Fahad AlShirawi holds an MBA and has a background in engineering. He has extensive Board-level experience at BIX (Bahrain Internet Exchange) and ARISPA, and as well as holding Senior Executive Management positions, most notably as Founder & MD of 2Connect Telecom in 2004 and SnS Designs.
Mr. AlShirawi is also the Founder and CEO of GCCIX WLL, a privately owned company that currently runs the only independent cable system from Kuwait to the UAE as well as six internet exchanges and data centers. The business has quickly grown to profitability due to a unique blend of the various products on offer creating a compelling proposition to its customers. He is also currently in the process of fully financing and establishing a business accelerator in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
In addition to his position at GCCIX, he is also presently the Chairman of Punchline Media WLL as well as being an Executive Board Member of RIPE NCC and the Founding Chairman of the Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG).
Maria Häll is Master of Science in Computer Science and since February 2013 is the CEO for SUNET, the Swedish University Network - a branch of The Swedish Research Council.
Maria previously worked at the Government Offices of Sweden - Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications at the division for IT Policy. Maria has extensive experience of working with ICT, broadband and Internet Policy issues, both in the private and public sectors, on local, national and international levels.
Maria is currently co-chairing the RIPE Cooperation Working Group and has been Vice Chair for the ICANN Government Advisory Committee (GAC).
- The Swedish representative in the NORDUnet Board. NORDUnet is joint collaboration by the five Nordic National Research and Education Networks owned by the five Nordic countries.
- Chair of the TU-foundation Board. The TU-foundation is the owner of the Swedish Internet Exchange company Netnod.
I have genuine interest for the development of society and the role of technology as an important tool for positive development, especially the development of Internet as vital and global infrastructure.
This demands strategic work, good understanding and a good dialogue between different players from different sectors.
In this important area of stimulating good dialogue, creating better understanding of the issues and fostering cooperation among many sectors, the RIPE NCC has been a leader in the Internet industry, and the work of the RIPE NCC and the RIPE community has been extremely valuable.
I have been engaged in the RIPE community for years and I have appreciated good support and engagement from the RIPE NCC. To be able to support this work even further, and contribute with my experience and support the work of the RIPE NCC and its members, I have accepted the nomination for election to the RIPE NCC Executive Board.
Christian studied Computer Science at the Georg-Simon-Ohm-Fachhochschule in Nuremberg and during his undergraduate years he started his own ISP and web design company. He recently completed a Master of Science in Advanced Networking at The Open University, which is the first of its kind in the world.
Christian had several consultant and operational roles for local ISPs before 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.
Simultaneously, he engaged himself in the community. For instance, he joined the AMS-IX Executive Board, where he served for six years, three of them as the Chairman, and co-founded 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. In the last three years, Christian served on the RIPE NCC Executive Board as Secretary. He introduced new processes and KPI for the board and the management and also took on the responsibility to sponsor the RIPE Atlas and the RIPE Database resiliency projects. Overall, Christian looks back on nine years of uninterrupted board experience in various organizations.
Currently, he is Director of Network Services at Akamai Technologies where he manages a department with four global teams. Akamai has graciously allowed him time to work on these community projects, and he has agreed to do the same for RIPE.
Three years ago I promised the community to focus on two things:
- First, to ensure that after the IPv4 address depletion, the RIPE NCC would have a sustainable business model and payment structure. With the change to the new charging scheme, every member pays the same, regardless of IPv4 or IPv6 addresses and amount, which leads to a constant and predictable stream of income for the RIPE NCC. As a result, the RIPE NCC is financially stable and future proof. A positive side effect was a fairer and more transparent payment model from the members’ perspective.
- Second, to ensure that the move to the /8 phase would not have any negative impact on the operation of the NCC or the members and that the processes would be as fair and transparent as possible. The RIPE NCC operated without any issue through these cliffs and received nothing but positive feedback and appreciation for the execution of the transition phase.
As the Board Secretary, I established several processes in the board-to-management communication, such as the more advanced objective and goals procedure and documents for the CEO. These semi-standardised procedures help the board to give more thorough objectives and also make it easier to review them at the end of the year.
Also, I sponsored the RIPE NCC Executive Board - Functions and Expectations document.
I attended a large number of conferences in the RIPE NCC service region including RIPE, ENOG and MENOG to talk to countless members about their views and needs regarding the RIPE NCC.
Over the next three years I want to focus on these three practical areas:
- Firstly, I want to further improve the processes and communication between the RIPE NCC and the board, which in the past already proved to lead to advancements in efficiency.
- Secondly, I will continue to look after the RIPE Atlas project and complete the RIPE Database resiliency project to ensure that the core services for the members are always up and running.
- Thirdly, I believe that a lot of projects and services should be developed and funded collaboratively with other RIRs for the good of the Internet and in order to improve the cost base for the RIPE NCC. I want to reach out more actively to the other RIR boards and discuss the initial visions we already made so far in more detail.
