Executive Board

Leading the Way into the Stratosphere

The HAPS Alliance Board is comprised of thought leaders in their respective fields. They have in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in their areas of specialization, including telecom, aerospace, communication technologies as well as emerging applications of Internet of Things (IoT), regulatory policy development, and more. To learn more about our executive team and directors, please access their bios below.

To learn more about our executive team and directors, please access their bios below. 

Officers

President

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Ken Riordan
Head of Product Management, Connectivity Solutions
Loon LLC

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Ken Riordan is Head of Product Management, Connectivity Solutions, at Loon LLC, an Alphabet Company. Loon's mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies.

Previously, Riordan held engineering, product development and business management roles at Nokia and Motorola. During his career, he has developed products focused on mobile devices and network equipment and worked to launch networks that span the full history of cellular communications standards, including AMPS, GSM, CDMA, WiMAX, LTE and 5G. Riordan served on the Executive Board of the Small Cell Forum and as Technical Committee Chair and Forum Vice-chair for the Wireless Innovation Forum (formerly SDR Forum). He has been a contributor to 3GPP and has supported regulatory and export control policy development for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC). Riordan holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Treasurer

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Gregory Ewert
Vice President of Strategy & Business Development
Intelsat

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Gregory Ewert shapes and executes Intelsat’s global business development strategy across the company’s network, mobility, media, and government business units. He is also responsible for structuring Intelsat’s strategic roadmap and forging partnerships that will advance its technology and service platforms, particularly for emerging applications such as land mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT). Mr. Ewert has decades of experience in the broadband and mobility sectors, with expertise in IoT and land-mobility applications. Prior executive experience spans international, MNO’s and mobile satellite where he held various positions at Sprint, GlobalOne, BCE (Bell Canada), Iridium and Inmarsat most recently as President of Connected Car & Intelligent Transportation Systems and President of its Enterprise business unit.

Secretary

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Helene Lemonnier
Head of Sales, UAS Solutions
Airbus Defence and Space GmbH by Airbus

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Helene Lemonnier is an experienced leader in program management, service delivery and marketing and sales in the space industry for defense, institutional, and commercial demanding customers. She started her career in SMEs developing new applications in Earth Observation and joined Airbus in 2004. Helene demonstrated success to push boundaries and accelerate the achievement of strategic objectives. Since January 2019, Helene is responsible for growing the business of Airbus Unmanned Aerial Systems program line, and Zephyr is one of the most promising ones!

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Ken Riordan is Head of Product Management, Connectivity Solutions, at Loon LLC, an Alphabet Company. Loon's mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies.

Previously, Riordan held engineering, product development and business management roles at Nokia and Motorola. During his career, he has developed products focused on mobile devices and network equipment and worked to launch networks that span the full history of cellular communications standards, including AMPS, GSM, CDMA, WiMAX, LTE and 5G. Riordan served on the Executive Board of the Small Cell Forum and as Technical Committee Chair and Forum Vice-chair for the Wireless Innovation Forum (formerly SDR Forum). He has been a contributor to 3GPP and has supported regulatory and export control policy development for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC). Riordan holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Gregory Ewert shapes and executes Intelsat’s global business development strategy across the company’s network, mobility, media, and government business units. He is also responsible for structuring Intelsat’s strategic roadmap and forging partnerships that will advance its technology and service platforms, particularly for emerging applications such as land mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT). Mr. Ewert has decades of experience in the broadband and mobility sectors, with expertise in IoT and land-mobility applications. Prior executive experience spans international, MNO’s and mobile satellite where he held various positions at Sprint, GlobalOne, BCE (Bell Canada), Iridium and Inmarsat most recently as President of Connected Car & Intelligent Transportation Systems and President of its Enterprise business unit.

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Helene Lemonnier is an experienced leader in program management, service delivery and marketing and sales in the space industry for defense, institutional, and commercial demanding customers. She started her career in SMEs developing new applications in Earth Observation and joined Airbus in 2004. Helene demonstrated success to push boundaries and accelerate the achievement of strategic objectives. Since January 2019, Helene is responsible for growing the business of Airbus Unmanned Aerial Systems program line, and Zephyr is one of the most promising ones!

