Casper Klynge is the newly appointed Denmark’s (and the world’s) first ever Tech Ambassador of Denmark with a global mandate and a team in Silicon Valley, Copenhagen and Beijing. Denmark has decided to elevate technological diplomacy (TechPlomacy) to a crosscutting priority in its foreign and security policy. Tech Ambassador Casper Klynge and his global team will work to build strategic partnerships and engage directly with tech-hubs, governments, international organizations, civil society, cities, regions, world-class universities and other stakeholders. Ambassador Casper Klynge has had a long career with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2014, he was nominated Ambassador of Denmark to Indonesia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea & ASEAN. In 2013, he was Ambassador of Denmark to the Republic of Cyprus. Casper Klynge also served as Political Advisor, Civilian Crisis Management, General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium and he was Head of Section, European Union Joint Situation Center (SITCEN), General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. His academic contribution includes a post of Research Associate at the Danish Institute of International Affairs and Lecturer in International Relations Theory, Royal Danish Defense College. He received the distinction of Knight of the Order of Dannebrog, the NATO Medal (ISAF and the European Union Security and Defence Policy Medal (EUPT). Casper holds a Master degree in Political Science (International Relations) from Copenhagen University and is a 2009 European Marshall Memorial Fellow.
Gerbert (Gerrit Pieter Grades) Kunst is Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco and represents the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the 13 westernmost states. Before his appointment as Consul General, Gerbert was the director of European and International Affairs at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. He was responsible for the EU internal market policy, and coordinated the European and international policy of the Ministry. In addition, he was involved in the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 1997, 2004 and 2016. In 1995, he was posted in Brussels at the Dutch Permanent Representation, and from 2000 onwards he held management positions in The Hague, in the Representation of the Netherlands to the EU in Brussels, and in the Netherland’s Embassy in Berlin. In 1991 Gerbert began working as a lawyer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries. He also completed his military service from 1990 until 1991, and became commander of the logistics platoon. He is a reserve first lieutenant. Gerbert earned a Master’s degree in Dutch business law from University of Leiden. In 1991 Gerbert participated in the EU Erasmus Program, and studied International Relations and Law at the University Panthéon Sorbonne in Paris for six months. In 2005, he earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Business School Netherlands, and in 2014 a master’s degree in public administration from a combined program between the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and the Potsdam University.
Pavol Šepeľák is Consul General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles. Before this post, he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic in Latvia, Pakistan and Luxembourg and had several high positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague in relation to UN programs. From 1994 to 2000 he was assigned at the World Trade Organization where he was Counselor and Deputy Permanent Representative to the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic in Geneva. Pavol is a graduate of the University of Economics of Bratislava He attended Pembroke College, Oxford for post-graduate studies for the diplomatic service in the fields of International Finance and Trade, International Law, International Politics and Diplomatic Practice. He received the Grand Cross distinction of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Gold Medal of the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed.
Prof. Willem Jonker is the CEO of EIT Digital a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation. EIT Digital delivers breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeds entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilising a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes. Willem Jonker has a broad background in ICT, both in industry as well as in academia. He studied mathematics and computer science at Groningen University, worked at Delft University of Technology, received his PhD from the University of Utrecht, and is a part-time full professor in computer science at Twente University. Willem Jonker's industrial experience covers telecommunications (KPN), IT (European Computer Industry Research Centre, Munich) and consumer electronics (Philips). He held several positions as researcher, international project leader, department head, sector head, and account manager. In 2006, he was appointed Vice President Philips Research. Prof. Dr. Jonker has served European ICT research in various ways amongst others as project leader, reviewer and advisor.
