Ms. Anousheh Ansari is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Prodea Systems. As she launched her company, she also blasted off on September 18, 2006, for a nine-day expedition aboard the International Space Station and captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. A successful serial entrepreneur and active proponent of world-changing technologies, she-along with her family-provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. This feat was accomplished by legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan in 2004. Prior to her Space ventures, Ms. Ansari served as co-founder, chief executive officer, and chairwoman for telecom technologies, inc., which later successfully merged with Sonus Networks. She has received multiple honors including the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and many more. She is a member of the X Prize Foundation's Vision Circle and its Board of Trustees. Ms. Ansari received a bachelor's degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University in 1988, a master's degree in electrical engineering from GW in 1992, and an honorary doctoral degree from the International Space University in 2006.
Mr. Nelson A. Carbonell is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience. In 1993, he founded Cysive to develop applications for companies wanting to put more of their operations on the Web. As president and chief executive officer, he grew the company from a basement start-up to a successful public company. Using the experience he gained in financing a business at Cysive, he decided to found Snowbird Capital in 2004 to provide mezzanine debt to middle market companies in North America. In 2010, he founded Nelson Carbonell and Associates to assist middle market companies with strategy, financing, operations, and technology. Mr. Carbonell is an active member of both the GW community and the broader community. He serves as the vice-chairman on the George Washington University Board of Trustees and has chaired several key committees, most notably for SEAS, the committee that led the full Board to approve the construction of the Science and Engineering Hall. Outside of GW, he serves on the Board of The Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia, and is a former chairman of the Washington-Baltimore Young President's Organization, as well as a former member of its international board. Mr. Carbonell earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from GW in 1985.
Dr. Randolph A. Graves, Jr. has more than 40 years experience in aerospace technology research, development, commercialization, and management. He served for 26 years at NASA, finishing his career as the director of the Aerodynamics Division in the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology at NASA Headquarters. While there, he served on numerous managerial and technical panels and committees, including the High Performance Computing Subcommittee of the White House's Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology; and the Fluid Dynamics Panel of NATO's Advisory Group on Aerospace Research and Development, where he was chairman of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Subcommittee. Since leaving NASA, Dr. Graves has been the chief executive officer and chairman of several start-up companies and continues his technology consulting through Graves Technology Inc., a consulting company he founded in 1991. Dr. Graves received his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic University, in 1963 and 1969, respectively, and his doctoral degree from GW in 1978. In 1982, he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he earned a master's degree in management.
Professor Arnold C. Meltzer has been affiliated with GW since 1954, when he began his undergraduate study in engineering. Professor Meltzer received his bachelor's degree in machine computing in 1958, and in 1960 he became an instructor at SEAS. He followed this with a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1961, and joined the professorial ranks at GW in 1962. In 1967, he completed his doctoral degree in electrical engineering, and he became a full professor in 1975. He served as the chairman of two departments: the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and later as the interim chairman of the Computer Science Department, developing the by-laws, budget, and hiring criteria for the then-new department. He, more than anyone, is responsible for originating the computer science and computer engineering programs at SEAS. Professor Meltzer was also active outside GW, serving as a Ford Foundation Fellow and a National Science Foundation Fellow, and providing technical consulting work for various federal agencies. In 2005, after 45 years of teaching at GW, he retired as professor emeritus of engineering and applied science.
Mr. Asghar D. Mostafa has spent more than 25 years creating and building technology companies. After co-founding his first company, ICOM, and later working as vice president of product development for the telecommunications division of Data General, Mr. Mostafa founded ISDN Systems Corporation (ISC) in 1991. He served as president and chief executive officer of ISC until 1995, when U.S. Robotics/3Com acquired the company. In 1997, he founded Advanced Switching Communications, Inc., which completed its initial public stock offering in 2000 and successfully raised close to $200 million in cash through private investment and initial public offering. In 2003, Mr. Mostafa founded Vinci Systems and served as its president and chief executive officer. The company was purchased after two years by Tellabs, Inc., and, to date, more than four million of its interoperable broadband Optical Network Terminals have been deployed to Verizon for its FiOS network. In April 2008, he founded Entourage Systems, Inc., and then followed three years later, in April 2011, with his newest venture, Rubriq Corporation. Mr. Mostafa received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1981 and a master's degree in computer science in 1982, both from GW. He is a long-standing member of the IEEE and ACM and has served on the board of directors of several networking and communications companies.
Mr. L. William Varner III is the president of the Mission, Cyber & Technology Solutions Group (MCTS) of ManTech International Corporation, a 2,700-person group of professionals supporting the intelligence and defense communities. Mr. Varner joined ManTech in 2009, after a long career with Northrop Grumman TASC. While at TASC, he was a core member of the senior executive team that grew the company to approximately $2 billion in annual revenues. As vice president at TASC, he led more than 1,000 employees in the Intelligence Operating Unit in delivering leading-edge and innovative technical solutions and operations support to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities. Mr. Varner earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from GW in 1973. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1975 and an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic University in 1982. He also holds advanced studies certificates from Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and the University of Virginia's Darden School. Mr. Varner is a member of the Board of Directors of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and the Science and Engineering Board of the National Defense Industrial Association. He is also a member of the University of Maryland Cyber Think Tank.
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