Building Forward Better Series – Speakers’ Bios

October 19th, 9 am to 11 am EST: Kick-off global event: Building Forward Better:  Network Readiness and Digital Transformation in a post-COVID world.

Dr. Anand Agarwal: Dr. Agarwal is the Group CEO of STL and is passionate about driving technological advancement to impact everyday lives. Recognizing the exponential growth in data consumption and shifts in the global technology landscape, Anand has navigated STL from an optical connectivity company to a global leader in end-to-end network solutions. Anand leads STL, a digital networks integrator that is building networks with core capabilities in optical connectivity, virtualized radio, network software and system integration. Anand was honored with the prestigious ‘Broadband Infrastructure Leader Award’ in 2016 and “Pathbreaker of the Year” in 2019 for transforming India’s digital infrastructure at the Telecom Leadership Forum. A Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, Anand is a hands-on technologist on advanced photonics and programmable networks. He is a firm believer in empowering and transforming lives through innovations in technology.

Prof. Soumitra Dutta: Prof. Dutta is a Professor of Management and the former founding dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (April 2016 to January 2018). Previously, he was the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.  Prior to coming to Cornell in 2012, he was on the faculty and leadership team of INSEAD, a leading international business school in France and Singapore. He is an authority on technology and innovation policy, is the co-editor and author of The Global Information Technology Report, published by the World Economic Forum and The Global Innovation Index, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization—two influential reports in technology and innovation policy. He is the Co-Founder, Co-Chair of the Board, and President of the Portulans Institute. 

Prof. Demi Getschko: Dr. Getschko was a key player on the team that established the first Internet connection to Brazil, has been a member of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) since its creation in 1995, and has served as the administrative contact for the ccTLD .br since 1989. He played a critical role in the definition of the Brazilian Domain Name System tree and in defining the rules that govern the Brazilian registry. From 1972 through 1986, Getschko held a variety of positions at the University of São Paulo, from student to faculty and IT professional. He was the manager of the Fapesp Data Center, a state foundation that played a central role in Brazilian academic networking, from 1986 through 1996. He then left Fapesp to become technology director at Agencia Estado, an arm of a major Brazilian newspaper, where he was involved in strategic planning, focusing on the technological evolution affecting the information industry in light of the Internet. In 2000 and 2001 he served iG (Internet Group), a free Internet provider in Brazil, as Chief Technology Officer and Vice-President of Technology. Getschko was selected for the ICANN Board by the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) in 2005.  In 2007 he was reelected and served until June 2009. He holds BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Currently, he is Associate Professor in Computing Architecture at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo. He is also a Board Member of CGI.br and CEO of the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br).

Dorothy Gordon: Dorothy Gordon is the Chair of the UNESCO Information For All Programme and Board member of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. Dorothy Gordon is a specialist in digital technologies for development. She has over two decades of leadership in this field, working mainly in Africa and Asia on diverse projects and programs to support greater engagement and action to achieve the SDGs while exploring the impact of technology on society. She is currently the Chair of the UNESCO Information for All Programme and a board member of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. She also supports start-ups and purpose-driven innovation as a Board Member and National Expert for WSA. Her extensive experience within the United Nations is complemented by work in the private sector and with civil society organizations globally.  She is a pan-africanist and a feminist. Her key areas of interest are gender and technology, technology in education, future of technology including artificial intelligence, as well as business and tech innovation.  She works as a consultant, advisor, and volunteer.

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Carolina Rossini: Mrs. Rossini has over 20 years of experience in technology law and policy, including ICT for development, internet, intellectual property, open innovation, and telecommunications. She is the founding CEO of Portulans Institute, founder of iNova Partners Consulting – assisting non-profits in executing effective and long-term change and impact -, and Yong Global Leader with the World Economic Forum. She serves on the advisory board of InternetLab (Brazil), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Lighthouse Collective (USA), Instituto EducaDigital (Brazil), and #IamtheCode (Global). She is a results-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in policy change and advocacy impact, strategic organizational development and growth, and fundraising. Previously, once based in Washington DC, she served as the RightsCon Director at Access Now for the Tunisia edition, as a Global Policy Manager for Connectivity at Facebook, and as the Vice President for International Policy at Public Knowledge (PK). While living in San Francisco she was the International Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a consultant to Wikimedia Foundation. Previously, while in Boston she was a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society (2008-2010). Back in Brazil, where she was born, she was an in-house counsel Telefonica, and a law lecturer at the Center for Technology and Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas (CTS/FGV). Carolina has an LL.M. in Intellectual Property from Boston University (2008), an MA in International Economic Negotiations from UNICAMP/UNESP (2006), an MBA from Instituto de Empresas (2004), and a JD from the University of Sao Paulo – USP (2000).

