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Speaker Biographies

Full details about confirmed speakers are available below.


Please note all speakers below are confirmed unless otherwise stated.

(Please note - * = speaker to be confirmed)

Keynote Speakers

Neelie  Kroes

Neelie Kroes

European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, European Commission


Neelie Kroes is currently Vice President of the European Commission and European Digital Agenda Commissioner. She was born 1941 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where she also attended school and helped to build her family’s transport business. She studied economics at Erasmus University, before working there for six years as an Assistant Professor. Her political career started on the Rotterdam Municipal Council, and in 1971 she was elected as a Member of the Dutch Parliament for the liberal VVD party. From 1982-1989 she served as Minister for Transport, Public Works and Telecommunication in the Netherlands. After politics she was appointed President of Nyenrode University from 1991-2000, and served on various company boards, including Lucent Technologies, Volvo, P&O Nedlloyd. Prior to serving as European Commissioner for Competition from 2004-2009, her charity work included advising the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and World Cancer Research Fund, and she has an ongoing interest in mental health issues.

Johannes  Hahn

Johannes Hahn

European Commissioner for Regional Policy, European Commission


Personal details:
Born December 2, 1957 in Vienna, Austria
Married with one son

Political career:
January 2007 - January 2010: Federal Minister for Science and Research
December 2008-January 2009: acting Federal Minister for Justice
2003-2007: Member of the Regional Government of Vienna
1996-2003: Member of Regional Parliament of Vienna

Professional career:
1997-2003: Board Member, later CEO of Novomatic AG
1992-1997: Executive Director of the Austrian’s People Party Vienna
1989-1992: Managerial functions in different areas of Austrian industry
1987-1989: Secretary General of the Austrian Managers Association (Wirtschaftsforum der Führungskräfte)
1985.1987: Employee of the Federation of Austrian Industries

1987: Graduated with a Doctorate in philosophy (University of Vienna)
1975: Graduated from high school

German: mother tongue
English: thorough knowledge

William E. Kennard

William E. Kennard

US Ambassador to the EU, US Mission to the EU


William E. Kennard is the United States’ Ambassador to the European Union. Prior to assuming this position, Mr. Kennard was a Global Partner and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm with approximately $90 billion under management. Mr. Kennard joined The Carlyle Group in May 2001. At The Carlyle Group, Mr. Kennard specialized in investments in the telecommunications and media sectors.

Before joining The Carlyle Group, Mr. Kennard served as chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from November 1997 to January 2001. He presided over the agency at an historic time. During his tenure, he shaped policies that created an explosion of new wireless phones, brought the Internet to a majority of American households, and resulted in billions of dollars of investment in new broadband technologies. At the same time, he implemented bold new policies to bridge the digital divide in the United States and around the world.

Mr. Kennard is well known for his advocacy for people at risk of being stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide. He implemented the FCC’s e-rate program, which brought the Internet to almost every school and library in the United States. Under Mr. Kennard’s leadership, the FCC dramatically expanded access to communications technologies for people with disabilities. The FCC also adopted policies to increase telephone service to rural areas, especially to Native Americans living on tribal lands. He reached out to create more ownership and employment opportunities for women and minorities.

As FCC chairman, Mr. Kennard promoted the benefits of technology worldwide. He pioneered an innovative FCC Development Initiative to assist countries in the developing world to participate more fully in the global growth of digital technology. Through this initiative, Mr. Kennard signed the first partnership agreements on behalf of the FCC with ten countries on four continents to share U.S. regulatory experience with emerging regulatory authorities.

U.S. News and World Report dubbed Kennard a “consumer champion for the digital age.” He has received many honors and awards for his accomplishments, including awards from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Easter Seals Foundation, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and honorary degrees from Howard University, Gallaudet University and Long Island University.

Mr. Kennard previously served on the boards of directors of The New York Times Company, Sprint Nextel Corporation (national US wireless carrier), Handspring, Inc. (manufacturer of the Treo and other wireless devices), eAccess Ltd. (national Japanese wireless carrier), as well as on the boards of several companies owned by The Carlyle Group.

Mr. Kennard also served on several nonprofit boards including the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, One Economy Corporation, Common Sense Media, Year-Up Inc., the Yale University Council, Gallaudet University and Media Access Project.

Before his appointment as FCC Chairman, Mr. Kennard served as the FCC’s general counsel from 1993 until 1997. He joined the FCC from the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand (now DLA Piper) where he was a partner and member of the firm’s board of directors.

Mr. Kennard is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. He resides in Brussels, Belgium with his wife, Deborah Kennedy Kennard, and their son, Robert.

