| Irfan Ali
Irfan Ali is president and chief executive officer of Lambda
OpticalSystems, an advanced optical network solutions provider.
Ali leads the company, applying his extensive experience in
the telecommunications industry to manage Lambda OpticalSystems’
continued growth as a provider of all optical switches and sophisticated
optical network management tools to telecommunications carriers,
government agencies, and research institutions.
Prior to joining Lambda OpticalSystems, Ali served as president
of CommWorks Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3Com.
Prior to this position, Ali was vice president of marketing
for 3Com’s carrier networks business unit, where he led development
of the company’s global business, with particular focus on Asia
Pacific and Latin America.
Previously, Ali worked for Newbridge Networks, Inc. (acquired
by Alcatel in May 2000), where he first served as assistant
vice president, building the ATM and frame relay businesses
for the company. Subsequently, he served as vice president of
marketing for Newbridge Networks, Inc. Prior to that, Ali worked
for Nortel, both as part of the scientific staff and in market
development. He was also founder of the ATM Forum. Ali holds
a master’s degree in business administration and a Master of
Science degree in electrical engineering from the Southern Methodist
Gerald Butters is an acknowledged dignitary in the communications
industry. His career, spanning more than 39 years, included
appointments as president of NTI (a Nortel Networks US subsidiary),
chairman of the board of AGCS (a joint venture of GTE and AT&T),
president of Lucent Technologies’ Global Public Networks, and
president of Lucent’s North American marketing, sales, and services.
While at Lucent, he formed the Optical Networking Group and
became its first president.
Butters retired from Lucent Technologies in 2000 as senior vice
president of strategy, marketing, and business development.
He continues to serve as a board member and advisor to several
innovative companies. He is also a fellow of the International
Cliff Higgerson has more than 35 years of experience in research,
consulting, planning, and venture investing. Combining the market
insight of an analyst with a keen ability to identify blockbuster
technologies early in their development, Higgerson has backed
some of the most successful companies in the communications
industry. He focuses his investments on telecommunications with
an emphasis on carrier systems and equipment.
Recent investments and board seats include Astute Networks,
Hatteras Networks, Kotura, Ygnition, and Xtera Communications.
Prior investments and board seats include such industry leaders
as Advanced Fibre Communications (Nasdaq: AFCI); America Online;
Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN); Digital Island (acquired by Cable & Wireless);
Digital Microwave, now Stratex Networks (Nasdaq: STXN); Tellabs
(Nasdaq: TLAB); MCI (Nasdaq: MCIP); Octel (NYSE:OTL); and Tut
Systems (Nasdaq: TUTS).
Prior to ComVentures, Cliff was a general partner with Vanguard
Venture Partners. He has also served as a managing partner and
Director of Research for Hambrecht & Quist, and as a special
limited partner and Director of the Communications Group for
L.F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin.
Cliff holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley,
and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois.
Partner, Sevin Rosen Funds
Since joining Sevin Rosen Funds in 2000, Amra Tareen has worked
with telecommunications companies. Her previous experience includes
management positions at leading communications companies Lucent
Technologies and Ascend Communications, where she played a key
role in growing Ascend’s DSL business.
She currently sits on the boards of Clovis and Lemur Networks.
Tareen’s principal business strength, an in-depth understanding
of specific technologies coupled with an expertise in strategic
planning, product positioning, and customer relationships, is
the rule rather than the exception at SRF. “We’re here to help
our portfolio companies to be successful,” says Tareen. “It’s
so easy for people to focus on the nitty-gritty of technology
and lose sight of the other elements of a healthy venture.”