Dr. Sasha Rubel: Dr. Rubel is the Program Specialist in the Digital Innovation and Transformation Section of the Communication and Information Sector at UNESCO. In this framework, she coordinates the Organization’s work on artificial intelligence, digital transformation, and internet governance. From 2013-2018, Sasha was liaison officer to the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa and Advisor in the Sahel for issues related to digital transformation and innovation. A former student of the École Normale Supérieure, she holds an MA in anthropology and new media studies and has undertaken a Ph.D. in the anthropology of new technologies and digital transformation.

October 21, 5 am to 7 am EST: Asia & the Pacific – Network Readiness and Digital Transformation spotlight Speakers:

John Garrity: Garrity is an economist, policy advisor, and project manager with over eighteen years of experience working on economic development issues in the public sector at the state, federal and international levels, and in the private sector. His focus is on digital inclusion programs, universal access policy, and last-mile connectivity deployments to foster universal Internet access and adoption. Currently, he is an independent consultant to public sector and private sector organizations, including to Connectivity Capital, a sector-focused investment management firm providing debt capital to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), UNDP as a chief technical advisor on a national rollout of free public WiFi, the UN Broadband Commission as the author of the 2019 State of Broadband report and 2020 editions, the ITU/UNICEF as an external advisor to the GIGA program to connect every school in the world to the internet, and the UN ITU in developing a Last-Mile Connectivity Solutions Guide.

Misako Ito: Ms. Ito works as Regional Adviser and Chief Communication and Information at UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand. She is an information and Communications Management Specialist with 17 years of experience working in the UN and development organizations in Africa, Europe, Arab States, and Asia. She holds a Master level qualification in Engineering and Information Technology Management from HEC-Ecoles des Mines and National Polytechnic Institute (France, 2002 and 2003). Previously, Before she spent six years at the UNESCO Office in Rabat, Morocco, providing advisory services for the reform of the media sector, its legislation as well as for the participation of youth in public policy formulation in Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia.

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Jim Poisant: Mr. Poisant is a globally renowned thought leader in digital transformation and ICT development, and has served as the Secretary-General of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) for over fifteen years. WITSA brings together 83 national ICT associations, with members representing most of the ICT industry. The World Congress on Information Technology, one of the world’s largest gatherings of innovators and entrepreneurs, is held annually.

Frances West: Ms. Frances West is an internationally recognized thought leader, author, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and women-in-technology executive. Frances has held many global executive positions from marketing, sales to business development, and strategic partner management. She was IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer and received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston for her work in accessibility research and digital inclusion. She is currently the head of FrancesWestCo which is a global advisory company working with the public, private, non-profit, and start-ups to operationalize inclusion as a core business imperative to drive disruptive innovation.

October 26, 9 am to 11 am EST: North America Network Readiness and Digital Transformation spotlight Speakers:

Ankit Agarwal: Mr. Agarwal is the CEO for Connectivity Solutions Business at STL. Ankit Agarwal joined STL in 2007. He heads global sales for Telecom Products including optical fibre, optical fibre cable and data cables. He has been instrumental in expanding the global footprint of the Telecom business by successfully executing and managing Joint Ventures in China and Brazil. Under his leadership, STL’s global sales have crossed over 100 countries. In addition to Joint Ventures, he is also responsible for executing strategic opportunities such as Mergers & Acquisitions and Greenfield projects globally for STL. Prior to STL, Ankit led the Corporate Strategy of Vedanta Resources and played a key role in Vedanta’s strategic transactions including its $8.6 billion acquisition of Cairn India, and $2.6 billion bid for ASARCO. As an Analyst at the Investment Banking division of Deutsche Bank (London) prior to his stint at Vedanta, he played a significant role in cross-border transactions such as Tata Steel’s acquisition of Corus for US$12 billion & Eurasian Natural Resources $2.7 billion IPO. Ankit holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Southern California and an MBA degree from London Business School.

