Back to Top

Service Providers


Al Blackburn

Vice President
Domain 2.0 Architecture and Planning

Al Blackburn, Vice President – Domain 2.0 Architecture and Planning, is responsible for leading the transformation of AT&T’s network to be the premiere secure, open/programmable, software driven network in the industry. 

His responsibilities include end to end architecture leadership, industry engagements and standards, and distributed real-time software development for Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) for AT&T’s User Defined Network Cloud (UDNC).

Al was previously Executive Director for AT&T’s network architecture organization with responsibility for wireless & wireline, access, metro, and core network evolution and associated roadmaps.

Al joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1983. His roles since then have spanned Hardware and Software development, systems engineering, field support, system test, software engineering, real-time systems, exploratory development, and network architecture.  In 1993 he moved to Atlanta and joined BellSouth where he focused on BellSouth’s data centric network evolution. 

Al holds an Executive Management certificate from Emory University, a Technical Management certificate from Georgia Institute of Technology, a Masters in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology.

Al and his wife Sarah live in Atlanta where they are now officially empty nesters. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. They have three grown children, “AJ”, Brittany, and Ben. They have two grandchildren, Jack and Shelby.

Tom Anschutz

Distinguished Member of Technical Staff


Tom Anschutz is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T.  In his role as a network architect he is instrumental in the development of AT&T’s SDN and NFV architecture, called Domain 2.0.  He is the editor and chief contributor to AT&T’s public white paper that describes the vision of what is becoming a large transformative initiative to improve public networking and cloud computing; and continues that work through collaborative R&D engagements with academia, industry forums and other carriers.  Tom has been working on various network and data center architectures for most of his career, but has also gained experience in product management and standards development, where he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Broadband Forum.

China Unicom

Dr. SHAO Guanglu

Vice President, China Unicom

Dr. Shao Guanglu is the Vice President and Member of Party Leadership Group of China Unicom.

He has served successively as Deputy General Manager of Tianjin Branch and Henan Branch, General Manager of Guangxi Branch, General Manager of Human Resources Department of China Unicom.

He received his Master’s degree of Engineering and Master’s degree of Economics from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1988 and 1990, received his Master’s degree of Management Science from BI Norwegian School of Management in 2002, and received his PhD of Administration from Nankai University in 2009.

Dr. Xiongyan Tang

Chief Technologist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute


Dr. Xiongyan Tang is now the Chief Technologist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute, vice chairman of China Communication Standardization Association (CCSA) TC10. He has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunication technologies. He received his Ph.D degree in telecom engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 1994. From 1994 to 1997,he conducted research of high-speed optical communications in Singapore and Germany. Since 1998, he has been working on technology management in telecom operators in China. His professional fields include broadband communications, optical and IP networks, new generation networks and Internet of things. In recent years, he’s in charge of SDN/NFV projects in China Unicom.


Dr. Robert Howald

Vice President of Network Architecture

Dr. Howald has over 30 years of technology and executive experience in commercial and military communications systems.  He is Vice President of Network Architecture at Comcast, focused on the evolution of cable systems and services, future network architectures, and emerging broadband technologies.  Prior to this, Dr. Howald held similar roles in the Cable industry with ARRIS and the former Motorola Mobility.  Dr. Howald was also Vice President of Engineering at Xytrans, specializing in millimeter wave products for cellular backhaul, homeland security, and people screening from 2004-2008.  He was also the Director of Systems Engineering at General Instrument and Motorola’s prior Broadband Communications Systems division beginning in the 1990s.

Dr. Howald has taught graduate courses in communications and wireless systems engineering, has published over 150 papers, and has multiple patents issued and pending. He has a BSEE and MSEE from Villanova University, a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering from Drexel University, and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from DeSales University.


NTT Communications Corp.

Tatsuya Yamashita

Senior Vice President of Technology Development

As Senior Vice President of Technology Development at NTT Communications, Tatsuya Yamashita is responsible for the cutting-edge technology development and the service strategies of NTT Communications Group, including the development of Cloud and SDN technologies.
For 11 years after joining NTT in 1988 at the dawn of the Internet, he was engaged in various roles designing, deploying and operating various IP network infrastructures.  After that, his IT career spanned the Public Sector, Financial and Retail Services industries, and he has been specifically applying the skills of designing ICT solutions for these large enterprise customers and helping them get the network services they need at the best value.

