Alex Hills – Distinguished Service Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Dr. Alex Hills spent years living in rural Alaska, where he worked on providing telecommunication services to people living in the villages. He lived in Kotzebue, Nome and Bethel but worked in more than a hundred small villages across the state. This work is described in his new book, Finding Alaska’s Villages: And Connecting Them.
Later Alex became a university professor. He is now Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and Affiliate Distinguished Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Well known in the fields of wireless, telecommunications, and networking technology, he has lectured widely and published many papers and technical reports. He holds 18 patents, and readers worldwide have enjoyed his easy-to-understand articles in Scientific American and IEEE Spectrum.
Dr. Hills also led the team that built Carnegie Mellon’s “Wireless Andrew” system, the world’s first large Wi-Fi network. With this work, described in his book, Wi-Fi and the Bad Boys of Radio, he helped to create the vision of what Wi-Fi would later become.
He served as Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was responsible for the development and operation of Carnegie Mellon’s computing and telecommunications systems. As head of the university’s information technology organization, he was responsible for the financial and operational performance of the unit, which had 150 employees. Previously, he held a similar position at the University of Alaska.
And Alex has a great deal of international experience. He has traveled widely, lecturing and consulting in nearly 30 countries. When all are counted, he has visited 60 countries and seven continents. He has held visiting distinguished professor appointments in Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand.
Dr. Hills is a former U.S. Army Signal Corps officer and served as a company commander in South Korea. He lives in Alaska with his wife Meg, a nurse practitioner. The couple has two adult daughters and four grandchildren.
Maciej Kranz – Vice President, Corporate Technology Group at Cisco, and best selling New York Times Author on IoT
Maciej Kranz brings 30 years of networking industry experience to his position as Vice President, Corporate Strategic Innovation Group at Cisco. In this role, Mr. Kranz leads a team focused on incubating new businesses, accelerating internal innovation, and driving co-innovation with customers and startups through a global network of Cisco Innovation Centers. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Kranz was General Manager of Cisco’s Connected Industries Group, a business unit focused on technology solutions for the Internet of Things. He built a $250M business from the ground up in 18 months and relentlessly evangelized the IoT opportunity across Cisco and the market, making IoT one of Cisco’s major priorities. Previously, Mr. Kranz led efforts across Cisco to define, prioritize, and deliver Borderless Network Architecture and roadmaps. He also drove business and product strategy for the wireless and mobility business and led product management for the stackable Ethernet switching business unit through its expansion from $400M to $6B in revenues. Before joining Cisco in 1999, Mr. Kranz held senior management positions at 3Com Corporation, where he drove a $1B Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) product line. He began his professional career at IBM Corporation. Maciej Kranz holds a master’s in business administration degree from Texas Christian University.
Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell
Former Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell is President of Pt Capital, an Alaska-based Private Equity and investment banking firm investing in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Finland. Pt Capital is an investor in NOVA, Iceland’s largest wireless provider. Treadwell is also chair of global satellite firm Iridium Communications’ Polar Advisory Board. Both firms serve the “internet of things” market.
Acknowledged as one of the world’s leading Arctic policy experts, he also co-chairs the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative and the Arctic Circle Mission Council on Shipping and Ports.
He served as the elected Lt. Governor of Alaska from 2010-2014, and was chair of the US Arctic Research Commission under Presidents Bush and Obama, from 2006-2010 after initially being appointed by President Bush to the Commission in 2001. The Commission sets goals for the US $400 million annual Arctic Research program.
In business, Mead is the former VP and Treasurer of Yukon Pacific Corporation, then a subsidiary of CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX). He is a founding investor and former officer of Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC), the world leader in digital watermarking for music, film, video and currency. He was chair of Immersive Media Corporation (TSX-V:IMC), which pioneered 360 degree video applications such as Google’s Steeetview, now a subsidiary of Digital Domain.
A graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School, Mead is active in Arctic policy discussions worldwide. He likes fishing, hunting and skiing. He is married to Virginia Clay McClure and has, by his late wife Carol, three children.
Hon. Fran Ulmer – Chair, US Arctic Research Commission
Fran Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Obama in March 2011. In June 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, a state representative, and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. She previously worked as legal counsel to the Alaska Legislature, legislative assistant to Governor Jay Hammond, and Director of Policy Development for the state. In addition, she was the first Chair of the Alaska Coastal Policy Council and served for more than 10 years on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. She has served on numerous local, state, and federal advisory committees and boards. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. She is currently serving as the Cox Visiting Professor at Stanford University.
Greg Wolf, Executive Director, WTC Anchorage
Dubbed “Alaska’s International Man” by the media, Greg Wolf is one of Alaska’s most experienced economic development professionals. Wolf is the Executive Director of World Trade Center Alaska, a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to assist Alaskans to compete successfully for trade and investment in the global market place. This is a membership organization with more than 100 companies and individuals. He has held this position since December 2002. Wolf focused attention on export opportunities from Alaska to China and is now helping to focus attention on business opportunities emerging in the Arctic.
Prior to joining WTCAK, Wolf served as Director of the State of Alaska’s Division of International Trade and Market Development. He was responsible for the formulation, conduct of the State’s export promotion efforts, and oversaw the State’s trade offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Sakhalin, Russia. From 1993 to 1998, Wolf was the Vice President and Director of Overseas Projects for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. Wolf worked in Japan for the State of Alaska from 1991 to 1993. At the State’s trade office in Tokyo, Wolf served first as Trade Specialist and was promoted to Trade Representative. He was the recipient of the Japanese Government Monbusho Scholarship and from 1989 to 1991 and studied the marketing and management techniques of American companies doing business in Japan.
Wolf attended the University of Colorado and the American College in Paris, France before receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Antioch College in 1980. He is a life-long Alaskan, born in Anchorage. His also studied at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies in Osaka, Japan.