company covering data networking and wireline equipment.  Prior to joining Cowen in January 2013, Silverstein was a senior analyst in Credit Suisse's equity research department, covering the communications infrastructure industry.  Prior to that, he was a senior analyst in equity research at Robertson Stephens and at Needham & Co.  Prior to becoming a securities analyst, Silverstein practiced corporate and securities law as an associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges and at Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn.  He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, a J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.  Institutional Investor, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine and Thomson Reuters StarMine have ranked Silverstein as one of the top U.S. networking and communication equipment analysts.

Yuri A. VlasovYurii A. Vlasov, Manager, IBM
Dr. Yurii Vlasov is a Manager at IBM Research. For the last 12 years at IBM, he led the development of silicon nanophotonics starting from its initial exploratory research stage up to manufacturing and product development. He served as a company-wide strategist focused on the long-term vision of nanophotonics aligned with the IBM product division roadmap. He also contributed to the development of IEEE standards on 100G Ethernet optical links.  Vlasov was elected a Fellow of both OSA and APS, as well as a Senior Member of the IEEE. He was awarded several IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, the “Best of IBM” Award and the IBM 2011 Corporate Award, as well as was named “Scientist of the Year” by the Scientific American journal.


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