Dai Kashiwa

Director of Technology Development


Dr. Dai Kashiwa is the Director of Technology Development at NTT Communications, where he leads a number of incubation and software development projects using SDN/NFV technologies.

After he joined NTT, he was involved in research including network management systems, network security, Active Networks, and received his Ph.D. in 2003. Since 2004, he has worked for NTT Communications, where he developed business network services including video broadcasting, dynamic VPN and SDN services.

He has been a board member of ONF (Open Networking Foundation) since 2015.

SK Telecom Co., Ltd.

Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi

EVP and Head of Corporate R&D Center

Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi is serving as CTO, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate R&D Center. Dr. Choi joined SK Telecom in 2012 as Executive Vice President and Head of Technology Strategy Office. He is responsible for building the company’s technology roadmaps and strategies aimed at securing technology leadership in the rapidly-evolving mobile marketplace. In line with the company’s efforts to open a new 5G era, his focus is currently on developing next generation network and future ICT technologies including 5G, NFV/SDN, SDDC, Hadoop, Cloud & Big Data, Quantum Communication, Video Cloud, Media and IoT.

Choi has over 20 years of experience in the mobile telecommunications industry. Before joining SK Telecom, he held various key positions at LG Electronics including EVP & Head of Mobile Communications Business Unit, EVP & Head of Mobile Core Technology Lab and SVP & Head of Next-Generation Telecommunications Lab. Choi is credited with developing the world’s first LTE handset modem chip and launching LG’s first Android smartphone. He has also actively participated in global standardization activities through 3GPP/3GPP2, NGMN, OMA and ITU.

He received his Bachelor’s degree in Control and Instrumentation Engineering from Seoul National University; and Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering and Doctor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California.

Kang-Won Lee

Senior Vice President of R&D
Ph.D, SKT Fellow, ACM Distinguished Scientist


Dr. Kang-Won Lee is a Senior Vice President of R&D for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at SK Telecom. He is directing technology development in the areas of Network and IT Convergence. Specific areas of focus are Software-Defined Networks, Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), Intelligent Network Analytics, and Secure IoT Solutions.

Prior to joining SK Telecom, he worked at IBM Watson Research in Yorktown Heights, NY for 14 years. At IBM he worked on Network Analytics, Spatiotemporal Analytics, Network Function Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and Sensor Information Processing. His team developed major features for IBM TPC SAN Configuration Manager, Informix, SPSS, G2, and Tivoli Netcool products. He also led major government projects sponsored by NIST, US Army, UK MOD at multi-million dollar funding level. 

Kang-Won published more than 100 technical articles in premier ACM/IEEE conferences and journals. He serves the technical community as a technical society president, advisor, journal editor, conference chair, keynote speaker, and mentor. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MS and a BS in Computer Engineering from Seoul National University. He was a Master Inventor at IBM. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and IEEE Senior Member.


Srinivasa Kalapala

Biography coming soon.


Biography coming soon.


Ciena Corporation

Nirav J. Modi

Vice President and General Manager, Blue Planet

Nirav Modi has over 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is currently Vice President and General Manager of Ciena’s Blue Planet Division. In this role, he drives Ciena’s software strategy and their Blue Planet portfolio, including R&D, services, and business development. Nirav works closely with global network operators to enable network transformation, leveraging SDN, NFV and orchestration solutions.
Nirav joined Ciena through the Cyan acquisition where he was the Director of Software Innovations.  Prior to that he was with Tellabs where he worked as Principal Engineer and Architect, responsible for the architecture and delivery of a variety of networking products.
He is considered an industry evangelist and expert in network virtualization and orchestration. Nirav represents Ciena within the ETSI NFV ISG as well at OPNFV and is a company spokesperson at major industry events, as well as with the press and industry analysts.
Nirav has a B.S in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Zsolt Haraszti

CTO, Blue Planet Division


Zsolt Haraszti currently serves as the CTO for the Blue Planet Division of Ciena and is responsible for the overall technology direction for the Blue Planet product line. Zsolt brings over 20 years of telecommunication software experience to Ciena. Zsolt joined Ciena through the acquisition of Cyan, where he was the company CTO and led the development and introduction of many key software technologies and product families, including 3D multi-layer network visualization, cloud-scale and container based architectures, the Blue Planet platform, and Cyan’s NFV orchestration solution. His recent focus is on the modernization of the central office and head ends and making networks smarter.

