Full speaker biographies will appear here shortly, please check back regularly for updates.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Digital Agenda, Belgium
Alexander De Croo (°1975) is currently Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Post and Telecom in the Belgian Federal Cabinet. From 2012 to 2014 he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions. Before taking the office of Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo was Party Chairman of Open Vld, the Flemish liberal-democrats. In 2010, he was elected Senator, scoring third in the popular vote in Flanders.
In 2015, he was selected as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF). He is also member of the Global Agenda Council on Europa at the WEF.
Prior to politics, Alexander De Croo was an active entrepreneur in the field of intellectual property rights. He started his professional career as a business consultant for The Boston Consulting Group.
Alexander holds a degree in Business Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, Chicago).
Vice President EU Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation
John Frank is Microsoft's Vice President, EU Government Affairs. In this role, John leads Microsoft’s government affairs teams in Brussels and European national capitals on EU issues.
John was previously Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Staff for Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith based at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond Washington. In this role, he managed several teams including the Law Enforcement and National Security team, the Industry Affairs group, Corporate, Competition Law and Privacy Compliance teams and the department’s technology and business operations team.
For his first eight years at Microsoft, John was based at Microsoft’s European headquarters in Paris. Initially he was responsible for the legal and regulatory issues involved in the launch of the Microsoft Network (now MSN). From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Frank led Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs group for Europe, Middle East and Africa focusing on issues including privacy, security, consumer protection and antitrust. Mr. Frank began the company’s European Government Affairs program, which focused on advocacy on software and online policy issues.
Prior to joining Microsoft, John Frank practiced law in San Francisco with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Mr. Frank received his A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Acting Director, Directorate E – Future Networks, DG Connect, European Commission
Pearse O'Donohue was recently appointed Acting Director for the Future Networks Directorate of DG CONNECT at the European Commission, dealing with policy development and research supporting the Digital Single Market from the angles of 5G networks, IoT, cloud and data flows and conceptualising new and innovative approaches towards service platforms and next generation Internet. As Head of the Cloud and Software Unit in DG CONNECT, he is also responsible for the strategic development and implementation of policy on cloud computing and software.
Until October 2014, Pearse was Deputy Head of Cabinet of Vice-President Neelie Kroes, previous European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. He was responsible for advising the Vice-President on the development and implementation of policy on electronic communications, networks and services, as well as broadband, spectrum and other related policies such as Internet governance.
Prior to that, Pearse was Head of the Radio Spectrum Policy Unit in the European Commission, DG CONNECT.
He has also had posts in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU in Brussels, and as Assistant Director of the Brussels office of the Irish Business & Employers' Confederation, before joining the European Commission.
Member, European Parliament
Eva Maydell is a Member of the European Parliament. She is Vice-President of the largest organisation of associations and civil societies in Europe - European Movement International, Vice-President of SME Europe, and co-founder of Education Bulgaria 2030.
Maydell's priorities focus on enhancing skills-creation and the use of innovation and technologies, supporting entrepreneurs and investments in Europe. In the European Parliament, she is a member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and the only Bulgarian representative in the key Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. Eva Maydell is currently working on four key files, part of the Digital Single Market Strategy - the Directive for the supply of digital content, the Regulation on portability, Digitising European industry and the European cloud initiative. She is also rapporteur for the EPP Group on the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the New Skills Agenda and the Influence of technology on the future of the financial sector.
Amongst others, Eva's work has been recognised by the Financial Times, which included her in the "New Europe 100", the ranking of CEE's brightest and best people that are changing the status quo through their ideas and innovative solutions. She is also part of the European Forbes 30 under 30 list, featuring the change agents in 20 different sectors. Politico defined her as one of "the most eye-catching 28 people from 28 countries who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe".
