Speaker Profiles

Executive Forum 2015 has ended. Please enjoy a retrospective look at the event. Information about Executive Forum 2016 will be posted in August. Presentations from this year's forum are available here.
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.

Hamid Arabzadeh, Founder/Funder of Ranovus, former
CEO at CoreOptics (sold to CISCO in 2010), and angel investor (through Purple Angel and Spoke Technologies)

Hamid Arabzadeh  is an Information Technology and Telecommunication start-up executive with investment, operational and board level experience building market-leading  businesses.  He was the Chairman, President and CEO of CoreOptics acquired by CISCO in 2010), a leading provider of 10/40/100Gbps DSPs and optical subsystems for high-speed networking applications in  IT and Telecom.   Previously, he held various management positions at Nortel Networks in Mexico, Brazil, England and Canada.  He was VP & GM of Metro Optical with business responsibilities for SDH, DWDM (Cambrian Acquisition) and Multiservice OM6500 (Viking platform).   Hamid holds a B.A.Sc. from University of Waterloo in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an MBA from McGill University in Strategic Management. In 2014 RANOVUS Inc., as a provider of multi-terabit interconnect solutions for datacenter and communications networks, completed a $24 million round of financing lead by T-Venture, the Venture Capital Company of Deutsche Telekom and Azure Capital, an investment team that as investment bankers lead many of the major IPOs and M&A in the optical and internet infrastructure sector over the past 20 years.

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.

Doug Busch, Vice President, General Manager, Molex

Doug Busch has served as Vice President, General Manager of Molex’s Optical Solutions Group since 2009. He leads the team that is responsible for the overall strategy, technology development, business development and operations for Molex’s Optical business globally.

In his 21st year with the company, Doug has served in a variety of positions of progressive responsibility including Sales, Product Marketing, Product Development, Sales Management, Global Account Management and General Management. In these roles, he has served in 3 of Molex’s 4 major Divisions and has worked extensively with Molex’s customers and employees around the world.

He serves in a variety of other roles in the company, including the Director & Manager Transformation Programs and as a member of the advisory board for Molex’s Young Professionals Group. In each of his roles, his passion is to rally great people to fulfill the Molex vision and build effective, driven teams that deliver growth and innovation.
Married to Crystal and father of Claire and Jack, he invests his time outside of work coaching his kids in sports and life and serving in his church. He earned his undergraduate degree from Cornerstone University and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

Jeff Cox, Sr. Director of Network Architecture, Microsoft

Jeffrey L. Cox leads the Architecture, Testing and Standards (ATS) team in Azure GNS whose focus is on developing future end-to-end network infrastructure architectures supporting all of Microsoft’s online and cloud services.

For almost 30 years, Jeff has been involved in architecting, designing, and operating some of the largest scale network infrastructures ever built.  Jeff has also led the development of hardware systems in the packet switching/optical transmission space, built datacenters, developed protocols, and has taught numerous networking courses.

Brandon Collings, Chief Technology Officer, Communications and Consumer Optical Products, JDSU

Brandon Collings is responsible for defining and driving the product and technology roadmaps and strategies for optical communications solutions at JDSU.  Prior to JDSU, he held optical network design and development positions at Ciena and Internet Photonics, and was a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs performing research on advanced optical communication network designs and non-linear performance impairments.  He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University in Electrical Engineering.

John D’Ambrosia, Chief Ethernet Evangelist, Dell

John D’Ambrosia is the Chief Ethernet Evangelist in the CTO Office of Dell. For the past 15 years he has been an industry advocate for pushing Ethernet to ever increasing rates.  Currently, he is chairing the IEEE P802.3bs 400GbE Task Force.  Previously, D’Ambrosia chaired the IEEE 802.3ba Task Force that developed 40GbE and 100GbE that is being widely deployed today. D’Ambrosia’s work is not limited to higher speeds, however, as he is a member of the IEEE 802 Executive Committee.  Outside of standards development, he is the Chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, an organization dedicated to the promotion of all IEEE 802 Ethernet Technologies.  In this role as well as an industry blogger, D’Ambrosia evangelizes all Ethernet technologies.  For his role in developing Ethernet standards, D’Ambrosia was awarded the IEEE-SA 2013 Standards Medallion, as well as inducted as part of the 2013 class into the Light Reading Hall of Fame.