I studied Computer Science at the Silesian University of Technology – one of the biggest technical universities in Poland. At the same time I started my first job for the University Computer Centre as the system administrator. Since then I have changed position several times, finally becoming Manager of the Security and Network Operations Department. Although I’m mostly a security-oriented person, my team deals with all kind of things including those impossible to do.
During my business career I have been given wide range of tasks that greatly exceed pure engineering. These have seen me involved with such areas as budgeting, legal advice or public tenders and policymaking.
For all those years I have been an active member of the PIONIER Consortium community (Polish NREN), involving many presentations and personal commitment with three task forces – IPv6-TF, PIONIER-CERT and PIONIER-PKI. I’m also a member of Abuse-Forum, an informal community of Anti-Abuse teams in Poland.
I was also one of the pioneers in deployment of the eduroam project in Poland, which is now one of the world’s biggest world-wide roaming access services made for research and education users.
In addition to my professional life, I devote my time to promote “open knowledge”. I do that in several ways, which include but are not limited to giving public lectures concerning DNS under the GNU/Politechnika (GNU/University) project. Moreover, I prepare and deliver many presentations at various meetings and conferences including PLNOG among others. Furthermore, since my knowledge about Linux and networks are a valuable asset I was asked to prepare and conduct lectures covering those subjects.
Since my main occupation is University, this has given me the opportunity to better understand the point of view of research and education users, which are a huge part of our community. Nevertheless, I do have also experience in dealing with non-educational customers.
Work with RIPE and the RIPE NCC
I have dealt with all LIR-related topics for more than 15 years. This has aroused my interest of RIPE policies and community. The natural consequence of that was that I started attending RIPE Meetings in person a few years ago. During this time I have made several presentations that touch on different areas, including policy proposals and implementation details. Moreover, I have engaged myself and become a member of two Task Forces – the Anti-Abuse Contact Management Task Force and the RIPE NCC Charging Scheme Task Force, the first and only RIPE NCC Task Force.
My work on the Charging Scheme Task Force has given me the deep insight into details concerning financial aspects, the activity plan and budgeting of our association. Moreover, members of this Task Force have given valuable input to the process of creating crucial documents such as the Charging Scheme and Activity Plan.
Furthermore, I also manage Early-Registration IP address space, which lets me be more oriented in the needs of this important part of our membership.
I do believe that the important role of the RIPE NCC within the current Internet society is crucial. Its independence and impartial character brings stable support for the community not only within its service region but throughout the world.
The justification to increase the number of Executive Board members was, among others, to better reflect the changing composition of the RIPE NCC membership and to have more specialist knowledge available to the Executive Board to handle specific areas. I believe that my background, knowledge and experience would be a valuable asset for the Executive Board and will help fulfill those goals. My open-minded and creative style of thinking lets me better understand different points of view, which could be crucial for this role.
My goal is to serve the entire continuously growing community. I would like to increase even more the role of financial and project control within our organisation. To achieve that I would like to devote my spare time to work for the Executive Board. It would be a great honour to me if I were elected.
During my professional life, I have had several roles in companies using the Internet as the ground for business. Growing up in a family that moved around internationally I believe gave me the interest for working in international companies.
I’ve studied in economics and subjects related to this maths and statistics, and this has given me a masters degree from the Univeristy of Oslo.
For almost 30 years I have had management roles in different sectors, from managing one of the largest youth hostels in Norway as a summer job to building some of the first Internet support divisions for Telia Internet in Norway, back in the first days of dial-up Internet.
The development of one of the first broadband Internet-over-cable companies in Europe brought me into a management role within Chello Broadband in Amsterdam in 1999, first as Director and later Vice President of Global Technical Operations. Building the technical organisation in Amsterdam and also building networks and systems platforms on three continents was a great challenge with a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun to build up.
Moving back to Norway and taking on the role of Director for the technical staff in Scandinavia was the next stop on my Internet path of jobs. Back in those days, Sweden and Norway where among the “pushers” of content and services, so to speak, but very alone in the world of “always on” connectivity, so the business models were changed by 2003 and the Chello Broadband organisations were moved back to Amsterdam.
My next moves were different roles within build-up and consolidation of larger enterprise systems and networks, both as a consultant in a business management role and in self-employed roles.
Moving from the project management roles, I moved into a CTO role in a startup VOIP company, where the task was to clean up and restructure the technical departments to be more “focused”. Together with the CEO and the right technical staff this worked very quickly and I could move on to more deep technical roles again.
The next five years I had roles as head of technical R&D in one of Norway’s largest Telcos, covering all aspects of production platforms and techical product design and implementation.
