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Speaker Schedule

Dr. Robert Blumofe

Executive Vice President & CTO, Akamai


Dr. Robert Blumofe is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Akamai. As CTO, he guides Akamai’s technology strategy to assess new market opportunities and new platforms for innovation, explore adjacent segments for the business, influence the development of standards, work with Akamai’s largest customers, and convene technology leaders within the company to catalyze innovation and represent Akamai’s technology vision in the marketplace.Previously, he led Akamai’s Platform organization and Enterprise Division. In leading the Platform organization, he was responsible for developing and operating the distributed system underlying all Akamai products and services. As General Manager of the Enterprise Division, he was responsible for the creation and market adoption of products and services for major enterprises to secure and improve performance for their users and applications as they move to the cloud.Blumofe joined Akamai in 1999 to lead the companys first performance team. While serving as one of Akamai’s chief architects, he was instrumental in the early design and development of the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform, which now handles trillions of Internet requests daily. He led all of Akamai’s Networks and Operations groups from 2004 to 2021.Prior to Akamai, Blumofe was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He is widely published in the areas of algorithms and systems for highly distributed and parallel computing. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT and a Bachelor of Science degree from Brown University.


Peter Wilson

Telefonica Global Solutions USA, Inc., Director, IoT Partner Program

Director, IoT Partner Program

Telefónica, which provides telecom services across the globe, is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. In 2020 Telefónica had revenues of 43+ billion euros and more than 347 million total subscribers.As part of the Telefónica Executive Team for the past 7 years, Pete Wilson has directed the expansion of Telefónica USA’s Channel Partner Program. His USA based team provides global Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity services to US and Canadian based channel partners (VARS and MVNOs) who are re-selling bundled solutions internationally. Many of these partners have contributed to Telefónica’s leading position on the Gartner’s M2M Quadrant over the past 7 years.Pete has over 35 years of technical, business development, sales and marketing experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), satellite and terrestrial communications, focusing on M2M/IoT applications, database design, implementation, sales, support and customer success. Prior to joining Telefónica, Pete held positions at Rogers Communications, Aeris Communications, Loral Space and Communications and Environmental Systems Institute (ESRI). Pete earned a B.S. in Geography from the University of Nevada.


Tadeh Hakopian

Program Manager, Energy Vault

Energy Vault

With a background in Architecture Tadeh has nearly a decade of experience in the Building Design and Construction field. Throughout the years a common interest was using data and coding to influence design and operations in his profession. Now with the accessibility of new technologies and frameworks the possibility of using code for design has never been better. Tadeh has always been interested in pushing the limits of data and coding in Architecture field and continues to be active part of the design community. He enjoys speaking at conferences and training others in the methods of using data and technology to make the most of the built environment.


Amir Khoshniyati

General Manager and Vice President, Identiv


Amir Khoshniyati was appointed General Manager and Vice President of the Transponder Business at Identiv in October 2021. Mr. Khoshniyati has produced a track record of success and exceeding results in high-volume hardware manufacturing, deployment of advanced technology, and facilitating fast-paced growth. Prior to Identiv, he held senior level positions at multiple RFID Manufacturing Organizations driving global RFID Growth, SaaS adoption and trailblazing the acceptance of NFC/HF technologies. He is a leading stakeholder for NFC technology globally and sits on the NFC Forum Board defining standards, processes and leads the adoption of the technology in this IoT era. Mr. Khoshniyati was recognized for the design of four value-add solutions that are key modules within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Product Stack. Mr. Khoshniyati has a strong passion in assisting the youth in the Southern California Community and frequently gives back through his organization; Gentlemen of Orange County.Mr. Khoshniyati holds an MBA from Cal State Fullerton, Degrees in Business Management, Operations, International Communications and Finance from the University of Arizona, Nanjing University and Harvard Business School.


Samir Sherif

Chief Information Security Officer, Imperva


Samir is a transformational leader with over 20 years of development, risk, and IT security program leadership. Prior to joining Imperva, Samir led multiple information security programs at Citi, including fraud, IT risk and security architecture solutions, impacting over 50,000 technology staff globally.Samir holds an Executive MBA from Williams College of Business and a BA in Liberal Arts from Xavier University.


Gustavo Pares

CEO, NDS Cognitive Labs

NDS Cognitive Labs

Gustavo Parés is CEO of NDS Cognitive Labs, a leader in cognitive computing and AI business solutions.He’s partnered with Microsoft, IBM, and Google to deliver digital transformation and cognitivetechnology services to companies around the globe. As professor at the Instituto Tecnológico y deEstudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Gustavo acts as a mentor in the Enlace program, where headvises high-value entrepreneurs.


Mike McCamon

Executive Director, NFC Forum

NFC Forum

McCamon has over 30 years of experience leading technology initiatives and global teams focused on improving people’s lives. Demonstrating a wide range of skills and passions he has been both the inaugural executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and later on the executive team that launched He also led high growth teams at Apple, Iomega, Intel and a number of startups. The NFC Forum is the global standards and advocacy association for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.


Akram Benmbarek

VP of Business Development, Strategic Initiatives AEye

Strategic Initiatives AEye

Benmbarek leads business development for strategic initiatives, where he works closely with system integrators in industrial and mobility markets to integrate AEye’s adaptive, high performance LiDAR for improved safety and efficiency. Prior to AEye, Benmbarek was Quanergy’s senior director of business development, where he was charged with growing the company’s application of LiDAR across non-automotive verticals, including robotics, IoT smart spaces and security. Prior to Quanergy, Akram spent 16 years in Silicon Valley as both an entrepreneur and investment banker. He has a B.A. in applied economics, and an MBA from USC.


Moderator List

Caroline Griffin (Moderator)

Director of Operations, RIoT


Caroline works at the heart of everything RIoT. As Director of Operations, she keeps the organization running smoothly and manages all the details of our world-class workshops and RIoTs. She manages corporate communications and is the primary architect of the popular Lunch and Learn series. Prior to RIoT, Caroline held several positions with event planning and sponsorship raising responsibilities. Caroline is a Raleigh native and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. While Caroline is not at work, she enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors with her partner, Eddie, and their dog, Angus.


Tom Snyder (Moderator)

Executive Director, RIoT


Tom is Executive Director of RIoT, supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. Under Tom’s leadership, RIoT has launched the RIoT Accelerator Program, RIoT Studios, which includes the RIoT Underground Podcast, and RIoT’s ED series. He has grown RIoT from a Research Triangle focused organization to one with international reach. In his spare time, Tom co-instructs Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award winning multidisciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State. Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation for multinational technology companies. He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, board games, big crowds, craft beer and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.