Prof. Soumitra Dutta: Prof. Dutta is a Professor of Management and the former founding dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (April 2016 to January 2018). Previously, he was the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.  Prior to coming to Cornell in 2012, he was on the faculty and leadership team of INSEAD, a leading international business school in France and Singapore. He is an authority on technology and innovation policy, is the co-editor and author of The Global Information Technology Report, published by the World Economic Forum and The Global Innovation Index, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization—two influential reports in technology and innovation policy. He is the Co-Founder, Co-Chair of the Board, and President of the Portulans Institute. 

Larry Irving: Mr. Irving is the president and CEO of the Irving Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and information technology companies, foundations, and non-profit organizations.  From 2009–2011, Irving also served as vice president for global government affairs for the Hewlett-Packard Company, the world’s largest technology company. He addresses different facets of technology and telecommunications (such as wireless, cloud computing, applications, and mobile services); cybersecurity, and its foreign policy implications, among other topics. Irving is widely credited with coining the term “digital divide” and sparking global interest in the issue. In large part due to his work to promote policies and develop programs to ensure access to advanced telecommunications and information technologies, Irving was named one of Newsweek’s 50 most influential people in the ‘Year of the Internet.’ He is also a resident at the Foreign Policy magazine.

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Dr. Lara Mangravite, Ph.D.: Dr. Mangravite is President of Sage Bionetworks. This organization is focused on the development and implementation of practices for large-scale collaborative biomedical research. Our work is centered on new approaches to the scientific process that use open systems to enable community-based research regarding complex biomedical problems. Previously, Dr. Mangravite served as Director of the Systems Biology research group at Sage Bionetworks where she focused on the application of collaborative approaches to advance understanding of disease biology and treatment outcomes at a systems level with the overriding goal of improving clinical care. Dr. Mangravite obtained a BS in Physics from the Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

Marie-Paule Roudil: Ms. Marie Paule Roudil is the Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York and UNESCO Representative to the United Nations since 2015. She previously led the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels, as the UNESCO Representative to the European Union. She is a former lawyer at the Cour de Paris (Paris Court). Marie Paule Roudil joined UNESCO to take part in launching the joint UN programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). She went on to work on international conventions in the field of Culture, namely the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.  From 2003 to 2010, Ms. Roudil served as Head of the Culture Section in the UNESCO Office in Venice, where she was responsible for designing a strategy for South-East Europe. She worked notably on the reconstruction of the Old Bridge of Mostar and on the rehabilitation of the Cultural Heritage in Kosovo. Moreover, she organized annual Ministerial Conferences on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe and actively endorsed the private initiatives to safeguard the city of Venice. Ms. Roudil holds a “Licence en Droit public international”, a “Maîtrise de Droit privé”, and a “Diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA) de Droit des affaires et Droit économique”. She is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Tom Wheeler: Mr.Wheeler is a businessman, author, and was Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) from 2013 to 2017.  For over four decades, Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services. At the FCC he led the efforts that resulted in the adoption of Net Neutrality, privacy protections for consumers, and increased cybersecurity, among other policies. His chairmanship has been described as, “The most productive Commission in the history of the agency.” During the Obama-Biden Transition of 2008/09, Mr. Wheeler led activities overseeing the agencies of government dealing with science, technology, space, and the arts.  As an entrepreneur, he started or helped start multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless, and video communications services. He is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and the Wireless Hall of Fame, a fact President Obama joked made him “the Bo Jackson of telecom.” Prior to being appointed Chairman of the FCC by President Obama, Wheeler was Managing Director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies.  Mr. Wheeler served on President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board prior to being named to the FCC. Presidents Clinton and Bush each appointed him a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is the former Chairman and President of the National Archives Foundation, and a former board member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Rochester Institute of Technology. Mr. Wheeler resides in Washington, D.C.

October 27, 2 pm to 4 pm EST: Latin America Network Readiness and Digital Transformation spotlight Speakers:

Dr. Alexandre Barbosa: Dr. Barbosa is head of the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of Information Society (Cetic.br) and is in charge of several nationwide ICT surveys and research projects on the socio-economic implications of ICTs, including research on Electronic Government. He was chair of the Expert Group on ICT Household indicators from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), a Master’s in Business Administration from Bradford University (UK), an MSc in Computer Science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Catholic University (Brazil). He has also conducted postdoctoral research at HEC Montréal (Canada).