Cisco Systems, Inc.

David Ward

Senior Vice President
Chief Architect
Chief Technology Officer - Development

As Development CTO and Chief Architect at Cisco Systems, David is responsible for defining strategy and leading research and development of new innovation via tight partnerships with customers and academia. He is known in the industry because of his knowledge and expertise in IP/MPLS routing, high availability, network design, and systems software. He is the Routing Area Director at the IETF and chair of four Working Groups: IS-IS, HIP, BFD and Softwires. Also, he is leading the work on defining a transport profile for MPLS at the ITU-T. He speaks frequently at the North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG), IETF, IEEE and RIPE conferences and collaborates with several university and private research groups, including Stanford, MIT, Cambridge and Tsinghua University.

David held the roles of software architect for IOS-XR; co-system architect of the CRS-1 multi-terabit router & ASR9000; and co-system architect of several next generation routers, line cards, route processors and service blades for multiple routing products in Cisco’s Service Provider portfolio.

David served as CTO of the Platform Systems Division in Juniper Networks, responsible for the switches, routers and data center products in the portfolio as well as the Operating System (Junos) and ASICs. David was also a Juniper Fellow and Chief Architect working on the operating system and next generation routing systems.

David has a small vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains and an heirloom tomato farm along the St. Croix River in Somerset, Wisconsin.

Kristen Wright

Director, Research & Open Innovation, Chief Technology & Architecture Office


Kristen leads the Cisco Research Center, where she is building a collaborative co-research & co-innovation ecosystem to explore new and promising technologies that will shape the future of the Internet. She is deeply passionate about applied multi-disciplinary research— “crossing the streams”— and about challenging the traditional risk/reward models of siloed innovation.

Kristen began her career as a hardware and software engineer for NASA, and now has over twenty years of experience in the industry, having held prior leadership positions in software development, product management, technical consulting, and human resources. She has worn many hats (and managed many budgets) across a spectrum of industries and functions, with a common thread of healthy disruption through systems thinking; rapid, iterative innovation; and doing more with less.

 Kristen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has young children, pets, and a plethora of mostly-right-brained hobbies.


Peter Engelmann

Vice President
Head of PDU BBA

Biography coming soon.

Kaniz Mahdi

VP/Head of Architecture


Kaniz Mahdi is VP/Head of Architecture at Ericsson, and a highly regarded telecomm visionary.  In this role, Kaniz is responsible for influencing Ericsson’s strategic architecture and technology direction in alignment with that of global Service Provider community, and passionately shaping future technology landscape with up and coming advances in Software Defined Systems.  In her previous role as Head of Ericsson North America’s Future Communications program, she played an instrumental role in adoption of Web RTC as key growth impetus for telecomm providers. Prior to joining Ericsson, she headed Communications Services Standards Research at Huawei Technologies, and held various roles in System Architecture and Product Design at Nortel Networks. Kaniz has a stellar record of continuously pushing the envelope on new technologies with more than 60 patents and publications; she is lead inventor of key technologies essential to current Voice over LTE systems. She holds a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Telecommunications.

Fujitsu Ltd.

Hisayuki Sekine

VP and Head of Network Solutions Business Unit

As VP and Head of Network Solutions Business Unit in Fujitsu, Hisayuki Sekine leads co-creation of business innovation and new business models with customers such as telecommunication carriers, services providers and enterprises globally based upon utilizing the network virtualization technologies called SDN/NFV. He held several business leadership positions at Fujitsu for telecommunications within designing and building of service systems and operation support systems in US and Japan.