Julie Sheridan Eng, Senior Vice President of Transceiver Engineering, Finisar

Julie Sheridan Eng is Senior Vice President of Transceiver Engineering for Finisar. She has held various senior management positions within Finisar's engineering organization since joining in 2003. From 1995 to 2003, Dr. Eng was part of AT&T/Lucent/Agere, primarily leading Agere's transmitter, receiver, and transceiver design for telecom and datacom markets. Dr. Eng holds a B.A. degree summa cum laude in Physics from Bryn Mawr College and a BSEE degree with Honors from the California Institute of Technology. She earned an MSEE and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She has published over a dozen papers and holds 7 patents.

James Feger, VP Network Strategy and Development, CenturyLink

Vice President of Network Strategy and Development James Feger currently oversees CenturyLink’s overall network strategy and evolution. His responsibilities include standards, architecture, labs, product development and all other aspects of the CenturyLink network. Through his leadership, theNetwork Strategy and Development organization evolves the CenturyLink network to facilitate the continued growth and enablement of the company’s vast product offerings.

Feger had a leading role in the creation of CenturyTel’s LightCore network and the integration of both the CenturyTel and Embarq and CenturyLink and Qwest networks.

With more than 19 years of industry experience, Feger has held several technical and leadership roles throughout his career. Prior to joining CenturyLink, Feger worked for AT&T.

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.

Juan Pedro Fernández-Palacios Giménez, Project Manager, Telefonica

Juan Pedro Fernández-Palacios Giménez received the MS in Telecommunications Engineering from Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2000. In Sept. of 2000 he joined Telefonica I+D where he is currently leading the Core Network Evolution unit within Telefonica Global Chief Technical Office (GCTO).  His responsibilities within Telefonica GCTO include the coordination of the innovation activities on transport networks, the definition of Technical Guidelines for IP and DWDM transport networks in Telefonica Group and the specification of technical requirements in Telefonica global transport procurement processes.  Currently, he is coordinating the European FP7 project IDEALIST (http://www.ict-idealist.eu/) focused on the development of elastic optical networks

Cedric Lam, Engineering Director, Google Fiber Platforms, Google

Cedric F. Lam is currently Director of Engineering 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.

Rao Lingampalli, Optical Network Architect, Equinix, Inc.

Rao Lingampalli is the Optical Network Architect at Equinix. His current role is network architecture and solutions development for inside and outside fiber plant including DWDM transport and switching systems and optical layer SDN for Equinix global data center networks. He has nearly 25 years of experience in optical and data network technologies, systems, networks, and services. His past experience includes R&D, systems engineering, technical sales and marketing, and product/program management at telecom service providers (MCI/WorldCom now part of Verizon) and optical system vendors (Ciena, Fujitsu, and Calient Networks). He has about sixteen conference and trade journal publications to his credit in several optical technologies and networks. He holds Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology with fiber optical communications specialization.

Yiran Ma, Engineer, China Telecom

Yiran Ma, Ph.D, graduated from The University of Melbourne then joined China Telecom Co. Ltd. Beijing Research Institute.  Now he is responsible for standardization, planning, technology innovation of transport and access network in China Telecom. His main interest includes 100G and beyond 100G, transport SDN and NG-PON2.

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.

Rajiv Ramaswami, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Broadcom

Rajiv Ramaswami serves as Broadcom's Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Infrastructure & Networking Group (ING). In this role, he is responsible for all Ethernet controller, switching and physical layer products, optical solutions, storage products, security and embedded processors. ING's products and technologies are targeted at enterprise, service provider and data center markets. Products offered by this group include Ethernet controllers for notebooks, desktops and servers, physical layer devices for copper, optical and microwave links, switches and embedded processors for Layer 2 to Layer 7 switches, routers and security appliances — equipment that delivers and manages the flow of voice, video and data services within and across networks.

Mr. Ramaswami joined Broadcom in 2010 after serving as Vice President and General Manager of the Cloud Services and Switching Technology Group at Cisco Systems, Inc., where he also served as Vice President and General Manager for a variety of business units in Optical, Switching and Storage Networking.