Prof. Lourdes Casanova: Prof. Casanova is Senior Lecturer and Emerging Markets Institute Gail and Rob Cañizares Director, S.C. Johnson School of Management, Cornell University. Awarded in 2014, 2015 one of the 50 most influential Iberoamerican intellectuals by Esglobal. In 2017 one of the 30 most influential Iberoamerican women intellectuals by Esglobal. Fulbright Scholar, masters University of Southern California, Ph.D. University of Barcelona. Co-author with A. Miroux: The Era of Chinese Multinationals. Academic Press. Elsevier 2019. Emerging Market Multinationals Report 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016. With P. Cornelius, S. Dutta: Entrepreneurship and the Finance of Innovation in Emerging Markets. Academic Press. Elsevier. With J. Kassum: The Political Economy of an Emerging Global Power, Palgrave Macmillan 2014, author Global Latinas: Latin America’s emerging multinationals Palgrave Macmillan 2009. Former member Global Agenda Council, Competitiveness in Latin America World Economic Forum for Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, B20 Task Force in G20 summit, Los Cabos (2012). Board member Boyce Tompson Institute. Founding Board Member Societé des Amis du Chateau de Fontainebleau. Co-founder Ithaca Hub of Global Shapers. Op-ed writer Latin Trade, Agenda Publica contributor to CNN en español, El País, and Voice of America.

Prof. Soumitra Dutta: Prof. Dutta is a Professor of Management and the former founding dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (April 2016 to January 2018). Previously, he was the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.  Prior to coming to Cornell in 2012, he was on the faculty and leadership team of INSEAD, a leading international business school in France and Singapore. He is an authority on technology and innovation policy, is the co-editor and author of The Global Information Technology Report, published by the World Economic Forum and The Global Innovation Index, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization—two influential reports in technology and innovation policy. He is the Co-Founder, Co-Chair of the Board, and President of the Portulans Institute. 

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Diego Molano: Mr. Molano Vega is an international consultant on the Digital Transformation of Companies and Governments. He was the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of Colombia from 2010 to 2015. He transformed his Country with his policy plan “Vive Digital”, which aims to reduce poverty and create jobs using technology. During his tenure, Colombia expanded all the elements of the digital ecosystem, not only infrastructure, but also, services, applications, and users. Internet coverage extended to low-income homes and rural areas. 4G-LTE, Fiber optics, and high-speed networks expanded to all municipalities, even those in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Every rural community with more than 100 inhabitants has an Internet community center. Education, health, and government services were transformed with ICT, increasing their availability, reach, and efficiency. Mr. Molano has a long career in the technology industry, including high-level executive positions in multinational companies such as BellSouth (now AT&T) in the US and Telefonica in Spain. He has had responsibilities in more than 20 countries. He has been a board member of international organizations and corporations in the telecommunications, TV, radio, and postal services sectors. He is currently Senior Advisor to the Inter-American Development Bank, Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Co. in Washington DC, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the New Economy to the OECD in Paris. In addition, he serves as a member of the Portulans Institute board of advisors.  Mr. Molano is an electronics engineer and economist from the Xavier University in Colombia and holds an MBA from IMD in Switzerland.

Dr. Sebastián Rovira: Dr. Rovira is an Economic Affairs Officer and the Officer in Charge of the Innovation and New Technologies Unit at the Division of Production, Productivity, and Management at UN-ECLAC. Their main research areas are industrialization, innovation, production structure dynamics, ICT, trade and development, being responsible for different projects of the Division, related to dynamics of innovation and technological capabilities. In the last years he has been participating in many books: “Latin American Economic Overview: Development in Transition (2019); “Eco-innovation and greening production: a review of Latin American policies” (2017), “Measuring the impact of quality infrastructure in Latin America: experiences, achievements, and limitations (2015), Science, Technology and Innovation in the Digital Economy. LAC Overview (2016), Latin American productive integration through regional projects in science, technology and innovation” (2014), “New institutions for innovation: practices and experiences in Latin America” (2014), “Creative destruction and recovery in Latin America: an out-of-crisis roadmap centered on technology and industrial policies” (2012), “ICT in Latin America: a microdata analysis” (2011), “Technical progress and structural change in Latin America” (2007); and has published many influenced articles in development, technological dynamics, and innovation: “Elites and structural inertia in Latin America: an introductory note on the political economy of development” (Journal of Economic Issue, 2008), “Structural change and the BOP constraint: why did Latin America fail to converge?” (Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2010), among many others.