Mr. Andrea Glorioso is since June 2014 the Counsellor for the Digital Economy at the Delegation of the European Union to the USA, in Washington DC. In this role, he acts as the liaison between the EU and US on policy, regulation and research activities related to the Internet and Information & Communication Technologies, including the EU Digital Single Market strategy. Mr. Glorioso worked for eight years at the Headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels (Belgium) on cyber-security, privacy / personal data protection, cloud computing and Internet governance. Before joining the European Commission, he worked at the NEXA Research Center for Internet and Society of the Polytechnic University of Turin, at the Media Innovation Unit of the Chamber of Commerce of Florence, at the Centro Tempo Reale Research Centre for Contemporary Music and in the private sector as a software developer and IT project manager for several multinational firms. A native of Padua (Italy), Mr. Glorioso has a MSc (summa cum laude) in Political Sciences / Sociology from the University of Padua, an LLM (summa cum laude) in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Turin / WIPO Worldwide Academy and post-graduate degrees in IT law (Centro Study Informatica Giuridica), international diplomatic law (Diplo Foundation / University of Malta) and global Internet governance (Diplo Foundation). He is a Fellow of Columbia University’s Institute for Tele-Information.
National / Regional Representatives
Austria - Tony Emsenhuber is Deputy Austrian Trade Commissioner/Advantage Austria. He is an electronics engineer, economist and lawyer by education, oversees high tech and covers the following industries: telecom, IT, photonics, semiconductors, renewable energy, energy conversion and energy storage. Tony is also qualified to practice law in California and acts as general counsel for all four US offices of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA. In 2010, he created the successful GoSiliconValley program that allows selected Austrian IT startups to refine their business plans and get connected with potential strategic partners and the financial community in the Silicon Valley. Tony has a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Vienna, a JD Cum (Laude) from University of West Los Angeles, an MBA from Vienna University and an Engineering Degree in Electronic and Telecom from Tech College Mölding.
Finland - Hartti Suomela is a Member of the Board at Nordic Innovation House and Senior Advisor, Digitalization, Software, Healthcare, Creative industries at Business Finland. In his role, he advises Finnish technology startups on management & business issues when expanding to U.S., including business strategy, market analysis, value proposition & market definition, formation of partnerships, U.S. market entry and business structures; specializing in software (both B2C and B2B), mobile applications, fitness/wellness technology. Hartti’s career at Nokia span several years starting as a Senior Research Engineer then as a Senior Technology Expert at Forum Nokia and Senior UI Project Manager. Hartti is a graduate of Helsinki University of Technology with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in International Business.
France - Stéphane Alisse is Managing Director of Business France, Technology and Services Practice North America, Founder and Managing Director of Impact USA Stéphane is an experienced go-to-market executive with 12+ years advising high-performing French start-ups how to launch and scale in the US market. Business France is an organization providing international business development services to French companies consulting with CEOs of French technology scale up companies on business development strategies and execution in the US market. From 2009 to 2012, the team has secured more than 2,000 business meetings with C-level executives and other senior prospects within emerging growth as well as F500 companies. Stephane’s track record includes the launch and expansion of ubi i/o (now Impact USA), a SF- and NY-based accelerator helping high-potential French start-ups to launch and scale in the U.S. market. 150+ sales contracts have been generated by the program, 88% of graduated companies are now incorporated and growing in the U.S, and $66+M VC money have been raised. The program is now expanding its footprint in China.
Italian Trade Agency - Patrizia Fedele is the Vice Director of the ITA Los Angeles office since 2014 and spent the last 25 years working for ITA in different capacities, among which overseeing the promotion of metal working machinery in Asia, Australia and Africa. She was born in Rome where she attended La Sapienza University where she graduated with honors.
Regione Autonoma della Sardegna - Massimo Carboni is Officer at Autonomous Region of Sardinia appointed by the Vice President of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia in 2014, as a member of Cabinet with duties concerning research, innovation policies, external investments and special affairs. Massimo is Associate Researcher/Director of Regional Studies at the Centre for North/South Economic Research and Professor of Contracts at University of Cagliari (Department of Economics) 2010-2015. He will join the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) promoted by U.S. Department of State for a premier professional exchange program in 2018. Massimo received his PhD in Law and Economics from the University of Sassari (2014) and Master in European Planning Programs (2008), undergraduate degree in Political Science (2002) from the University of Cagliari.
