The Arctic Economic Council will organize a side event on Telecommunications in the Arctic during the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway. The event will take place on Tuesday January 24th at Clarion Hotel The Edge: Margarinfabrikken at 17:15.  The side event is open for all. Please register for the event here.

We are pleased to present our panelists and confirmed speakers:

Khaled N. Sedrak, Founder and CEO, NxtVn Group

Capitalizing on the rising cloud wave and its inherent pressing demand on data center, and building on the healthy organic growth in this sector, Mr. Sedrak has started his last venture “NxtVn” to address this global opportunity through developing NxVn’s flagship Data Center Park as mixed real estate and technology venture. He is leading an elite team in creating a global cluster of well-connected Data Center Parks, distributed around the world in key strategic locations, to serve all cloud players, capturing the next generation opportunity.

Tom Løwehr, CSO, Telenor Maritime

Tom Løwehr is Chief Sales Officer and heading the Offshore business in Telenor Maritime. Over the last three years, he has positioned Telenor Maritime as the leading mobile operator on the oil fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. With more than 15 years in from the satellite industry, he has significant experience in building connectivity and infrastructure in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Middle-East and Africa.

Dag-Kjetil Hansen, CEO, Bredbandsfylket Troms Ltd.

Dag-Kjetil Hansen has his background from the Norwegian army as an officer and an engineer. Mr. Hansen has more than 20 years of experience in the telecom and ICT industry. Beforing becoming the CEO of Bredbandsfylket Troms Ltd., he worked in different projects and took on managing roles in companies such as Telia, Enitel, BaneTele and Sopra Steria. Bredbåndsfylket Troms AS develops regional infrastructure and is the network operator in the region. It is owned by the county of Troms and the municipalities. With the redundant fiber optical network, all municipalities are connected to the city hall with 10 Gbps network capacity. Bredbåndsfylket’s fiber optical network is the backbone carrier for the local broadband companies and national operators.

Kristina Woolston, Vice President External Relations, Quintillion

Quintillion, a private company headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska will build and operate the Quintillion Subsea Cable System. Quintillion’s fiber optic cable system will bring high speed internet to the Alaska communities of Nome, Kotzebue, Point Hope, Wainwright and Barrow, and expanded services to Alaska’s oil field, Prudhoe Bay in 2017. Quintillion plans to extend the system internationally to Asia and Europe, with additional spurs into Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.

Woolston’s career started as an intern for the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), and she is former Chairman of the Board of the Native American Contractors Association. She has also held positions with the World Trade Center Alaska, NovaGold and Chenega Corporation. In February 2016, Woolston accepted the opportunity to be Vice President External Relations for Quintillion as they build the Quintillion Subsea Cable System. Woolston is originally from the village of Naknek in Southwest Alaska and is an Alaska Native shareholder with Bristol Bay Native Corporation and Paug-Vik Village Corporation, Ltd.

Moderator: Tara Sweeney, Chair, Arctic Economic Council; Executive Vice President, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Tara Sweeney is the Executive Vice President of External Affairs for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) and is responsible for all facets of the company’s government relations and communications. In April of 2015 Tara was unanimously chosen to serve as board chair of the Arctic Economic Council. Sweeney also represents the Iñuit Circumpolar Council.

Sweeney has been actively engaged as an advocate for self-determination for Alaska Natives and enjoys mentoring young Alaska Natives interested in becoming politically active. In 2003 she served as Special Assistant for Rural Affairs and Education in Governor Frank Murkowski’s administration and most recently served as co-chair for Senator Dan Sullivan’s (R-AK) successful 2014 Senate campaign.

Sweeney has served on numerous business and nonprofit boards at both the state and national level. She currently serves as a board member for the Ted Stevens Foundation.

Robert McDowell, Chair, AEC Infrastructure: Telecommunications Working Group; Partner, Cooley

Mr. McDowell chairs the Arctic Economic Council Infrastructure: Telecommunications Working Group and is a Partner and co-leader of the global communications practice at the law firm Cooley LLP in Washington, DC.  Mr. McDowell is a former Commissioner and senior member of the Federal Communications Commission where he helped steer two of the then-largest wireless auctions in U.S. history and sparked the creation of an international coalition to combat multilateral Internet regulation.  He has been an industry and government leader on a multitude of complex issues in the Communications field throughout his career. He provides strategic legal, business, and public policy advice to clients on important domestic and international matters in the telecommunications, media, technology, and digital media industries.