October 28: Europe Network Readiness & Digital Transformation Spotlight Speakers: 

Dr. Anand Agarwal: Dr. Agarwal is the Group CEO of STL and is passionate about driving technological advancement to impact everyday lives. Recognizing the exponential growth in data consumption and shifts in the global technology landscape, Anand has navigated STL from an optical connectivity company to a global leader in end-to-end network solutions. Anand leads STL, a digital networks integrator that is building networks with core capabilities in optical connectivity, virtualized radio, network software and system integration. Anand was honored with the prestigious ‘Broadband Infrastructure Leader Award’ in 2016 and “Pathbreaker of the Year” in 2019 for transforming India’s digital infrastructure at the Telecom Leadership Forum. A Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, Anand is a hands-on technologist on advanced photonics and programmable networks. He is a firm believer in empowering and transforming lives through innovations in technology.

Prof. Soumitra Dutta: Prof. Dutta is a Professor of Management and the former founding dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (April 2016 to January 2018). Previously, he was the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.  Prior to coming to Cornell in 2012, he was on the faculty and leadership team of INSEAD, a leading international business school in France and Singapore. He is an authority on technology and innovation policy, is the co-editor and author of The Global Information Technology Report, published by the World Economic Forum and The Global Innovation Index, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization—two influential reports in technology and innovation policy. He is the Co-Founder, Co-Chair of the Board, and President of the Portulans Institute. 

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Chris Mondini: Mr. Mondini is the ICANN Vice President for Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director, Europe. In his role, Mondini oversees ICANN org’s operations in the region and leads ICANN org’s Global Business Engagement initiatives worldwide. Christopher began his professional life as a United States diplomat and later became a corporate investigator with Deloitte.  He has investigated the world’s largest corporate corruption cases while working with NGOs and business organizations on ways to mitigate corruption risks. He also led grant-making teams for the Full Circle Fund, an engaged philanthropy organization addressing economic development challenges. Christopher holds degrees from Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities. Throughout his career in Washington and Silicon Valley, he has dedicated his career to bridging communications gaps that occur among diverse sectors — public, private, and nonprofit – and across international borders.

November (Date TBC) –  Africa Network Readiness & Digital Transformation Spotlight Speakers:

Dr. Anand Agarwal: Dr. Agarwal is the Group CEO of STL and is passionate about driving technological advancement to impact everyday lives. Recognizing the exponential growth in data consumption and shifts in the global technology landscape, Anand has navigated STL from an optical connectivity company to a global leader in end-to-end network solutions. Anand leads STL, a digital networks integrator that is building networks with core capabilities in optical connectivity, virtualized radio, network software and system integration. Anand was honored with the prestigious ‘Broadband Infrastructure Leader Award’ in 2016 and “Pathbreaker of the Year” in 2019 for transforming India’s digital infrastructure at the Telecom Leadership Forum. A Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, Anand is a hands-on technologist on advanced photonics and programmable networks. He is a firm believer in empowering and transforming lives through innovations in technology.

Prof. Soumitra Dutta: Prof. Dutta is a Professor of Management and the former founding dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (April 2016 to January 2018). Previously, he was the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.  Prior to coming to Cornell in 2012, he was on the faculty and leadership team of INSEAD, a leading international business school in France and Singapore. He is an authority on technology and innovation policy, is the co-editor and author of The Global Information Technology Report, published by the World Economic Forum and The Global Innovation Index, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization—two influential reports in technology and innovation policy. He is the Co-Founder, Co-Chair of the Board, and President of the Portulans Institute. 