Brendan  Nelson

Brendan Nelson

Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU


Brendan Nelson was appointed as Australia’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO in February 2010. In addition to these responsibilities, he also carries a special commission to the World Health Organisation and represents Australia to the Humanitarian Dimension of the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

A physician by training, Dr Nelson graduated in medicine from the Flinders University of South Australia in 1983. He undertook his post graduate training in both Adelaide and Hobart, Tasmania. Having successfully established two Tasmanian medical practices, he was elected president of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) before serving first as its national Vice President, and then President from 1993 until 1995. At the age of 33 and the youngest ever President of the AMA, Dr Nelson undertook a major transformation of the doctors’ peak body to focus it in areas such as tobacco control and Aboriginal health.

Dr Nelson was elected to the federal parliament of Australia for the Liberal Party of Australia in 1996, representing the Sydney electorate of Bradfield. Over the ensuing thirteen years he served in numerous roles including Minister for Education, Science and Training (2001-2006) and Minister for Defence (2006-2007). In both roles he undertook major reforms. After the defeat of his party in the November 2007 elections, Dr Nelson was elected Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party and the Opposition in which role he continued until September 2008. He retired from the Australian parliament in 2009.

Brendan Nelson was awarded the AMA’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for ‘Distinguished Service to Medicine and Humanity’. In recognition of his commitment to public health he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. The Flinders University of South Australia has conferred on Dr Nelson an honorary doctorate of the university. He is a recipient of Australia’s Centenary of Federation Medal, the Bruce Shepherd Medal and the Sydney University John Lowenthal Medal. He was also awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International.

Dr Nelson is married to Gillian Adamson. They have three young adult children between them. Dr Nelson’s interests include tennis, motorcycles, music, his Jack Russell Terriers and playing the guitar.

Edit Herczog MEP

Edit Herczog MEP

Member, European Parliament


Mrs Herczog was born on the 5th of May in 1961 in Budapest. She graduated from high school in 1979 and obtained an engineering degree from the University of Horticulture in 1985. She also completed a Master in Portugal Language and Literature from the Eötvös Lóránd University of Science in 1992, followed by an additional degree from the European Business School.

After studies, she started to work at the University of Horticulture. From 1994 till 2004, she was representative for the National Starch and Chemical, which belonged to the Unilever Group until 1997.

She became the member of MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party) in 1989. From 1998 to 2004, member of the Hungarian National Assembly. Since 2007, also holds membership in the Presidency of The Hungarian Socialist Party.

Elected as a member of the European Parliament in 2004, she became a full member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee and substitute member of the Industry, Research and Energy and the Budgetary Control committees. She currently holds full member position in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and substitute member positions in the Budgetary Control and Budget committees and treasurer of Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

Furthermore, she is a member in the presidency of the European Energy Forum, European Internet Foundation, Kangaroo Group, Forum for the Future of Nuclear Energy and the Transatlantic Policy Network.

António José  Cabral

António José Cabral

Senior Adviser to President Barroso, European Commission *


Biography to follow shortly...


Danuta Hübner

Danuta Hübner

MEP, Chair, REGI Committee, European Parliament


Biography to follow shortly...

Andrea Renda

Andrea Renda

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies


Andrea Renda is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), where he started and currently manages the Regulatory Affairs Programme. He is Professor of Economic Analysis of Law, Antitrust and EU policymaking at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at LUISS’ Law and Economics Lab. Andrea sits in the Scientific Board of the International Telecommunications Society and of the EuroCPR, and is the author of several publications and expert reports in the field of telecommunications policy and spectrum management.


Rudolf Niessler

Rudolf Niessler

Director for Policy Coordination, DG REGIO, European Commission


Earlier positions include:

• Several postings as Director and Head of Unit in the European Commission, DG Regional Policy, e.g. Operational Unit for Spain, Urban Actions and Impact Assessment of Regional Policy
• Councillor at the OECD for Trade Policy, Environment Policy and Territorial Development, Paris
• Deputy Director at Federal Institute for Less Favoured and Mountainous Areas – Affiliate to the Ministry of Agriculture in Vienna
• Research Fellow at Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna

Harald Gruber

Harald Gruber

Head of ICT and Economy Division, Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank


Harald Gruber is head of the ICT and e-Economy division at the Projects Directorate of the European Investment Bank. He oversees project appraisal and contributes to the Bank’s strategy on the telecommunications sector.

He has been professor at Bocconi University (Milan) for telecommunications economics. He has published The Economics of Mobile Telecommunications at Cambridge University Press and a wide range of articles in particular on the ICT sector in refereed journals.

