2019 European Community Networks Summit

Speakers and Panelists

Armen Abroyan head shotArmen Abroyan

Deputy Minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia

Following his education with a master’s degree in Information Technologies Mr. Armen Abroyan served as a programmer working with a number of well-known companies both in Armenia and Ukraine. From 2000 to 2012 he worked for “ISMA”, “M-Possible”, “Synopsys Armenia”, GSC Game World and “Macadamian AR”. In 2012 he became the Development Manager at “Macadamian AR”, and was shortly involved in designing Artificial Intelligence and consultancy with “RedKite” in 2017. In 2017-2019 Mr. Abroyan served as the Director of “DeepCraft” before being appointed as Deputy Minister of High-Tech Industry of Armenia responsible for Information and High Technologies.

He has extensive skills and experience in working with innovation centers and laboratories, project management and digitalization, which is put to good use for the most ambitious high-tech projects of the Armenian Government, such as the Smart City and Engineering City, as well as a number of other major projects that will greatly contribute to the sector development both in the country and the region.

Franco Accordino

Head of Unit for Investment in High-Capacity Networks, DG Connect

Franco Accordino is the Head of the “Investment in High-Capacity Networks” unit within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). The unit is responsible for the deployment and take-up of very high-capacity broadband networks underpinning the Digital Single Market and promoting the European Commission’s vision and policy actions to turn Europe into a Gigabit Society by 2025.

Prior to this role, Franco was the Head of “Knowledge Management and Innovative Systems” unit providing support to DG CONNECT policies and operations and delivering advanced solutions for the European Commission’s internal take up in such fields as data analytics, web platforms (futurium) and artificial intelligence.

Before becoming Head of Unit, Franco led the Task Force “Digital Futures”, a participatory foresight project aiming to devise 2050’s visions and policy ideas underpinned by the digital transformation.

During his experience at the European Commission, Franco worked as a scientific and policy officer and Director’s Assistant in such fields as Future and Emerging Technologies, Future Internet, High-Performance Computing, Grid and Cloud technologies, Trust and Security.

Before joining the European Commission, he worked at the ETHZ/CSCS National Supercomputing Centre of Switzerland and at the National Research Council of Italy where he conducted research on formal methods, languages and tools for complex systems specification.

He has a long-standing experience in several information technology fields, including formal methods and software engineering, cloud and distributed systems, network centric operating systems, web platforms, AI, machine learning and data analytics.

Vassilis Chryssos

Co-founder and Administrator, Sarantaporo.gr

Vassilis Chryssos, MSc in Production Engineering & Management and MSc Quality Control & Environmental Management, has a rich experience in Project Management and Community Building. For the past 5 years he has been working with free/open source software and open technologies as a consultant and as community building officer in collaboration with NGOs such as Medicines Sans Frontieres and Greek Free/Open Source Society (GFOSS). He has been volunteering in social and development aid groups since 2000, as a project manager and environmental expert. He has organized and participated as instructor in many training workshops in computer usage skills building.

Jane Coffin

Senior Advisor to the CEO, Connectivity & Infrastructure, Internet Society

Jane Coffin is responsible for development strategy at the Internet Society, where her work focuses on coordination of collaborative strategies for expanding Internet infrastructure, access, and related capacities in emerging economies. Read full bio

Frédéric Donck

Regional Bureau Director, Europe, Internet Society

Frédéric Donck has in-depth experience as a negotiator and advocate in the telecommunications and Internet industry. Much of his work has been to bridge the interests of the public and private sector to negotiate policy solutions to the benefit of all parties. Read full bio

Abdulaziz Faghi

Program Leader for Infrastructure and Sustainable Development for the South Caucasus Region, The World Bank

Abdulaziz Faghi is a Program Leader for the Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Practice Groups in the South Caucasus based in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has 15 years of experience leading and developing infrastructure programs. He also brings to this position the in-depth experience from the Energy Global Practice where he worked as a Senior Energy Specialist in Europe and Central Asia, and prior in South Asia.

Abdulaziz has developed strong technical and leadership skills in operational work and strategic investments in cross-border trade. He has helped shape the organization’s agenda by collaborating across the World Bank Group, as well as with development partners through joint financing and policy dialogue efforts.

In addition, Abdulaziz brings the experience from the private sector, where he worked on a range of infrastructure projects, urban development and the creation of special economic zones in the Middle East region. Read full bio

John Garrity head shotJohn Garrity

Advisor, Connectivity Capital

John Garrity is an economist, policy advisor and program manager focusing on digital inclusion through pro-poor information and communications technology (ICT) policy and projects to foster universal Internet access and adoption.

Currently he is an independent consultant to public sector and private sector organizations, including to Connectivity Capital, a sector-focused investment management firm providing debt capital to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), UNDP as chief technical advisor on a national rollout of free public WiFi, the UN Broadband Commission as the author of the 2019 State of Broadband report, and the UN ITU in developing a last-mile connectivity toolkit.

