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Biographies of Executive Board Candidates

Christian Kaufmann


Christian studied Computer Science at the Georg-Simon-Ohm-Fachhochschule in Nuremberg and he is currently enrolled at The Open University, doing graduate studies for a Master of Science in Advanced Networking, which is the first of its kind in the world. During his undergraduate years, he started his own ISP and web design company.

After school, he had several consultant and operational roles for local ISPs, then he moved on to managerial roles for international companies, including Technical Operations Manager for Cable & Wireless and GNOC Manager at Easynet. This led to an interest in peering and interconnection, and he transitioned to Global IP Peering Manager for TeliaSonera, where he managed the peering connections for a global transit-free network.

In parallel, he became much more active in the community. For instance, he joined the AMS-IX Executive Board, where he is now Chairman, and co-founded the FranceIX. He is also very active in the RIPE community, where he has attended every meeting for several years and is co-chair of the RIPE MAT WG. On top of this, he is also a regular attendee of APRICOT, the Global and European Peering Forum, NANOG and several other industry forums around the world.

Currently he is a Director of Network Architecture at Akamai Technologies. Akamai has graciously allowed him time to work on these community projects, and has agreed to do the same for RIPE.


It is no surprise that the depletion of IPv4 address space will affect the RIPE NCC significantly. The current business model and payment structure is unlikely to be suitable for the members and therefore not sustainable for the RIPE NCC in the future. This means difficult decisions requiring a delicate touch and in-depth knowledge of the community are to be taken, and a lot of hard work is to be done.

The RIPE NCC management is tasked with running the NCC, where the Board is elected to represent the interests of the members. They must find a way to work though these changes which is beneficial to both the NCC and the membership base.

I believe my experience in the industry and the community is valuable to the Board. AMS-IX is also a membership-driven organisation with commercial requirements. At FranceIX, we had to tackle new technical and commercial challenges to bring up an association based exchange in a fragmented market and in less than a year it became the largest exchange in the country. My commercial background allows me insight into what businesses need from the RIPE NCC. All this gives me the knowledge and abilities to deal with the challenges ahead.

I am determined to serve the RIPE community through this transition, and to maintain both financial and operational stability during this phase.

Aleksi Suhonen


Aleksi started his studies on Computer Engineering and Software Engineering at the Tampere University of Technology in 1994, but he got swept up by work the next year. He worked on network maintenance and security at the University and later at Nokia Mobile Phones. By 1997 or so he moved to SciFi Communications International, which became known as Saunalahti and Jippii. While there, he spearheaded the small team that developed the Finnish and European backbone of AS6667, including connecting it to half a dozen IXPs in Europe and the USA. He left Saunalahti in 1999 to pursue his own interests.

In the year 2000, he formed a consulting company (Axu TM Oy) to help other operators and companies with routing, peering and LIR issues. A few years later, they formed a local IXP (TREX Tampere Region Exchange) and he has been heavily involved with that as well ever since. He has also served on the boards of these companies as well as a few others and some not-for-profit organisations. He has been probably the most active member of the Finnish IPv6 Task Force, which was formed in 2002 by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority. He has also been teaching and doing research at Tampere University of Technology for ... well almost all this time.

In 2010 he finally graduated as M.Sc. in Data Communications Engineering despite all odds.

Aleksi Suhonen's LinkedIn profile.


The RIPE NCC is facing fresh challenges, which appear to be more dire than any that RIPE has had to face before. I will be bringing Finnish steady handed innovation into the decision making process of the RIPE NCC Executive Board. While I am a bit of a technocrat, the business processes of an organisation like the RIPE NCC are not completely alien to me.

Andreas Wittkemper


Andreas Wittkemper is employed by Verizon Business Germany where he is responsible for the worldwide domain registration for all Verizon EMEA customers. He maintains the relationship with various NICs such as DENIC, EUrid, Nominet and many others. He is also the RIPE contact for Verizon Business. His career at a commercial ISP started in 1996 when he joined EUnet Germany as a hostmaster and is leading the Expertise Centre DNS & IP team within Verizon EMEA now.