Executive Board of Directors

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Michael Cross

 

Vice President, HAPS Business Unit
AeroVironment Inc.

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Mike Cross is Vice President of the High Altitude Pseudo Systems (HAPS) business unit, a premier HAPS provider for commercial and military customers. HAPS business unit is located in Moorpark, California. Previously, Cross was General Manager of Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation Strategic Business Unit, specializing in providing innovative space deployable hardware and unfurlable RF antennas for various military and commercial customers. Earlier, he served as Director of Northrop Grumman's Navigator Programs. He led a significant portfolio of military and commercial navigator product lines, including the modernization of military Navigators using M-Code GPS. While at Northrop Grumman, he held various engineering positions, including Functional Director and Product Line Director. Cross started his career at McDonnell Douglas Corporation, then Boeing, and had numerous engineering and program management positions concluding with Senior Manager of Systems Engineering, C-17 Program.

Cross earned a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University and a master’s degree in Systems Engineering and Architecting from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of Boeing's Executive Business Management University and Northrop Grumman's Executive Leadership Program.

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Petr Ledl

 

Vice President of Research & Trials
Deutsche Telekom AG

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Petr Ledl studied at Czech Technical University in Prague between 1995 and 2004 and received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

Since 2003 he has been working on different positions in Technology organizations of Deutsche Telekom AG and T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. Currently, he holds the position of VP of Network Trials in DTAG.

His primary responsibility is to identify, prototyping, and evaluate future mobile network technologies and related concepts (mainly 5G, LTE-A/Pro, Managed connectivity and advanced QoS mechanisms).

Petr has also been recently focusing on future disaggregated RAN architectures. He is also DTAG alternate board member of the O-RAN Alliance, a global operator-led alliance defining and standardizing future flexible and programmable RAN architecture.

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Per Beming

 

Vice President, Head of Standards & Industry Initiatives, Group Function Technology
Ericsson AB

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Per Beming is currently responsible for all standardization and industry initiatives, including open source, for the Ericsson Group.

In previous roles, Beming was responsible for Radio’s 5G program targeting 5G RAN products and demos, in addition to driving the architecture at Business Area Networks. Beming has been Director of RBS Systems at Development Unit Radio, Business Unit Networks. Beming has also held the role of Expert in Radio Access Architecture at Ericsson Research and was the head of Ericsson’s delegation to 3GPP RAN for WCDMA, HSPA and LTE standardization.

Beming joined Ericsson Research 1994 and holds an M.Sc. in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering (1994).

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Ryuji Wakikawa

 

Board Director
HAPSMobile Inc.
Vice President, Head of Advanced Technology Division
SoftBank Corp.

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Ryuji Wakikawa received his Ph.D. in Media and Governance from Keio University, Japan, in 2004. After working as a full-time lecturer at Keio University's Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, he joined SoftBank Mobile Corp. (currently SoftBank Corp.) in 2013He is now the Vice President of the Advanced Technology Division of SoftBank Corp. He is involved in the research, development, and commercialization of new technologies, including 5G, IoT, HAPS and Autono-MaaS. Concurrently, he serves as the Board Director at HAPSMobile Inc.

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Tamas Makay

 

Head of HAPS Sales
Nokia of America Corporation

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Tamas heads up HAPS Sales for Nokia Enterprise. Passionate about bringing connectivity to unconnected parts of the world, spent the last couple years dedicating his time to stratospheric connectivity technologies. He has been the building block with Loon from the very beginning on the first ever high-altitude LTE solution. Over the last 2 decades he worked with many Tier 1/2 operators across the globe originally specialized in core evaluation from 2G/3G to LTE, later on led a team that built the biggest and most complex telecommunication Customer Data Management solution in the US - a well thought technologist. Tamas is a true internationalist, his career has spanned time in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and he is a Harvard Business School Advanced Management program alumni.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson

 

Division Manager
Raven Aerostar

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Mr. Nelson was named Division Manager of Raven Aerostar in February 2021. Nelson joined Raven in January 2018 as Raven Aerostar’s Director of Engineering. Under his leadership, the division developed and released the HiPointer 100 solid state radar and advanced the Thunderhead stratospheric balloon system. Nelson holds bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Sioux Falls and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.