Rod Naphan

SVP Solutions Planning & Portfolio Management


As CTO & SVP for Fujitsu Network Communications, Rod is responsible for Strategy, Solutions Planning, Product Planning and Portfolio Management.

Rod’s 20 year tenure with Fujitsu has included various leadership roles in planning and engineering with a background in software engineering, systems engineering, product marketing, and product line and program management for the communications industry. Prior to joining Fujitsu, Rod worked as a software engineer at Bell Northern Research in Ottawa, Canada.

Rod holds a bachelor of applied science degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a master of applied science degree in systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Zha Jun

Fixed Product Line

Jun Zha joined Huawei in 1997, most currently he serves as the President of Huawei Fixed Network Product Line, and directed the team responsible for managing E2E business strategy and operation of Network, including  Access network, Optical transmission network, Router  & Carrier Ethernet. Prior to that , Jun was the President of Huawei Router and Network Security Product Line between 2008 to 2009.

Jun held various positions in the Company over his 18 years of tenure in Huawei, including Director of Huawei IMS Product Line (2005-2008), Product Manager of UMTS & NGN MGW/TMG (2000-2005), Product Manager of UMTS & NGN MGW/TMG(1999-2000).

Jun holds a Master’s Degree of Electronics and Optoelectronics from Zhe Jiang University.

Ren Xudong

VP of Huawei Fixed Network, Industry& Ecosystem Development


Mr Ren is responsible for the industry and ecosystem development in Huawei fixed network BU.

After joining Huawei in 2000, Mr Ren was working in network management area until 2003. From 2005-2006, he was the Product leader of Huawei OSS product line. From 2006-2008, he was the head of OSS marketing of European region.  From 2009-2013, Mr Ren is the Vice president of Fixe OSS product line in charge of marketing& strategy.

From 20014 onwards, Mr Ren has taken the new role for the fixed network solution, and is in charge of the Fixed network BU global innovation project and the fixed network solution portfolio management.

Intel Corporation

Pranav Mehta


In his 26 years at Intel, Pranav Mehta has held several senior technical positions, mainly within Intel’s Embedded and Communications Infrastructure business units. Starting as a software engineer, he led several embedded chip architecture definitions earlier in his career before moving to system architecture definition and development. Until recently, he was the CTO for the Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group (since renamed to Network Platform Group) and guided the architecture and technology development at silicon, software, and system level. As Intel’s Chief NFV Architect, he was one of the founding members of the OPNFV open source project under Linux Foundation – the first ever open source initiative for the Telecommunications industry with global participation. Currently, he acts as the Sr. Advisor to the Director of Systems and Software Research Lab within Intel Labs, which drives Intel’s long term research.

Charlie Tai


Biography coming soon.

NEC Corporation

Shunichiro Tejima

Executive Vice President

Shunichiro Tejima joined NEC Corporation in April 1975, after graduating from the University of Tokyo (Department of Electronic Engineering). His career started as an engineer for the development of microwave communications equipment. After receiving his MSEE degree from the University of Pennsylvania (Science Electrical Engineering) in 1981, he devoted himself to the development of Satellite Communications Systems (VSAT). Tejima was then assigned to head the development and marketing of mobile terminals. He then became Executive General Manager of the Mobile Terminal Operations Unit and Associate Senior Vice President of the Network Platform Operation Unit. Since July 2011, he has led the Telecom Carrier Business Unit as Executive Vice President, supervising the provision of a wide range of end to end telecommunication products and solutions, including SDN for operators throughout the world.

Shinya Nakamura

Deputy General Manager
Chief Product Planner/Strategist


Shinya Nakamura received his B.E. and M.E degrees in Electrical Engineering and Electronics from the Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo Japan) in 1981 and 1983, respectively.

In 1983, he joined NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, where he had been engaged in optical transmission systems design such as PDH, SDH, OTN, WDM systems, and Network Management Systems architecture for the global market, and has been with Optical Network Technology Group for NEC Central Research Laboratories as Senior Research Manager. From 2007 to 2009, he served as the Assistant Vice President for Optical IP development division with NEC Corporation of America, Virginia USA.