He is on the editorial board of Telecommunications Policy and Information Economics and Policy. Harald Gruber holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Richard Womersley

Richard Womersley

Director, Helios Technology


Richard is a director with business and technology consultancy Helios. He has 20 years consulting and business experience working in the radio spectrum management, public telecommunications and digital broadcasting sectors. He has worked for regulators, network operators, governments and end-users on issues covering national and international policy; regulation and its implications; pricing, auctions and licensing; cost modelling and tariff setting; planning and consultation; network specification and procurement; monitoring and enforcement; interference and technical investigations and digital switch-over. His work has been international in nature spanning Europe (including the European Commission, EBU, Ofcom and the UK Government), the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, East Asia and Australasia.In addition to providing consultancy advice and support, Richard’s career has embraced roles as an RF design engineer, transmission manager for BBC World Service and business manager for the UK’s largest broadcast infrastructure provider ntl: (now Arqiva) giving him a broad perspective on telecommunications and broadcast technologies and industriesm, their commercialisation and their regulation.

Jose Manuel Sousa Uva

Jose Manuel Sousa Uva

Director - Horizontal aspects of rural development, European Commission


José Manuel Sousa Uva, born in Lisbon in 1949, has an engineering university degree as well as a post-graduate economic degree achieved at the Amsterdam University. He works in the European Commission, Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development, since 1987.

Up to 1993, he was Head of unit in charge of the animal feed and primary processed products, becoming then Director responsible for Rural development matters. In 1998, he was nominated Director in charge of the relations with the European Parliament and the other institutions, the information policy of the CAP and the promotion policy of agricultural products. From 2004 to 2008, José Sousa Uva was the Director responsible for the rural development programmes of 16 Member States including the 2 newcomers for the period 2000-2006. He was involved in an active partnership with the Member States for the approval of their strategy plans and programmes for the period 2007-2013.

From 2008 onwards, José Sousa Uva is Director responsible for horizontal aspects of the EU Rural Development policy, looking namely for its consistency, financial aspects as well as its monitoring ensured by the European Network for Rural Development. The pre-accession assistance to Agriculture and Rural Development in the Candidate Countries is also under his responsibility.

Matt Yardley

Matt Yardley

Partner, Analysys Mason


Matt is a Partner at Analysys Mason. He led the UK fibre costing project for the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) which effectively defined ‘the final third’ in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report; he also directed the subsequent BSG project on the costs and capabilities of wireless and satellite. He has directed numerous strategy projects for operators investigating the commercial case for investment in NGA, and for regulators on competitive issues associated with the rollout of new networks. He has also advised a wide range of clients on the future demand for bandwidth, including Ofcom and the BBC.

Matt leads our broadband intervention work for central, regional and local government organisations. He is directing our ongoing work for the Welsh Assembly Government on its major next generation broadband initiative.

He is currently advising the EC on the socio-economic benefits of bandwidth, and on broadband investment models. He is also advising the EIB on broadband development in Euro-Mediterranean countries.

Matt is a regular speaker at industry conferences and has been quoted in a wide range of newspapers and leading titles including the Financial Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Total Telecom, and others. Matt has a PhD in engineering from the University of Manchester.

Bridget Cosgrave

Bridget Cosgrave

Director General, Digital Europe


Bridget Cosgrave has been appointed Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, the principle advocacy group of the European digital economy. DIGITALEUROPE is dedicated to improving the business environment for the information technology, communications and consumer electronic sectors, and to promoting industry contribution to economic growth and social progress in the European Union. She took over from Mark MacGann on March 2, 2009.

Ms Cosgrave has built her career in the ICT, financial services and industrial sectors. Ms Cosgrave was a member of the Executive Committee of Belgacom Group for six years, during which she was successively, founder President, CEO and Chairman of Belgacom International Carrier Services, Chief Operation Officer a.i. of Fixed Lines Services, and Executive Vice President of the Enterprise division. She also served on the boards of Belgacom Mobile and Telindus Group. Belgacom Group is the service provider in Belgium offering “quadruple-play”: fixed and mobile telephony, broadband and IP television.

Ms Cosgrave has a strong knowledge of industry associations having spent five years as Deputy Director General of ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the pre-eminent body for direct industry elaboration of standards for mobile, fixed, satellite, broadcast and Internet products & services. The organisation has 500 corporate members representing more than 40 countries.

Ms Cosgrave is active in corporate governance, as an independent non-executive director of Essilor International SA, the global leader in ophthalmic optical products, and SES, the world leading satellite communications service provider. She has previously served on the board of Eutelsat.

Ms Cosgrave holds a Master in Business Administration from London Business School (UK) and a Bachelor of Arts, Honours from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada. She has attended the Chartered Director program of the UK Institute of Directors, the Leadership Academy of the United Nations University at the University of Jordan (Amman) and completed a corporate governance mentorship programme run by CMi. She is a dual Canadian and Irish citizen, with fluent French, who has been living and working in Europe since 1984. She resides in Brussels with her Belgian husband and their daughter.