Plenipotentiary for International Affairs, Polish Ministry for Digital Affairs
Graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Organization and Management, specialization in industrial IT systems). He has held managerial posts in both Polish and foreign enterprises in the ICT industry for more than twenty years. Since 1998 entrepreneur, he has held the post of President of the Management Board and Chief Operations Officer at Connect Distribution Ltd., which specializes in Value Added Distribution of specialist software and hardware. The company currently represents more than 30 foreign ICT vendors on the Polish and CEE market and has won numerous prizes and awards – including the European Medal, Business Gazelle, Forbes Diamonds or award of the Minister of Economy.
He has been actively involved in the ICT industry and environment for a dozen or so years. Author of many articles and commentaries in the daily press, specialist press and television. He was nominated for the title of “Personality of the IT” for his contribution to the IT industry. Since 2012 Minister of Digitization, the BCC Economy Shadow Cabinet. Representative in Innovation Council (Marshal's Office, Warsaw, Poland) and in the Parliamentary Committee on Innovation and New Technology. Initiator and Chairperson of the Coalition for the Development of the Information Society (KRESI) - a platform for dialogue and the cooperation of the most important environments and organizations related to the communications and IT industry in order to accelerate the development of the information society in Poland.
In the years 2015-2016 member of the Digitization Council at the Ministry for Digital Affairs. In 2015 awarded “Polish ICT - Man of the Year ” prize given annually by the Burda-Magazine / CRN. Since the end of 2015, Strategic Advisor to the Minister (Ministry of Digital Affairs), from May 2016 Plenipotentiary of Minister for International Affairs.
Hosuk Lee-Makiyama is the director of European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and a leading author on trade diplomacy, EU-Far East relations and the digital economy.
He is regularly consulted by governments and international organisations on a range of issues, from trade negotiations to economic reforms. He appears regularly in European, Chinese and US media, and is noted for his involvement in WTO and major free trade agreements. He was also named “One of the 20 most influential people for open internet” by the readers of the Guardian UK in 2012. He was the first author to argue for a WTO case on internet censorship in China.
Prior to joining ECIPE, he was an independent counsel on regulatory affairs, competition and communication, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representative of Sweden and the EU member states towards the WTO and the UN, including WIPO and UNECE. Lee-Makiyama is also a Fellow at the department International Relations at the London School of Economics, and currently shares his time between LSE and ECIPE.
Associate Vice President European Government Consulting, IDC EMEA
Gabriella Cattaneo is Associate Vice President of the IDC European Government Consulting unit, which she founded in 2005 to provide research and consulting services to governments and policy makers on ICT market trends and scenarios, leveraging IDC’s global research.
Cattaneo has more than 25 years’ experience in socio-economic research, impact assessment and benchmarking of ICT policies on behalf of the European Commission. She has contributed to the design and implementation of European Commission benchmarking indicators on e-government, e-skills, cloud computing, and currently on ICT professionalism and e-leadership skills. She is currently coordinating a study on the European Data Market for DG CONNECT aiming at monitoring and measuring the data-driven market and economy in the EU, including the forecast of the European data economy.
Cattaneo is a graduate from the Political Sciences of Magna cum Laude of Milan State University with a prize-winning research Thesis. She worked for ten years as a business journalist before becoming an ICT industry analyst.
Director General, Policy — EMEA, BSA | The Software Alliance
Thomas Boué oversees the BSA | The Software Alliance’s public policy activities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. He advises BSA members on public policy and legal developments and advocates the views of the ICT sector with both European and national policy makers. He leads on security and privacy issues as well as broader efforts to improve levels of intellectual property protection and to promote open markets, fair competition, and technology innovation in new areas such as cloud computing.
Prior to joining BSA, Boué served as a consultant in Weber Shandwick where he advised clients on a wide range of technology and ICT-related policy issues and represented them before the EU institutions and industry coalitions. In this role, he also served as policy and regulatory adviser for both EU and US telecom operators. Prior to that Boué worked for the EU office of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he was responsible for the lobbying activities towards the EU Institutions in the areas of trade, education, and labor, as well as for the organization and running of seminars on EU affairs for SMEs and business professionals.