He has published more than 40 technical papers and contributions to standardization organization, taken part of telecommunications conferences and symposiums as session chairman, technical committee member or invited speaker.

He currently serves as Deputy General Manager and Chief Product Planner/Strategist for Converged Network Division and SDN Business Promotion Office.

Mr. Nakamura is a member of the IEEE Communications Society and IEICE in Japan.


Sasa Nijemcevic

Vice President and General Manager, Network and Service Management Business Unit

Drawing on over 18 years of experience in the network management domain, Sasa Nijemcevic is currently the Vice President and General Manager, Network and Service Management Business Unit at Alcatel-Lucent.  

Previously, Sasa has led R&D teams for IP/MPLS network management, wireless network management, and fixed/wireless policy management.  He was instrumental in driving the success of Alcatel-Lucent’s unified network management platform across the IP, Optical, microwave and wireless product portfolios.

 Sasa has a Master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computer Science from the University of Zagreb.

Peter Busschbach

Senior Director IP Routing and Transport BU


Peter Busschbach is Senior Director in Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Routing and Transport BU, where he is responsible for Business Strategy with a focus on SDN and Network Management.

Before assuming this role, Peter held several senior positions in the corporate CTO office and in product units where he was responsible for strategy, standardization and solution development in a wide range of technologies, including IP/MPLS, LTE, Ethernet, Optical Networking, Policy Management and Network Management. His standardization work included active participation in IETF, MPLS Forum, ITU-T and TM Forum.

Mr Busschbach began his career in telecommunications as a software developer in AT&T. He holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics of the Eindhoven Technical University, the Netherlands.


Brian Bronson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Brian leads Radisys as president and CEO after having held numerous management positions within the company, including chief financial officer, vice president of business development, treasurer and chief accounting officer.

Before joining Radisys in 1999, Brian held multiple financial management roles at Tektronix, Inc. where he was responsible for investor relations and various finance and accounting functions both domestically and internationally. He has also practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with the accounting firm Deloitte and Touche LLP.  Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communications from Oregon State University.

Bryan Sadowski

Vice President, FlowEngine and DCEngine


Bryan serves as vice president of FlowEngine and DCEngine, bringing more than 20 years of telecom expertise to the role, including extensive experience working directly with communications service providers.

Prior to Radisys, Bryan was most recently vice president of Professional and Advanced Services for Sonus Networks, where he spent a decade in a variety of leadership positions, including sales, marketing and business and product development. He holds a Global Master of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Boston College.


Woojune Kim

Biography coming soon.

Hyong Chong


Biography coming soon.


Guru Parulkar

Executive Director

Guru Parulkar is a consulting professor of electrical engineering and the executive director of the Open Network Research Center (ONRC) at Stanford University. He is also the executive director and event chair of the Open Networking Summit. From 2007 to 2012, he was the execuitve director of the Clean Slate Internet Design Program at Stanford, whose mission was “to explore what kind of Internet we would design if we were to start with a clean slate and 20-30 years of hindsight.” Clean Slate led to OpenFlow and SDN among other interesting research results.

Prior to Clean Slate, Guru was program director at the National Science Foundation and led creation of a few exciting programs including GENI (Global Environment for Network Innovation), FIND (Future Internet Design) and Network of Sensor Systems. He received NSF’s Program Management Excellence award.

Guru co-founded and served as CTO and board member of Growth Networks (acquired by Cisco), Tenaya Networks (went out of business), and Sceos (became Ruckus Wireless and IPO’d). Guru worked at Cisco, as senior manager, HFR/CRS business units and new markets and technologies, and NEA as EIR, where he received their entrepreneurship award for Growth Networks. He started his career at Washington University in St. Louis, where he led research and prototyping of high performance networking and multimedia systems.

He served on the board of NetSift (acquired by Cisco), was an early investor in Mocana, Nicira (acquired by VMWare) and Kumu Networks. He got his PhD from University of Delaware and has received their Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award and Frank A. Pehrson Graduate Student Achievement Award. Check out for more information.