Harald A. Summa has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DE-CIX, the world's leading Internet Exchange operator, from 1996 until end of August 2022 when he has been appointed to the Super Advisory Board of the DE-CIX Group AG. At its 54 locations in Europe, Africa, North America, the Middle East, India, and Asia, DE-CIX interconnects thousands of network operators (carriers), Internet service providers (ISPs), content providers and enterprise networks from more than 100 countries, and offers peering, cloud, and interconnection services. Harald A. Summa is also the initiator, former CEO and Honorary President of the eco Association – the largest Internet industry association in Europe.
He graduated from University of Cologne with a Diploma in Business Administration with a focus on Applied Informatics. For 19 semesters he taught Structured Programming beside his first employments at the Institute of Informatics at University of Cologne. After stations at ICL, a British Computer Manufacturer and XEROX he moved to a software house (infodas) in 1983, became partner and started in 1985 first projects with AI (expert systems). In 1991 he became Consultant, later for his own company, and helped EUNET to leave the academic environment of the Dortmund University and to go to market as a first German ISP in 1992. In 1995 he founded eco - Association of the German Internet Industry. In 1996 he became CEO of DE-CIX gathering the young community of ISPs and working with them to build a technical stable and ever since growing IX. DE-CIX Frankfurt is a critical infrastructure so he had to work with all sorts of compliance and risk management as daily business. He led and had oversight of projects and teams in the area of Internet governance from early public hearings on Internet laws in Germany, setting up an Internet Content Task Force to fight illegal and harmful content and making sure to have good representation in various international fora, such as ICANN, IGF, ISOC and others.
He motivated the technical teams at DE-CIX to implement MANRS and several RFCs at the IETF level. As a co-initiator, Harald A. Summa was involved in the foundation of EURO-ISPA and Euro-IX, whose particular aim is to improve the European Internet infrastructure community with a political and technical footprint. Since 2020, he is Chair of the OMAC (ISOC Organizational Member Advisory Council). He is also an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL. His expertise and ability to communicate complex technical matters to political decision makers made him the right candidate as a core member of the Advisory Board for the “Young Digital Economy” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany and a member of the Advisory Board for the “Digital Economy” in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, “Future Strategies” and Ethic Council for the State of Hessen. Harald A. Summa has been developing DE-CIX from a national IX to a regionally and globally acting interconnection platform. As Chairman of the DE-CIX Board and eco CEO he was responsible for more than 300 people from 34 nationalities.
Since August 2022 he is overlooking the further development of the DE-CIX Group AG from the perspective of a Member of the Supervisory Board. Over the years, Harald has spent hundreds of meetings with the community members in many countries in Europe, Middle-East, the US and other places. DE-CIX hosted some fabulous RIPE Meetings in recent times and it was always a great feeling being part of such an incredible community and development called the Internet.
Number of affiliated LIRs: 3