Boué holds a Master of Business Administration from the Europa-Insitut (Saarbrücken, Germany), a Certificate of Integrated Legal Studies (trilateral and trilingual Master’s degree in French, English, German and European Law, from the Universities of Warwick (UK), Saarland (Germany) and Lille II (France) as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Law from the University of Lille II, France. He is based in BSA’s Brussels office.
Big Data Expert, DG Competition
Cyril Ritter is an official in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP), where he works in the Antitrust Policy unit. In his current capacity, he works on data issues, financial cases and pharma cases. He was previously a DG COMP case-handler dealing with airline and shipping cases. Before joining DG COMP in 2007, Cyril was a law firm associate in Paris.
Director for Fundamental Rights and Union Citizenship, DG Justice and Consumers
Paul F. NEMITZ is the Director for Fundamental rights and Union citizenship in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. The free movement of people in Europe, data protection, fight against hate speech and racism and rights of the child are key responsibilities of his Directorate.
Before joining the Directorate-General for Justice, Nemitz held posts in the Legal Service of the European Commission, the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Development Cooperation and in the Directorates General for Trade, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
Nemitz has extensive experience as litigator of the European Commission before the European Court of Justice and has published widely on EU law.
He is visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.
Nemitz studied Law at Hamburg University. He passed the state examinations for the Judiciary and for a short time was a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law and the Law of the Sea at Hamburg University.
He obtained a Master of Comparative Law from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he was a Fulbright grantee. He also passed the first and second cycle of the Strasburg Faculty for comparative law.
EMEA Director High Performance Computing, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
As the EMEA Director for High Performance Computing, Philippe manages a team of dedicated High Performance Computing specialists, able to supply the most advanced and efficient solutions for our HPC and Big Data customers, creating and implementing innovative HPC architectures.
In the past years, HPE has been developing and implementing numerous alternative solutions for our High Performance Computing and Big Data communities, including advanced HPC-aaService models, innovative Data Analytics solutions, and creative partnerships with our ISV and technology partners, on top of more traditional models with our extensive product set.
Philippe leads a team who are deeply engaged with customers and partners, helping them to overcome the barriers to supercomputing and compete in increasingly aggressive markets. Building on HPE’s purpose-built HPC systems and technologies solutions, applications and support services, our HPC solutions empower innovation at any scale, solving complex scientific, engineering and data analysis problems.
Philippe joined HP in Feb 2011 and brings 24 years of extensive HPC/BigData experience to HPE.
Acting Director of Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure, European Commission
Thomas Skordas received his diploma in Electrical Engineering in 1984 from University Aristotle of Thessaloniki, Greece, and the PhD in Computer Science in 1988, from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, France. From 1988 to 1995, Thomas worked in Grenoble, France as a Research Fellow and as project leader in EU-funded R&D projects in the areas of Information Technology and Robotics.
In 1995, Thomas joined the European Commission as a Research Programme Officer in the Information Society Technologies Programme, part of the Directorate General Information Society & Media (DG INFSO). Ever since, Thomas worked in various units of DG INFSO (which, in 2012 became DG CONNECT) dealing with ICT research in the context of EU's Research Framework Programmes. From 2006 to 2009, he was Deputy Head of Unit in ICT Security and Trust. In July 2009, Thomas was appointed Head of the Photonics Unit and since 1st February 2014, Head of the Flagships Unit. On 1st July 2016 he was also appointed Acting Director "Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure".
