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

Executive Board Member, and Senior Vice President of China Unicom

Dr. Shao Guanglu currently serves as Vice President of China Unicom Group Corporation, Executive Board Member, and Senior Vice President of China Unicom Group Limited. He has served as (Deputy) General Manager of Tianjin Branch/Henan Branch/Guangxi Branch and General Manager of Human Resources Department of China Unicom. He is also the member of GSMA Strategy Committee Group. He is the Non-Executive Board Member of PCCW Limited, Board Member of China Tower Corporation, Vice Chairman of China Internet Association, Vice Chairman of China Information Technology Industry Federation (CITIF), and Vice Chairman of Association of Communications Across the Taiwan Straits (ACATS).
He received his Bachelor’s degree from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1985, received his Master’s degrees in Engineering and Economics from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1988 and 1990, respectively. In 2002, he received his Master’s degree in Management from BI Norwegian School of Management in 2002. In 2009, he received his Ph.D. degree in Administration from Nankai University.

China Unicom

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.


Nagesh Nandiraju

Senior Director of Network Architecture


Nagesh Nandiraju is a Senior Director of Network Architecture in the Technology and Product group of Comcast. Dr. Nandiraju is responsible for developing and driving next generation network architectures and virtualization strategy for Comcast’s Commercial and Residential services. He has published over 40 technical papers and has 6 patents issued and pending.

Dr. Nandiraju holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. His primary interests are in the broad area of wired and wireless networking, specifically focusing on Network Function virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Machine Learning etc. Prior to joining Comcast, he was with Amazon Web Services (AWS), ARRIS and Motorola. Earlier in his carrier he was with the Corporate R&D group of Qualcomm and worked on Wireless Mesh Networks, LTE and High Altitude Platforms.


Ankur Jain

Principal Engineer / Director of Engineering

Ankur Jain is a Principal Engineer at Google leading the infrastructure teams supporting wireless connectivity and optimization projects across Google.

Ankur joined Google in 2005. He designed and implemented the first Google Global Cache (GGC, a CDN platform embedded in operator networks). Over time, he led Google’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) efforts including GGC and oversaw the CDN grow its scale several orders of magnitude into one of the largest in the world with GGC deployed today by several hundreds of carriers globally. He was instrumental in bringing Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) concepts to Google’s traffic engineering and edge networking infrastructure. The last few years he has been leading projects that enable wireless operators to run their networks more efficiently.

Ankur holds a masters degree in computer science and engineering from University of Washington Seattle and a bachelors degree in the same from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is also on the board of the open-source project CORD that combines NFV, SDN, and the elasticity of commodity clouds to bring datacenter economics and cloud agility to the Telco Central Office. He has more than a dozen patents and conference papers filed/granted/published. His closest shot at stardom though was when he went to Los Angeles in 2013 as part of the team that collected the 65th Primetime Emmy Engineering Award for YouTube; but a couple of years later he is still happily at Google.


Veerendra Bhora

Head of Strategic Partnerships


Veerendra Bhora (aka Veeru Bhora) has over 17 years of experience in technology and management with focus on wireless and smartphone platform. Currently he is Head of Strategic Partnerships at Google, with primary focus to engage with carrier partners for best end-user experience. Prior to Google, he has lead product management at Qualcomm and has been part of R&D at ArrayComm and Intel. He has also one of the founding members of CBRS Alliance and serves on that board as well.
Veeru has Masters in Business from Carnegie Mellon University, Masters in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State and Masters in Physics from Birla Institute of Technology & Science at Pilani. He also has 8-patents approved a few pending.

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.

NTT Communications Corp.

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

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.

SK Telecom Co., Ltd

Sangho Shin

SDN Project Lead


He received B.S from Korea University and received his master’s degree and Ph.D in Computer Science from Columbia University. He is leading SDN projects at NIC Research Lab in SK Telecom. 

Prior to join SK Telecom, he worked at LG for three years and Software R&D Center in Samsung for six years as a senior researcher. He also worked at ON.Lab as a visiting scholar and contributed to developing Segment Routing use case.

His interests are VoIP, Wireless Networking, SDN, and Home Networking. 


Srinivasa Kalapala

Bio coming soon…


Patricia Chang

Senior Manager


Patricia is a senior manager in the HQ Technology and Strategy organization within Verizon. She is responsible for driving development of Open Source Projects, virtualized Mobile Edge Computing, and Private LTE, and within the San Francisco Innovation Lab. She has extensive experience with wireless networks and deployment of new network functionality. She was instrumental in the deployment of Voice over LTE, Data Optimization, and 4G Core network. Patricia is a network innovator with over 30 patents.  She earned her bachelor and master degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at New York University Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, New York.


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.

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.

Cisco Systems, Inc.

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.

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.

Fujitsu Ltd.

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.

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.

Intel Corporation

Christian Maciocco

Principal Engineer and Director of Telecom Systems Research


Christian is a Principal Engineer and Director of Telecom Systems Research in Intel Labs working on platform and communications research in Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).  He is also Intel’s Principal Investigator of an Intel and AT&T co-funded research center at UC Berkeley ( with co-PIs at Stanford, CMU, Princeton, and EPFL.  Previous work included wireless communication, system energy efficiency, media streaming and IP telephony, DTV data broadcast, and optical networking, as well as representing Intel in standards organizations like the IETF, ATM Forum, and ATSC. Christian has 43 patents granted, on-going patent applications, co-authored 30 publications including three best paper awards, and received two Intel Achievement Awards, Intel’s highest award. He earned a Diplôme d’Ingénieur – Ecole Spéciale de Mécanique & Electricité – Paris.

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.

NEC Corporation

Yukio Ito

Executive Vice President


After the reorganization of NTT in 1999, Yukio designed the architecture of the Transport Network of NTT Communications. He planed the Network Grand Design of NTT Communications and introduced new technology in the L1-L3 Network.

Since June 2010, he had been in charge of engineering, construction and operation of the IP & L1, L2 backbone network in NTT Communications. He has also been in charge of the entire NTT Communications service infrastructure and introduced SDN/OpenFlow technologies into NTT communications’ Business Network.

Since August 2014, he had been responsible for Technology Development to strengthen cross-service technological development capability in accordance with NTT Communications’ world-wide business strategies.

He had been a member of the Board of the Open Networking Foundation from December 2011 to June 2015.

He has been a Chairman of the OKINAWA Open Laboratory from May 2013.
Yukio has moved to NEC as an advisor regarding Carrier Business of NEC since July 2015 after his career as an Executive Vice President of NTT Communications.

He has been installed as an Executive Vice President of NEC since April 2016.


David Eckard

Biography coming soon.


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

Bio Coming Soon


Hyong Chong



Bio 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.