Dr. John Cioffi is a 35-year veteran of the DSL industry and sports numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to technology and industry. Prior to founding ASSIA in 2003, he served as founder, CTO and vice president of engineering at Amati before its acquisition by Texas Instruments. Dr. Cioffi held a tenured endowed professorship at Stanford University in the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1985 to 2009, where he is now an active Professor Emeritus with limited ongoing research efforts in broadband access. He has published more than 400 papers and holds more than 100 patents. Dr. Cioffi is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering and an International Fellow of the United Kingdom Royal Society of Engineering. In 2013, Dr. Cioffi was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. He is a winner of the Economist Computing and Telecommunications Award (2010), the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (2010), the IEEE Kobayashi Award (2001), and the Marconi Society’s Marconi Prize (2006). Cioffi has served on the boards of directors of more than 10 public and private companies. He currently serves on the boards of Alto Beam, Tinoq, and on the Marconi Society Board of Trustees. Dr. Cioffi holds a BSEE from the University of Illinois and a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Dr. Al-Rawi is the Founder and CEO of Valuegate Investments, a Saudi-based private investment firm that is focused on investing in a value-adding way in distinctive local and international opportunities primarily in the technology, telecom, healthcare, and energy sectors. Dr. Al-Rawi brings with him a wealth of institutional relationships, investment experience, and senior management experience from his role previously either as a Board or Committee Member or as a Senior Advisor on strategy, finance, investment, and/or execution matters to several regional private and public institutions in Saudi Arabia. Previously, Dr. Al-Rawi was a Founder and Managing Partner of Eastgate Capital Group, a regional private equity and real estate investment firm. Previous to that, Dr. Al-Rawi was with McKinsey & Company, where he served on several regional strategic and operational engagements in the financial, energy, and telecommunications sectors. Dr. Al-Rawi was also a faculty member at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, and prior to that worked for leading telecommunication companies in the United States. Dr. Al-Rawi holds an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. degree in Management Science & Engineering with a focus on Finance and Investment, all from Stanford University.
Ms. Assia Cioffi is a founding board member of the company, as well as the company’s namesake. Since 2003, she continues to oversee all aspects of ASSIA’s appearance, including the company logo, Web site, shareholder, investor, board, and advisory board meetings, and other company events worldwide. Ms. Cioffi created and fosters the company’s unique and beloved culture that emphasizes personal engagement, open communication among hard-working professionals, and an international, customer-focused orientation. A graduate of the École Internationale Élysées Marbeuf, Paris, Ms. Cioffi worked in a number of aesthetics positions in Paris prior to co-founding ASSIA, and in 2009 she was recognized for her contribution to and support for the Stanford University community. In 2017, she received the United States National Academy’s Einstein Society Award for her philanthropic contributions to the United States’ continued technical leadership.
Guenia Gawendo is the Innovation Investments and Scouting Director at Telefónica. Her mission is to identify new investment business opportunities and collaborations, manage Telefónica Ventures portfolio companies, and manage the relationships with other Telefónica Innovation funds. Her responsibilities include Telefónica scouting activities in Silicon Valley and Israel. In her 17-year career with Telefónica, she has led Telefónica’s Silicon Valley presence in Menlo Park, California, worked as Business Manager to the Chief Commercial and Digital Officer, and was responsible for the operations of the advertising vertical in Telefónica Digital, where she led the expansion of Telefónica’s mobile advertising business from Europe to LATAM. Other Telefónica roles include Head of Marketing Best Practices, Senior Manager for Commercial Development, and Corporate Strategy Manager. She brings a strong background in management consultancy with McKinsey and The Boston Consulting Group. Ms. Gawendo holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of São Paulo and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Douglas King is a Certified Public Accountant with significant experience in the accounting industry, including over 30 years of auditing experience at Ernst & Young LLP where he served in various capacities in multiple offices. Mr. King served as the managing partner at the San Francisco office of Ernst & Young LLP from 1998 to 2002. Currently, Mr. King is a member of the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Audit Committee, Finance Committe and member of the Governance and Nominating Committee at SJW Group (NYSE). He has servred in similar capacities with the Boards of Directors at Rackable Systems (NASDAQ); SGI International (NASDAQ), Fuel Systems Solutions (NASDAQ) and Westport Fuel Systems (NASDAQ).