Nathalia Foditsch: Ms. Foditsch is a licensed attorney and has worked on technology and communications policy and regulatory issues over the past twelve years. She has worked for some of the main international organizations and Think Tanks, which she has represented in official missions to numerous countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Nathalia has also worked as an International Adviser for the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), the Brazilian antitrust authority, and served as a coordinator for communications policy and regulation at the ministerial level in Brazil. Ms. Foditsch is a research fellow at Cornell University’s Emerging Markets Institute (EMI), which is part of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Among other publications focused on technology and communications policy and regulation, Foditsch has co-edited and co-authored the book “Broadband in Brazil: Past, Present, Future”, which was a finalist of the 2017 “Jabuti Awards” (the main literary award in Brazil). Nathalia is an adjunct professor at the University Jose Cela (Spain), and holds a master’s in law (LLM) and a master’s in public policy (MPP) and is a member of the advisory board of the Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program at the Washington College of Law (WCL). She is fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and German.

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Eleanor Sarpong: Ms. Sarpong is A4AI’s Deputy Director and Policy Lead. She leads policy and advocacy efforts with particular oversight on all A4AI’s country engagement work in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She is a versatile ICT and public policy professional with a 19-year multidisciplinary experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. 15 years of that experience was focused on ICT regulation, taxation, access, connectivity, universal service, and data protection. She has worked in various ICT roles in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in advocacy, consulting, ICT policy/regulations development, and stakeholder management. Her previous roles include working with the European Investment Bank (EIB), where she provided guidance to the bank on policy options to improve ICT lending to developing countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Prior to that, she was with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) where she worked on various consulting projects. She was the head of Government, Regulatory and Public Policy at Telecoms Operator MTN Ghana and also served on two public boards involved with the ICT sector, notably the USF-Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and the Data Protection Commission. Eleanor holds an Implementing Public Policy certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA from the Warwick Business School, the UK where she was a Chevening scholar. She is passionate about connectivity, gender and development, and advocates for universal broadband access and digital content aimed particularly at advancing women in developing regions.

 

November 11th: MENA Network Readiness & Digital Transformation Spotlight Speakers: 

Gaurav Basra, Chief Strategy OfficerWith significant international consulting experience, Gaurav works closely with the leadership team to develop long-term strategies for growth. He has 20 years’ experience in corporate strategy development and transformation, innovation management and investment portfolio management at Booz & Company, Lucent Technologies, Nokia, Siemens and Mobily. He has an engineering degree from the University of Pune and an MBA from Imperial College, London.

Marolla Haddad: Ms. Haddad is a Senior digital development Policy Specialist with the Digital Development GP. Marolla is a regulatory economist with thirteen years of experience in the policy and regulatory reform of the telecoms / ICT sector in developing and emerging markets. During the last four years, she worked with the DD team on various analytical and operational projects in the MNA, Africa, and ECA regions. Prior to joining the World Bank, Marolla was a policy analyst in the Market and Competition unit at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Lebanon, where she led and supported the formulation and the implementation of policies and regulations for promoting competition and investment. Marolla is fluent in Arabic, French, and English, and holds a master’s in public policy from Princeton University as well as a bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering from the American University of Beirut. Marolla’s work program will focus on FCV countries in the MNA region.

Paul Hector: Mr. Hector is the Advisor for Communication and Information in UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States. He joined UNESCO in 2000 under its Young Professionals Programme. He has supported project initiatives and policy actions in Africa, South America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East that promote access to information and knowledge for development. His work has addressed inequalities in access to digital networks linked to issues of gender, language, literacy, island/rural living, and disability.  Initially trained as a civil and structural engineer, he holds doctoral degrees in Management Science as well as in Knowledge & Innovation Management. He is involved in various academic international conferences and research initiatives and occasionally reviews papers for journals in his fields of expertise. Paul has authored book chapters, conference and journal papers, developed various courses, and lectured in postgraduate business schools. His research interests include entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge cities. Paul is an alumnus of the J. William Fulbright Fellowship and the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programmes.