Jacques Derenne

Jacques Derenne

Partner, Hogan Lovells


Jacques Derenne heads the Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation practice in Hogan Lovells’ Brussels office. He also leads their State aid practice.
Since 1988, Jacques has advised on all areas of competition law (cartels, abuse of dominance, mergers and State aid) and EU law (particularly in regulated industries such as postal services, telecommunications & satellites, aviation, railways and energy). He often appears in cases before the European Commission and EU Courts, national courts and competition authorities, and regulatory bodies.
He publishes widely on EU constitutional, competition and regulatory issues. He is a founding member of the Global Competition Law Centre (College of Europe, Scientific Council and Executive Committee). He studied in Liège and at the College of Europe and is a member of the Brussels and Paris Bars.

Manuel Kohnstamm

Manuel Kohnstamm

President, Cable Europe


Manuel Kohnstamm is the President of Cable Europe since April 2008. In this position he chairs the General Assembly, Board, and Executive Committee of the Association. Manuel was Vice President of Cable Europe between February 2006 and April 2008.

Manuel is also the Managing Director, Public Policy & Communications, of Liberty Global Europe BV, and a member of the board of Telenet NV. Manuel started at Liberty Global's predecessor UPC NV in August 2000 and held several positions in corporate affairs, public policy and communications. Based largely in Amsterdam and Brussels, he is responsible for government affairs, external relations and communications throughout the Liberty Global group in Europe.

Manuel joined UPC from Time Warner where he worked in a number of different roles since their European office was opened in 1992, most recently as Vice President, Public Affairs. At Time Warner Europe, Manuel was responsible for legal and regulatory policy activities in support of Time Warner's various European media operations such as Time Inc., Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting.

Prior to joining Time Warner, Manuel worked with the consulting firm European Research Associates in Brussels where he conducted macro-economic and policy studies on the telecommunications and defence industries for the institutions of the European Community.

Manuel is a also a board member of KableNL (Dutch Association of Cable Operators) , and the International Communications Round Table (ICRT).

Michel de Rosen

Michel de Rosen

Member of the Board, ESOA & CEO, Eutelsat


Michel de Rosen joined Eutelsat Communications in July 2009 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in November 2009. He is also a board member of Eutelsat Communications.

His career has included Chief Executive positions in international publicly traded groups and senior public service appointments.

He began his career in France in the Inspection générale des finances in the Ministry of Finance. He was Chargé de Mission in the office of the Ministry of Defence from 1980 to 1981 and from 1986 to 1988 was Chief of Staff of the Minister of Industry and Telecommunications.

Between 1983 and 1999 he held executive positions at Rhône-Poulenc, including CEO of Pharmuka from 1983 to 1986, CEO of Rhône-Poulenc Fibers and Polymers from 1988 to 1993, and CEO of Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (USA) from 1993 to 1999. From 2000 to 2008 he was Chairman and CEO of ViroPharma in the USA. He returned to France in 2008 to the position of Chairman and CEO of SGD.

Michel de Rosen is a graduate of the HEC business school and France’s National School of Administration (ENA - Ecole Nationale d’Administration).
He is also a Board member of ABB.

He is married with four children.

Aarti Holla

Aarti Holla

Secretary General, ESOA


Aarti Holla has been Secretary General of ‘ESOA’, the association of all European satellite operators, for the last 6 years. She works on key issues impacting the industry, strengthening awareness of the benefits of satellite-delivered services with key decision-makers to ensure the global availability of these services.

Ms. Holla’s professional history includes representing Galileo Industries, the joint venture company of EADS Astrium, Alenia Spazio, Alcatel Space and Galileo Systemas y Servicios in Brussels, where she worked closely with European Institutions on the development of the public private partnership scheme and management aspects of the Galileo programme and project & strategic management at DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (now EADS) in Munich, Germany.

Ms. Holla-Maini holds an MBA from HEC in France, a diploma in German law from the University of Passau, Germany and a law degree from King’s College at the University of London. She has regularly given workshops on negotiation skills for young managers. She qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in London in 1995, working with the law firm of Pannone Pritchard Englefield. She lives in Brussels and speaks 5 languages.

Peter  Dunn

Peter Dunn

Principal Analyst, Cullen International


Peter Dunn joined Cullen International in August 2010 as a Principal Analyst with 18 years experience in the communications sector,including working in the UK and Europe for Orange and for Colt,and for Digicel Group in the Caribbean. Peter has significant experience of regulatory and policy issues in the communications market in a wide range of different environments, including European and US approaches to regulation and the development of regulation in newly liberalised markets.

Chris Doyle

Chris Doyle

Apex Economics & Department of Economics, Warwick University


Biography to follow shortly...

Vianney Hennes

Vianney Hennes

Director of Brussels Office, Orange Group France Telecom


Biography to appear here shortly...

Matthieu Levisse

Matthieu Levisse

Director of Marketing and Media, NordNet


Biography to appear here shortly...

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Tuesday 31 May, 2011
09.00 to 17.30




European Parliament

Room PHS 3C50
43 Rue Wiertz

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Organised by Forum Europe