Connecting and Inspiring Leaders in Optical Communications – Executive Forum 2015

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.

Joseph Berthold, Vice President, Network Architecture, Office of the CTO, Ciena

Joseph Berthold is Vice President, Network Architecture, in the Office of the CTO at Ciena, where he has worked since 1997. There he contributes to the understanding of future network architecture directions, the definition of CIENA's networking products, and is responsible for coordination of CIENA's work in industry standards. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. He is a member of the Board of Directors of ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions). He has been a long-term contributor to the Optical Fiber Communications Conference and currently supports its long range planning activity. He held a number of leadership positions in the Optical Internetworking Forum from 1998-2006, including 5 years as member of the Board of Directors and President. Prior to Ciena he held various research and development positions at Bell Labs and Bellcore from 1977-1997. He received a PhD in Physics from Brown University in 1976, and did postdoctoral research at Cornell University from 1975-1977.

Mitchell Fields, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Strategy, Avago Technologies

Dr. Mitchell Fields is the Senior Director of Product Marketing and Strategy for Avago Technologies' Fiber Optics Products Division.  He and his team have responsibility for promoting Avago’s fiber optic portfolio and driving collaboration activities with industry partners, for establishing Division's technology and product roadmap, and for interfacing to standards and MSA organizations.  With over 14 years of experience in the fiber-optic industry, Dr. Fields has presented multiple invited and contributed talks and participated in multiple workshops and panels at conferences around the world addressing poignant topics on fiber optics communications.  Prior to joining Avago in 2005, Dr. Fields held research and architecture positions at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Sycamore Networks.  He has a B.S. in Mathematics from SUNY Binghamton and a Ph. D. in Physics from Yale.

Cedric Lam, Tech Lead/Manager, Google

Dr. Cedric F. Lam is currently Tech Lead / Manager at Google.  He manages the Platforms Group of Google Fiber to develop scalable and cost-effective next generation FTTH technologies to fulfill Google’s mission of deploying 1 Gb/s access to broadband customer. Before joining Google, Dr. Lam was Chief System Architect at Opvista which made ultra-high density WDM transport systems.  Prior to Opvista, Dr. Lam was Senior Technical Staff Member at AT&T Labs, Broadband Access Research Department. Dr. Lam has a PhD from UCLA and B. Eng. (First Class Honors) from University of Hong Kong, both in Electrical Engineering.  His current interests include broadband access network architectures, technologies, and datacenter networking.

Alan Lowe, President, Communications and Commercial Optical Products (CCOP) Business Segment, JDSU

Alan Lowe is responsible for the Communications and Commercial Optical Products business at JDSU.  Prior to joining JDSU in September 2007 as Senior Vice President of the Commercial Lasers business, Mr. Lowe was Senior Vice President, Customer Solutions Group at Asyst Technologies, Inc. a leader in automating semiconductor and flat panel display fabs.
From 2000 to 2003, he was president and chief executive officer of Read-Rite Corporation, a manufacturer of thin-film recording heads for disk and tape drives.  From 1989 to 2000, Mr. Lowe served in roles of increasing responsibility at Read-Rite, including President and Chief Operating Officer, and senior vice president, customer business units. Prior to joining Read-Rite, he served in various sales positions with Microcom Corporation and IBM Corporation.
Mr. Lowe is a member of the advisory board of ETM Inc., a privately held provider of tailored power subsystems.  He holds bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also completed the Stanford Executive Program in 1994.

Osa C.S. Mok, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of InnoLight Technology Corp.

Mr. Mok is an international marketing executive in the Telecommunications Industry with over thirty years of experience in both Fortune 500 and start-up companies. He joined Hambrecht and Quist (now JP Morgan Chase) in the early 1980’s as a Communications Technology Analyst.  From 1985 to 1992, he was Director of International Marketing for GTE (now Verizon). He won outstanding sales achievement awards and received several President’s quality awards for distinguished management achievements.  From 1993 to 1999, he worked as an International Business Development Executive assisting several Fortune 500 companies to develop communications business in Asia and South America.  Mr. Mok co-founded Pine Photonics, an optical transceiver startup, in April 2000.  He grew the company significantly despite a severe industry downturn and sold the company to Opnext in 2003. In 2008, Mr. Mok co-founded InnoLight Technology Corporation.  In just 6 years, InnoLight has successfully become a leader in 40G data center business for optical transceivers and has sales presence in all major continents of the world.  Mr. Mok received a MBA degree from University of Santa Clara, and a M.S. from Texas A&M University.

Randy Nicklas, Executive Vice President – Engineering & Chief Technology Officer, Windstream Communications

Randy Nicklas is executive vice president of engineering and chief technology officer for Windstream. Nicklas is responsible for network planning and engineering, outside plant, records and capital management. Prior to joining Windstream in May 2013, Nicklas was senior vice president of engineering and chief technology officer for XO Communications. He had previously held engineering and technical management positions at Intelsat, Cisco, and MCI. He has also worked in the areas of software development and systems engineering on a variety of aerospace programs for NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Computer Sciences Corporation.

Nicklas holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics and a master’s degree in physics, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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.

Glenn Wellbrock, Director of Optical Transport Planning, Verizon

Glenn Wellbrock is the director of optical transport network architecture, design and planning at Verizon, where he is responsible for the development and deployment of new technologies for both the metro and long haul transport infrastructure.

Prior to this position, Wellbrock ran the advanced technology lab, established evaluation criteria and set engineering guidelines for all backbone transport equipment as well as various positions within network operations.  

In addition to his more than 20 years at Verizon (1984-2001 and 2004-present), Wellbrock was responsible for product architecture within the U.S. optical networks group at Marconi and product planning at Qplus Networks with a specific focus on developing alternative modulation techniques.


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OSA Executive Forum provides attendees with an exclusive opportunity to hear insider perspectives in an uncensored environment, while participating in high-level networking.

Join Executives from these Innovative Companies:
  • Avago Technologies
  • Broadcom
  • Ciena
  • Facebook
  • Finisar
  • Google
  • InnoLight Technology Corp.
  • JDSU
  • Microsoft
  • Rockley Group
  • Windstream Communications