Prior to joining Cisco, he served in various technical and leadership positions at Xros, Tellabs and IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center.

Mr. Ramaswami holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a B. Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras. He holds 34 U.S. patents primarily in optical networking and has coauthored a textbook, "Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective." He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology.

Andrew Rickman, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Rockley Photonics, Inc.

Dr. Andrew Rickman OBE is the founder, CEO and Chairman of Rockley Photonics based in the UK and Pasadena, CA.  Rockley Photonics is a rapidly expanding company, formed with an experienced team of colleagues to develop novel optical communication systems and build on the success of previous technology ventures.

Andrew was previously the founder, CEO and Chairman of Bookham Inc. (now called Oclaro Inc. [NASDAQ: OCLR] one of the world’s largest fiber optics telecom component producer headquartered in San Jose, CA, USA. Andrew founded Bookham in 1988 and grew the company from a start-up to a FTSE100 company as CEO and latterly chaired the business through the consolidation of the telecoms industry.

More recently he was Chairman of Kotura Inc., a leader in the field of silicon photonics for fiber optic communications, high performance computing and sensing applications and was instrumental in its development and ultimately successful sale to Mellanox® Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX; TASE: MLNX), a leading supplier of end-to-end interconnect solutions for servers and storage systems, for $82 million on 15 August 2013.

Andrew has a mechanical engineering degree from Imperial College, London; a PhD in silicon photonics from Surrey University, an MBA from Cranfield University and honorary doctorates from Surrey, Edinburgh Napier and Kingston Universities. He is a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Physics.
He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Millennium Honors list for services to the telecommunications industry and is a winner of the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Silver medal for his outstanding contribution to British Engineering.

In 2000, Andrew was named UK’s Technology and Communications Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young. In 2011, Andrew was awarded an Honorary Professorship at SIMIT, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Andrew has held advisory board positions with the East Asia Institute of the University of Cambridge and Applied Science and Technology Research Institute of Hong Kong. He was a Trustee of The Oxford Trust. He was previously a council member of the UK Government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Nikos Theodospoulos, NT Advisors, LLC

Nikos Theodosopoulos has 30 years of experience in the communications and finance industries and currently runs his own advisory and consulting practice, NT Advisors LLC. Previously, Nikos was a Managing Director at UBS Investment Research for 17 years where he served as Senior Research Analyst in the communications and networking industries, Global Technology Strategist and U.S. Technology Sector Head. His coverage included all the major optical networking component and communications systems firms.   Nikos was voted to the All-American Team by Institutional Investor Magazine in 15 different years.  He began his career at Bell Laboratories and AT&T where he held roles in engineering, project management and sales. He holds an MBA from New York University, an MS from Stanford University and a BS from Columbia University. Nikos is a member of the NY Angels, on the Columbia Engineering Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, on the board of Arista Networks and is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adva Optical Networking.

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.

Xuezhe Zheng, Photonics Director, Oracle

Xuezhe Zheng received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in optical instruments from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 1993 and 1997, respectively. He is currently a Photonics Director with the Netra System and Networking Group of Oracle after 3 years of research work in Oracle Labs as a Sr. Consulting Member of Technical Staff. Previously, he was with Sun Microsystems as a Senior Staff Engineer, working on advanced optical interconnects. Prior to that he was a manager of optical engineering at Calient Networks Incorporated, San Jose, CA, developing 3D MEMs based photonic switching products and applications in wavelength division multiplexing  (WDM) networks. He has extensive experiences in photonic switching and optical cross-connect, fiber-optic components, dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical networks, and optical interconnections. His current research interests are in WDM Si photonics for advanced inter/intra-chip interconnects.

Dr. Zheng is a recipient of the Science and Technology Development Award from the National Education Committee of China. He has author/coauthored more than 150 papers in technical journals and conferences and he holds 45 U.S. patents.


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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
  • CenturyLink
  • China Telecom
  • Ciena
  • Dell
  • Equinix
  • Facebook
  • Finisar
  • Google
  • InnoLight Technology Corp.
  • JDSU
  • Microsoft
  • Molex
  • NT Advisors, LLC
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Ranovus
  • Rockley Photonics, Inc.
  • Telefonica
  • Windstream Communications