Area Science Park - Stephen Taylor has over twenty-five years of experience in both the public and private sectors driving innovation through the valorization of research results and technology commercialization. In 2009, he joined AREA Science Park, Italy’s longest established and leading Science and Technology Park as Director of Technology Transfer and is now Director of the Innovation and Complex Systems Dept. In addition, he served for seven years as CEO of Innovation Factory Srl, the in-house start-up incubator which specializes in incubating innovative, technology-based start-up companies. Prior to joining AREA Science Park, he was a Senior Consultant with SRI Consulting Business Intelligence, headquartered in Menlo Park California, a spin-off of Silicon Valley based SRI International, formerly Stanford Research Institute.
Luxembourg - Jean-Michel Ludwig is Director at Luxinnovation. He joined Luxinnovation, the Luxembourg agency for innovation and research in January 2002 to establish FP6 National Contact Point’s activities in Luxembourg and to develop dedicated support services for Start-ups. After shaping Luxinnovation’s approach to European Funding Programmes for more than 13 years in 2015 he became Head of Luxinnovation’s “SME performance and Start-up creation” department. From 2009 to 2013, Jean Michel was lecturer at the University of Strasbourg, teaching “European Project Management” at Master II level. Following his international business management B.A in 1998 he was project officer in a German consultancy company for 4 years involved in European R&D project management where he successfully set-up and managed FP5 projects, mainly for SME developing innovative ICT technologies. Jean Michel obtained his MBA at ICN Business School where he’s currently Lecturer at the Executive MBA program "Entrepreneurship and Policy Support to Innovation".
The Netherlands - Sigrid Johannisse is Counselor for Innovation, Tech and Science at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC and in charge of the Dutch Innovation Attaché Network in the US and Canada. Throughout her career, she has developed and managed successful innovative public-private policy initiatives, like the Dutch national startup program StartupDelta; the Green Deals, which is adopted by the European Commission as Innovation Deals. Sigrid has worked on political level as advisor of the Vice-President Neelie Kroes of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda on cyber security, innovation, startups and smart cities. She has a long career in managing and establishing innovation policy with an emphasis on high tech and digital. As side activities, she is a member of the advisory board of the Dutch startup incubator www.UtrechtInc.nl and member of the jury of www.inspiringfifty.com to promote more women in Tech. She is also part of the expert group of H2020 of the European Commission, advising the Slovak government on strengthening their startup ecosystem.
Portugal - Marta Sousa Monteiro has been working with the Portuguese startup community in the past 10 years. At Microsoft Portugal, she acted as Startup Evangelist, then she joined Uniplaces startup where she developed partnerships and later became a Community Builder in one of the top Portuguese incubators, Beta-i. Somewhere in between she managed to spend 9 months at the UN, working at the department of Goodwill Ambassadors and Community Outreach. Currently Marta is part of Startup Portugal team, managing Global Relations.
Sweden - Anders Nilsson is a Senior Advisor for Vinnova at Nordic Innovation House and Senior Vinnova-Wallenberg fellow in Palo Alto, California. Vinnova is a Swedish government agency working under the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications and acts as the national contact agency for the EU Framework Program for R&D. It is also a Swedish government’s expert agency within the field of innovation policy. Anders has a unique background in the Swedish regional and national innovation ecosystem where for several years he developed successful models of partnerships to spur entrepreneurship throughout Sweden. He is the Chairman CEO of Niowa a world-leading expert in developing and operating incubation activities at national, regional or local level. Anders also lead the development and execution of the Swedish national Incubator programs such as BIG, Business Incubation for Growth while at Almi Företagspartner a Swedish firm providing services, loan and capital to entrepreneur in capital. Anders has Master in Law Degree from Lund University
Wallonia - Baudouin de Hemptinne leads the Wallonia - Belgian Trade Commission in San Francisco where he supports and challenges Walloon startups' future development in the Silicon Valley. He has been involved in many entrepreneurs’ ventures and he is always passionate to use his skills to help transform these projects into successful and profitable businesses. Originally educated in law and finance, Baudouin de Hemptinne began his career as a financial trader and public lawyer before joining a Belgian startup. After almost a decade in the startup world, he took on a new challenge and sailed the Atlantic Ocean with his family for fourteen months. Baudouin then continued his international life, living for five years in South Korea as an economic diplomat for the Walloon region of Belgium.