Founder, Open Evidence and Osimo Associates
David Osimo has 20 years of experience as advisor on information society and innovation policies, inside and outside government, at local and international level (Open Evidence, Tech4i2 ltd, European Commission Joint research centre, IPTS, Regione Emilia-Romagna). David is able to combine research and practitioners skills: as a researcher, he is mostly known for his pioneering work on web 2.0 in government and science, on which he advised the European Commission and the United Nations Development programme. He also published articles on e-government, future science, research and innovation policy and ICT statistics and he is an experienced keynote speaker at high-level events such as Ministerial Conferences and the Digital Agenda Assembly. As a practitioner, he created web- platforms for policy-making (CommentNeelie.eu, Daeimplementation.eu, and the Grand Coalition Pledge Tracker) and inducement prizes for innovation (iMinds INCA awards and Ideamocracy.it). David is an Italian native speaker and is able to work and interact in English, Spanish and French. He works across Spain and Belgium. David blogs at http://egov20.wordpress.com and tweets @osimod.
Manager - Enterprise Data, Strategy and Business Department, Malta Information Technology Agency
Graduated as “Notary Public” and “Doctor of Laws” from the University of Malta and with over 35 years work experience in Information Systems ranging from software development, systems analysis, database design to ICT and data management roles, Joseph can easily fit the description of a “Legal Knowledge Engineer”.
As the Enterprise Data Manager at Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) Data Governance Manager for the Government of Malta for the past 17 years he has been fully engaged with Data Management, Data Advocacy and Data Stewardship efforts. He was responsible for the PSI Directive transposition and now for its implementation. Joseph is also the national representative for Open Data and the Once-Only principle.
Chairman, Forum Europe
Paul Adamson is chairman of Forum Europe and founder and editor of E!Sharp, an online magazine dedicated to covering the European Union and Europe's place in the world.
He is a member of the Centre for European Reform’s advisory board, Rand Europe's Council of Advisors and the external advisory board of YouGov-Cambridge, a polling think-tank. He is a member of the board of advisors of the European Institute in Washington DC, the advisory board of the Washington European Society and the advisory committee of the EU chapter of Women in International Security (WiiS).
Paul is a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College London, a patron of the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES) and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.
He founded the consulting firm Adamson Associates, which was sold to Weber Shandwick and The Centre, which was later sold to Edelman.
In 2012, Paul was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to promoting understanding of the European Union”, a part of the Queen's 2012 New Year Honours Diplomatic Service and Overseas List.
Chief Correspondent, MLex
Lewis leads the agency’s coverage on competition policy and enforcement in Europe, writing extensively on issues of cartels, regulation and state aid. He has also written for several years on litigation before courts in Luxembourg, London, Germany and the U.S. A graduate of Oxford University, Lewis worked in academia at the Charles University, Prague, before becoming a journalist.
Chief Correspondent, MLex ITM
Magnus Franklin, Chief Correspondent for MLex ITM, was previously an analyst and reporter on Mobile Communications Europe and Telecom Markets. He provides comprehensive coverage of regulatory and legal developments in the telecoms, media and IT sectors both in Brussels and across Europe. Magnus studied journalism and economics in London, and works in English, Spanish, Swedish and Norwegian.
IT Lawyer, time.lex
Hans Graux is an IT lawyer at the Brussels based law firm time.lex (www.timelex.eu), which specialises in information and technology law in the broadest sense. The team is internationally recognized, being both a Legal 500 Top Tier firm in Information Technology, and a Chambers Europe Recommended Firm for TMT - Information Technology.
Hans graduated in Law in 2002, and obtained a complementary degree in IT in 2003. He worked as a research assistant at the Catholic University of Louvain, before becoming a lawyer at the bar of Brussels in 2005. In July 2007, he co-founded the IT law firm time.lex.
He has led a large number of international ICT policy studies, primarily for the European Commission and various European Agencies. Recent work for the Commission has included projects focused on data protection, eSignatures, electronic identity management, cloud computing and information security. Furthermore, he is a member of the ICT Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), and Member of the ICT Committee of the Order of Flemish Bars. He is also an independent legal expert to the Flemish Supervisory Committee, which supervises data protection compliance in Flemish administrative bodies.