Dr. Sherif H. Kamel: Sherif Kamel is a professor of management, dean of the school of business at The American University in Cairo, and president of the board of governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.  Previously, he was a senior advisor for strategic planning to the president and vice president for information management at The American University in Cairo. Before joining AUC, he was director of the Regional IT Institute and managed the training department of the Cabinet of Egypt Information and Decision Support Center.  Kamel is an Eisenhower Fellow.  His teaching and research interests include digital transformation, information technology transfer to developing nations, decision support systems, and entrepreneurship.  His work is published in IS and management journals and books, and he is the editor of three books.  He is the associate editor of the Journal of IT for Development and the Journal of Cases on Information Technology. He has board and council affiliations, including Nexford University, African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative, Education for Employment Egypt, AACSB International Middle East North Africa advisory council, Eduniversal Scientific Committee, and the Egypt-U.S. Business council.  He was a board member of the Commercial International Bank, Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, World Bank Knowledge Advisory Commission, RISE Egypt, Injaz Egypt, and Association of African Business Schools.  He was the chairman of the Chevening Association in Egypt, and he is a founding member of the Internet Society of Egypt. Kamel holds a Ph.D. in information systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MBA, and an MA in Islamic Art and Architecture from The American University in Cairo.

Dr. Bruno Lanvin: Dr. Lanvin is INSEAD’s Executive Director for Global Indices. He is also the founder and CEO of DL Partners SA, a Geneva-based consultancy, and the President of the Smart City Observatory.  Since 2002, he has been co-authoring The Global Information Technology Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-World Economic Forum) and is currently the co-editor of The Global Innovation Index Report (Cornell University-INSEAD-WIPO). In 2013, he created and launched the first edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), and is still the co-editor of this annual report. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes, France, a Masters of Business Administration from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, France, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France, and is an alumnus of INSEAD (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high-level meetings, he advises several global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards for many years, including those of ICANN, IDA-Infocomm, GovTech, IP-Watch, AAID, and the Bin Rashid Foundation for Government Innovation.

Prof. Nagla Rizk: Prof. Rizk is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) at the American University in Cairo’s School of Business. Her research area is the economics of knowledge, technology and development, with focus on digital platforms, innovation, knowledge governance, business models and inclusive growth in the Middle East and Africa. Her recent work looks into the economics of data, AI and inclusion. Her recent publications include “Artificial Intelligence and Inequality in the Middle East” in The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and “The State of Open Data in the Middle East and North Africa” in The State of Open Data: Histories and Horizons. She founded the Open Data for Development Node for the Middle East and North Africa and is a Steering Committee Member of the Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR) where she leads the research track on Innovation Metrics. She is Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School’s Copyrightx course. She is also Affiliated Fellow of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and Associate Member of the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She is member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda and the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association. She taught at Columbia University, Yale Law School and the University of Toronto.

Dr. Ahmed N. Tantawy: Dr. Tantawy is a Strategy and Executive Management Advisor. Over the past seven years, he worked with multinational corporations, international organizations, and government agencies. His activities include: enhancing the direct and indirect contributions of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to the national economy (three different projects), building sustainable ICT offshoring and outsourcing hubs (two different projects), and developing the governance and structures for a secure national infrastructure. He also led the establishment of a national nanotechnology initiative and an applied innovation initiative and became their founding executive director. Dr. Tantawy served as a senior advisor to three Egyptian ministers of ICT, an expert member of the board of directors of the Egyptian National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, a principal investment advisor of a venture capital fund operating in the US and the Middle East, a senior consultant to the Office of the CTO of a major multinational, and a non-executive director of an international telecom operator. Between 1988 and 2013, Dr. Tantawy held several technical and executive positions at IBM, including Chief Technical Officer and Senior Consulting Executive in the Growth Markets Region; Technical Director of IBM in the Middle East and North Africa, and Global Technical Director of Advanced Technology Development in IBM’s Internet Division, and worldwide Director and CTO of IBM’s Digital Media business unit. From 1988 to 1995, Dr. Tantawy was a Research Scientist, then a Research Manager at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Dr. Tantawy was a University Professor and an independent consultant in the USA, France, and the Middle East between 1980 and 1988.  He led several projects in the fields of Factory Automation, National Health Information Infrastructure, and Satellite Data Networks The technical contributions of Dr. Tantawy include 18 issued patents, 4 books and over 100 refereed scientific papers. He had special assignments with the US National Academy of Sciences and the US National Science Foundation. He served on the Board of Trustees and Advisory Boards of a number of universities and research institutes in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East. Dr. Tantawy received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering with the highest honors from Grenoble, France in 1980. He earned his B.Eng. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering with distinction and highest honors from Alexandria University, Egypt. He also received advanced education in technology management and corporate leadership at IBM (1993-2006), Harvard (1995) and MIT (1999 and 2012).