Osama Manzar Digital Empowerment Foundation)
Osama Manzar is a global leader on the mission of eradicating information poverty from India and the global south using digital tools through an organisation he co-founded in 2002. With over 25 years of experience, Osama has worked in the areas of journalism, new media, and software enterprise before he established DEF to digitally empower the masses (so far 20 million directly) with a footprint of 1000 locations and 9000+ digital foot soldiers across 130 districts in 24 States. Osama writes a weekly column in Mint and tweets at @osamamanzar.
Rajnesh Singh is the Regional Vice President for the Asia-Pacific at the Internet Society. In this role, he works with a broad range of stakeholders, including governments, civil society, academia, the private sector, the technical community, and influencers in the Asia-Pacific region to promote technologies, policies, and best practices to keep the Internet open, globally-connected, secure, and trusted for the benefit of people all across the world. Prior to joining the Internet Society, he played founding and leading roles in several technology and private equity investment firms. He has extensive experience in business management and strategy development across multiple industries, including telecommunications, power infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, and real estate.
Ritu Srivastava (Jadeite Solutions)
Ritu Srivastava is a Director at Jadeite Solutions. She closely works with Community Networks, understands their challenges, engagement of communities, and designs specific learning methods/frameworks for Barefoot women wireless engineers to sustain these models and further takes to policy-level discourse. She has 12 years of experience and expertise in project and process management, monitoring & evaluations, project design and implementation, program development for bilateral and multilateral funding for NGOs, strategic alliances; fund-raising, policy-level discussions and research.
Jane Coffin (Connect Humanity)
Jane Coffin is the Chief Community Officer at Connect Humanity. She has previously worked with the Internet Society (ISOC) for seven years, leading their Internet Growth project teams focused on Community Networks, Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) & interconnection, peering, and community development, and a new critical project on measuring the health of the Internet. Her work also focused on access and development strategies for expanding Internet infrastructure, access, and related capacities in emerging economies with partners. Prior to joining ISOC, Jane worked on Internet and telecommunications policy issues for the Office of International Affairs at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration – U.S. Department of Commerce. She was an active participant in Internet discussions in the ITU, OAS-CITEL, and OECD, working closely with the five regional Internet registries (RIRs) and other Internet technical community stakeholders.
Dr. Syed S. Kazi (Council for Social and Digital Development)
Dr Kazi heads Council for Social and Digital Development (CSDD) as the Director & Chief Executive Officer. He has experience working in the development sector since 2002. He was associated with the Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development, One World South Asia and Digital Empowerment Foundation. He has worked in key programmes of ITU, NISG, UNDP, BMGF, EU, NASSCOM Foundation, Govt. of Telangana and others. He has also founded the North East Development Foundation (http://nedfindia.org/), a not-for-profit society, working for sustainable development in North East India. He has founded ‘eNorth East Award’ (http://enortheast.in), a regional platform for digital innovations and practices in North East India. He has a masters, an MPhil and PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
Mohd. Niyaz (Development Institute for Scientific Research, Health & Agriculture (DISHA))
After a Post Graduation in Management with a specialisation in HR & IT, Mohd. Niyaz’s passion for social work and the dream to bring positive changes in the lives of the needy drew him to the development sector. Niyaz has worked as Project in Charge with Digital Empowerment Foundation. As the head of Talent Acquisition, at Digital Empowerment Foundation he has won wide acclaim for handling the Manthan, Asia’s biggest award for Information Communication Technology. He has also worked with Smile Foundation as Assistant Manager (HR), Prognosis Capital Advisors as Assistant Manager and Micro Clinic Private Ltd also as an Assistant Manager. He is one of the founding members of DISHA and is now its Secretary. Niyaz’s background as an IT and HR personnel is helping DISHA understand the changing job market requirements and the right training and education to be imparted to children in order to ensure a bright future for them.
Sree Divya Vadlapudi (Digital Communication Strategist, Digital Empowerment Foundation)
Sree Divya Vadlapudi is the Digital Communication Strategist at DEF. A researcher by heart, an advocate of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and entrepreneurship by passion, and an entrepreneur by choice, Sree Divya has over 14 years of research and development experience in Power systems/Power engineering. She has been awarded the Limca Book title of India’s “Undergraduate researcher with the most number of International Research publications”. Current area of research is Demand Side Management in power systems and conservation studies. Her areas of research interest include Demand Side Management in power systems and conservation studies, design of non conventional units for production of energy, load balancing, voltage stability, minimization of I2R losses and service restoration in electrical distribution systems using ANN, Fuzzy logic and non conventional energy resources.
Fauziya Nasim (Network Engineer Specialist Trainer, Digital Empowerment Foundation)
Currently the Network Engineer Specialist Trainer at DEF, Fauziya Nasim has previously worked as Innovation Engineer in Nex-G Exuberant Solutions in Noida, Production Engineer at Bhagwati products Limited (Subsidiary of Micromax Pvt. Ltd.) and also the Technical Support Engineer at the Phoen Support, Jaipur. She is a BTech graduate in Electronics and Communications and also has received training in automation in Allen Bradley and Siemens.
Nani Monya (Ziro Wireless)
Nani Monya is the coordinator of DEF at Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh. She has been spearheading the activities in the village for a long time now, setting up an Internet centre at the village and connecting schools in the region.
Amir Rahman (Digital Empowerment Foundation)
Amir Rahman is a Project Manager Network at DEF, and had been a Network Engineer with the organisation since 2013.
Austin Macklin Kawa (Senior Project Officer, Digital Empowerment Foundation)
Austin works with DEF, under the project Internet Roshni (BOLT). The project he works with intends to work with the Adivasi Community residing in the Tea Gardens of Assam in order to leverage the existing limited mobile data networks in the garden, data to be boosted by booster devices and channeling in concentrated Community Internet libraries (CILs) with access to network, information and resources.