Previously, John was the Senior Connectivity Advisor in the Global Development Lab at USAID, leading on the Agency’s operations to extend Internet access and adoption to marginalized geographies. In that capacity he managed several large awards with technology firms and implementing partners. Before USAID, John spent ten years at Cisco, most recently as Senior Manager of Policy Research managing technology policy engagements and articulating the appropriate policies to expand broadband infrastructure deployment. Previously, he was Emerging Market Strategy Manager, responsible for advising Cisco’s emerging markets expansion strategy across 130 countries utilizing macroeconomic analysis and engaging in the public dialogue on the role of information and communications technologies. Prior to Cisco, John was in the Corporate Strategy Group at the World Bank, and held previous roles at the Federal Trade Commission and in state government.

John has co-authored several reports on technology and development (examples include, “Harnessing the IoT for Global Development”, “Planning for Progress: Why National Broadband Plans Matter”, among others) and has presented around the world on efforts to close the digital divide.

Ramon Roca

Founder, guifi.net

Ramon Roca has been working for the corporate IT industry for 30 years.

Since 2,004 got involved in launching a bottom-up initiative for providing connectivity to the village area where he was born, and scaling it through guifi.net, a citizen driven initiative established as a Foundation at 2,008, being the president of the Board since then.

Nowadays his main focus is on developing the methodologies, good practices and governance for commons based and community-owned telecommunications initiatives.

Talant Sultanov

Co-Founder, Internet Society Kyrgyzstan Chapter

Talant Sultanov is the Co-Founder of the Internet Society Kyrgyz Chapter and an Expert at the Center for Strategic Initiatives in Bishkek. He has worked in the Kyrgyz government as the Adviser to the Prime Minister, as the Coordinator of the Taza Koom National Digital Transformation Program, and as the Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies.

Talant has worked in the past in the World Bank Almaty and Washington Offices. His other positions included the CFO of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, the Head of a Project Finance Unit at Kazkommertsbank in Almaty, and a Scholarship Coordinator at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. Additionally, he served on boards of the Kyrgyz National TV and Radio Corporation, the Business Council of the Kyrgyz Parliament, the Bank of Asia, and Humo Microcredit Foundation in Tajikistan.

Talant holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University (2006) and a Bachelor’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) from San Francisco State University (1999). He has also received executive education at the Harvard Kennedy School (2016).

Peter A. Wiebler

Director, Georgia Mission, USAID

Peter A. Wiebler was sworn in as Mission Director of USAID/Georgia in July 2018. Prior to his assignment to Georgia, Mr. Wiebler served as the Acting Director of the Office of Budget and Resource Management (BRM) in USAID/Washington. Mr. Wiebler is a career Senior Foreign Service Officer with extensive senior USG and private foundation experience in democratization. Prior to his current Senior Leadership Group assignment at USAID Washington, he led the Democracy and Governance (DG) portfolios in some of the Agency’s largest and most sensitive missions, including Afghanistan, West Bank/Gaza, Serbia, and Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

Prior to joining USAID in 2002, he led Freedom House’s Budapest Regional Office for seven years, spearheading democratization initiatives across Central and Eastern Europe, including regional policy networks and elections programs in Belarus, Croatia, and Serbia. Mr. Wiebler graduated cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a focus on international politics and the former Soviet Union.

He received his Master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He speaks German, Russian and basic Serbian. Mr. Wiebler is married with two children.


Naveed Haq

Regional Development Manager, Asia-Pacific, Internet Society

Naveed Haq is the Regional Development Manager, Asia-Pacific at the Internet Society (ISOC). He works closely with both the Senior Director, Global Engagement and the Regional Bureau in Asia. Prior to joining ISOC, Naveed was working with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Government of Pakistan since 2002, most recently as Assistant Director, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). Read full bio

Massimiliano Stucchi

Regional Technical Advisor-Europe, Internet Society

Massimiliano “Max” Stucchi joined the Internet Society in 2019 as Technical Advisor for the European Bureau. His previous experiences are as a trainer and IPv6 Programme Manager at the RIPE NCC, and before that he was the founder and technical director of a small Internet Service Provider and Wireless Internet Service Provider in Northern Italy. Read full bio

Ceren Ünal

Regional Policy Manager- Europe, Internet Society

Ceren Ünal joined the Internet Society in 2017. She is the Regional Policy Manager- Europe. Ceren’s engagement with ISOC began as an individual member that further developed through the NGL Program as an IGF Ambassador (Hyderabad 2008, Vilnius 2010) and various other ISOC events and projects she participated in and eventually became the founding chair of the Internet Society Turkey Chapter (ISOC-TR) in 2014. Read full bio

Date and Time

Thursday 14 November 2019 –

Friday 15 November 2019


Rooms Hotel Tbilisi

14 Merab Kostava St, Tbilisi 0108, Georgia

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