In later years my focus has been on data center design and using my Telecom experience together with know-how from real estate development within the logistic building industry to move the borders for efficient service delivery within what I call CaaS (Compute as a Service). We have a vision that states: “cleaning up the cloud” and we are doing this by investing in land, real estate, physical fiber links on land and subsea, and placing our setup where we have close to 100% gurantee of hydro-based power.
The difference I believe in our set-up is not just that we have our own AS number and IP address space via the RIPE NCC allowing us to be on the World Wide Web, but also that we wish to become a hoster/facilitator for the community. By agreeing to be a candidate, I would like to further support this.
As mentioned above, I have had several work roles that I believe cover most general expectations for sitting on the Executive board, but mostly on the workings of the Internet, both technically and also in the governance area. People’s management and different management roles within international corporate business lines have taught me a lot about what works and what does not.
My motivation for standing for the Board is that I believe that I have knowledge and experience that can be useful moving forward for the very important role I believe the RIPE NCC has had and will have in the future. I feel it is time to give something back to an organisation that for close to 20 years helped me achieve some of the business goals I have been part of.
Salam Yamout is the National ICT Strategy Coordinator at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers since July 2010 handling the EU, innovation, and ICT portfolios.
Between 2005 and 2010, Salam worked for Cisco Systems where she was Program Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility. It was during her assignment as manager of the “Partnership for Lebanon” project that she set up the first Internet Exchange Point of Lebanon in 2008 ( www.beirutix.net ).
Salam holds an MBA from ESCP-EAP, Paris / Ecole Supérieure des Affaires, Beirut in 2005 and a M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA) in 1987.
She has been a professional in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for 25 years, and her work experience includes networking and telecommunications infrastructure; Oracle database administration; design and architecture of large IT systems; ERP implementation; procurement of IT systems; Internet governance; legal and regulatory aspects of ICT; and ICT public policy and planning. In short, she has managed and implemented technology-based solutions for the public and private sectors and society at large.
A serial social entrepreneur, Ms. Yamout is one of the founders of Women in IT, the Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group, the Lebanon Chapter of the Internet Society and the Arab Internet Governance Forum. She is a member of the Order of Engineers of Beirut. She is a certified PMP with the Project Management Institute.
Salam is very active in the Lebanese entrepreneurial eco-system to encourage technology start-ups. She is one of the co-founders of the entrepreneurslebanon.com initiative and the Secretary General of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition. She serves as coach and juror for several national and regional competitions including Microsoft Imagine Cup. She is member of the investment committee of the Building Block Fund.
She has worked for private and public institutions in the USA and Lebanon, and has also consulted for international organisations such as ESCWA, UNDP, and the EU.
In 2010, Salam joined the public sector, more specifically the office of the Prime Minister of Lebanon where she has held the position of “National ICT Strategy Coordinator”. She has worked with two cabinets and will be able to influence and support the RIPE NCC and RIPE processes in the public arena.
Currently, Salam is also the Secretary General of ISOC Lebanon Chapter, which she founded with three other colleagues in 2010. She is a re-elected member of the Arab Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Arab Internet Governance Forum, which she also helped quick start in 2012.
It is my pleasure to apply to be part of the Executive Board of the RIPE NCC.
I had the chance to collaborate with RIPE NCC on different occasions over the last five years, including the organisation of IXP training (in 2009), MENOG (in 2010), INET (in 2011), two IPv6 Road Shows (in 2012), and DNSSEC (in 2013). We also collaborated to start the Arab IGF process in 2012. I also supported the RIPE NCC Regional Meetings that have taken place in the Middle East.
My interest in Internet Governance dates back to 2003, when, as a Consultant, I was asked to write Lebanon’s position paper and action plan for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This issue is even more important nowadays as the Internet has socio-economical impact on the lives of one billion users worldwide, and which relate inter-alia to access, privacy and security, freedom of expression, censorship, access to information, e-education, and e-health. Finally, and no less important a topic relates to the future of the Internet and the innovation that comes with it such as the Internet of things, mobile broadband and Green ICT.
RIPE NCC covers a region that encompasses countries with different cultures and that are at different stages of economic and social development. It is thus important, as we proceed forward, to strive and bring all stakeholders to the same level of appreciation for the Internet and the processes that make it happen.
I see the RIPE NCC presence growing in the Middle East and I believe that it is important to have good representation on the Board from all areas of RIPE NCC's service region. This can only provide more transparent organisation to all areas of the service region.
I can bring a unique independent perspective to the executive board of RIPE NCC:
- As an implementer of technology-based solutions for the public and private sectors, and for society at large
- As a policy maker
- As a civil society activist
- As a middle-eastern woman with a culturally diverse background.
Finally, let me underline my deep commitment to the multi-stakeholder consensus-building process. It teaches collaboration, accountability, and inclusion. It leads to transparency and foster democratic processes. It equalises positions and brings together points of view. If selected to the Executive Board, I intend to bring fully this commitment to the implementation of such processes in the RIPE NCC region.
I thank you for your consideration.