Dr. Lee is a seasoned technology executive with over 30 years of management experience in the high-tech industry. He was the General Manager of eBay China Development Center, Shanghai, China where he led research and product development for the global eBay platform. Prior to eBay, he was the CTO of Yahoo! North Asia, where he led development of key services in e-commerce, mobile, communications and advertisement sites for the Asia Pacific region. Prior to Yahoo! he was with HP, where he held management positions at HP Labs and at HP Internet Imaging Operation where he led the development of imaging technology and photo hosting service. While at HP, he worked in Japan at the Advanced Telecommunications Research and at HP Labs Japan. Prior to HP he worked at IBM Research where he did research on image processing. In Standardization, he served as the Convener of JPEG Standards Committee, a position he held for 18 years. As Convener, he led the development of the highly successful JPEG family of imaging standard that has been widely adopted in the imaging industry. Dr. Lee received a BS degree from Cornell University and the MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University. He completed the Executive Development Program at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He has published over 70 publications and currently serves on the Advisory Committee, Information Engineering, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Olivier Sichel is the President of Caisse des Dépôts France. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of LeGuide.com, the number one European online shopping guide that operates in 20 countries and in nine languages. Mr. Sichel is a venture partner at Sofinnova, a leading venture capital firm in Europe, where he invested in several technology leaders, including Inside Secure and Solutions30, and still serves on the boards of these listed companies. Prior to Sofinnova, he held pivotal leadership roles at Wanadoo, a European leader in Internet and directories. As chairman he restructured Wanadoo’s activities in Spain, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and developed the company’s online Yellow Pages directory. By the time Wanadoo merged with France Telecom in 2004, the company’s operating profit had quadrupled, and its value increased to €13 billion. Following the merger, Mr. Sichel took over the fixed-line and Internet activities, and between 2003 and 2005, France Telecom moved up from ninth to second place worldwide in ADSL. Mr. Sichel also oversaw the launch of numerous innovative products, such as Livebox, VOIP, and broadband multiservice offerings. He graduated from Essec, a French business school, ENA (the Ecole Nationale d’Administration), and was a former Inspecteur des Finances.
Laura S. Stark has more than 30 years’ experience in technology with special emphasis on business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, research and development, and emerging solutions. Laura has spent most of her career at Rambus, where she held a variety of executive positions, most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Emerging Solutions Division. In that capacity, she was responsible for the company’s first DARPA program and first China venture. Previously she had been responsible for a series of acquisitions, agreements, and investments, which collectively seeded two new business units and two new strategic initiatives. She is also credited with developing the strategy and pricing for Rambus’ successful patent license renewal program, which at one point was responsible for between 50% to 70% of the company’s annual revenue. Laura received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT and has been on the board of directors for Roy-G-Biv Corporation for a decade.
Hemant Thapar is the Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of OmniTier Inc.. He previously founded and led two successful startups, DataPath Systems and Link_A_Media Devices, which were acquired by LSI Corporation and SK Hynix, respectively. Together, these startups delivered many “industry firsts” in controllers for data storage and data recovery and system-on-a-chip technologies. During his early career, Dr. Thapar held technical and management positions at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Holmdel, and at IBM Corporation, San Jose, where he made pioneering contributions in circuit-switched networking, data communications, and data storage. He has over 50 publications in the areas of data communications and storage, and his work on Extended Partial Response (EPR) Systems became the de facto industry standard for data recovery in hard disk drive and tape drive products. He is co-recipient of three best paper awards. Dr. Thapar was elected Fellow of the IEEE and also received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Santa Clara University. He holds a Ph. D degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Thapar serves on the Advisory Boards of the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University and on India’s Ambala College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.