Andreas has been involved with RIPE since RIPE 31 in Edinburgh. From 1998 on he attended all RIPE Meetings and has seen the growth which happened over the years to the RIPE NCC and the community. He is a member of the RIPE NCC Executive Board since 2008. In this capacity he attended various Regional RIPE Meetings, IGFs and RIR meetings.

What is my motivation to do a voluntary board job ?

  • We have an excellent working relationship in the board team.
  • Collaboration with the managing director and the senior management team is excellent.
  • I am very motivated and active to shape the future of the RIPE NCC.
  • And I have the full support of my employer to invest a considerable amount of time into my work at the board.

All this makes it worthwhile to invest time and effort.

What are the ongoing topics where I want to contribute my share to the board's work ?

  • The recent IANA run out of the IPv4 pool and the upcoming depletion of the RIPE reserves will change the model of RIPE NCC operations substantially from being an allocation registry to a registry with high quality standards regarding the data they maintain.
  • Funding model needs to be reviewed and revised so that the RIPE NCC can continue to operate under the current solid financial situation.
  • Outreach to the membership with Regional Meetings should be continued and intensified. General participation should be furthered.
  • The successfully implemented community process within RIPE should continue and stay independent from international regulatory frameworks.

Membership representation is a key issue to the success of the RIPE NCC. I am interested in your opinions and am available via email and personally on RIPE or Regional RIPE meetings.

János Zsakó

Studies, certifications:

  • Diploma in Computer Science Engineering, Technical University, Cluj, Romania, 1986.
  • Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) by Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Illinois, USA, since 1999.
  • Master diploma in management (Maîtrise en Management des Organisations en Contexte International), Université de Picardie, Amiens, France, 2000
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) by Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Illinois, USA, since March 2004.
  • Master diploma in economics at College of Finance and Accountancy of Budapest Business School, 2008.

Since 2005 Technology Director of 3C Kft, Budapest, Hungary. Managed to acquire a vast experience in satellite communications, network security, Internet related services like DNS, mail and routing. In 2006 3C started to offer ADSL services. At present 3C also operate a microwave based Internet access network in the Budapest area.

Between 1998 and 2005 Technical Director at BankNet. Joined BankNet, a data communication service provider, in 1992. Pioneer in offering commercial Internet services in Hungary late 1994 taking transit services from Pipex UK.

Attended most of RIPE meetings since RIPE 21, Rome. Member of the editorial committee of the RIPE document ripe-136 (which replaced ripe-104). Member of the Database Security Task Force, summarized the results in RFC2726. Member of the RIPE Data Protection Task Force.

On the RIPE NCC Executive Board, acting as Treasurer between 2001 and 2010. Contribution to the safeguarding of the assets of the RIPE NCC during the financial crisis period and providing transparency of the financial situation.

Active role in the formation of the Council of Hungarian Internet Providers (CHIP). Roles in CHIP: chairman of Registration Committee (1998), vice-president (1999), at present chairman of Network Security Committee (since 2001), member of the Supervisory Board. Member of the Supervisory Board of the .hu TLD Registry till 2011.

Former work experience: systems programming in microcomputer environment (1986-1988), in industrial automation (1988-1990), in 4GL product (1990-1992).

Co-author of the book: "Tree structures and their applications", Technical Publishing House, Bucharest, 1990 (in Romanian).

Member of the third prize team at the Programming World Championship for 4GL held in Stockholm, 1991.


I am fully convinced of the importance of the RIPE NCC as a factor of stability of the Internet, as the RIPE NCC is the most important, impartial body of Internet self-regulatory structure in our region, not driven by commercial or political goals.

The RIPE NCC must be flexible, able to adapt itself to the changing economic environment, as the following couple of years will bring significant changes due to the depletion of the free pool of IPv4 addresses. We have to try to make this transition to IPv6 as painless as possible for the large base of users of the Internet and to the members of the RIPE NCC, to the ISPs.

In order to be able to follow more closely the events and spend more time with Internet related topics, I decided to change job and join from June 2011 the team of the Council of Hungarian Internet Providers.

I am willing to serve the RIPE community, and I would like to contribute with my technical knowledge and my management and financial experience to maintaining the stability of the RIPE NCC, to widening the range and improving the quality of the services provided by the RIPE NCC in line with the needs of the membership. My main goal is protecting the interest of the membership in a transparent and accountable manner.