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Open Networking Foundation Appoints Dr. Jennifer Rexford to Board of Directors

Noted Princeton University Professor Appointed to Board; Takes Position Previously Held By Dr. Scott Shenker

PALO ALTO, Calif., October 2, 2014 – The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced the election of Dr. Jennifer Rexford to the ONF Board of Directors. Jennifer, who is replacing Dr. Scott Shenker, is the Gordon Y.S. Wu professor of engineering in the computer science department at Princeton University. As a member of the Board of Directors, Jennifer will contribute to the organization’s mission of accelerating the adoption of open SDN. 

“ONF has given me an opportunity to work with some of the greatest technical minds in the SDN movement,” said Dr. Rexford. “I fully support ONF’s dedication to advancing the adoption of open SDN. The mission, as we’ve seen since ONF’s creation, is changing the way that organizations are thinking about building networks and influencing the open standards community. I am looking forward to working with the other Board members to support ONF’s drive toward widespread open SDN adoption.”

Jennifer has spent two years as an ONF Research Associate, and has also served as a member of the ONF Technical Advisory Group (TAG), where she helped create and oversee Working Groups, identify technical issues for resolution, and manage ONF affiliations.

Prior to her work at Princeton, Jennifer spent eight years at AT&T Research, where she designed the Routing Control Platform, an early SDN architecture for backbone networks. Her current research focuses on programming abstractions for SDN and applications in enterprise, data-center, and cellular core networks. She was the 2004 winner of ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professional, and was listed on MIT Technology Review's 2004 TR-100 list of the top 100 innovators under the age of 35.

Jennifer will replace ONF co-founder Dr. Scott Shenker, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley on the ONF Board. Scott, who stepped down last week after a four-year affiliation with ONF, will be refocusing his time on his networking research at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Dr. Rexford brings a wealth of relevant experience and valuable insight to the ONF Board. And we want to thank Scott for his service and many contributions to ONF, including co-founding it and the SDN movement as a whole,” said Urs Hölzle, chairman of the Open Networking Foundation Board of Directors. “He played an instrumental role in the creation, launching, and organization of ONF and has always provided deep and unbiased insight into SDN. Thanks to his efforts, the Foundation is well positioned for the future, and Jennifer is ideally suited to taking the baton.”

“The Foundation is extremely grateful for Scott’s contributions and looks forward with great excitement to welcoming Jennifer,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “Being surrounded by brilliant people like those on the Board of Directors is one of the great privileges of my job and in general a sign of how important the SDN movement is to the leading thinkers in networking.”

SDN and the OpenFlow® protocol arose from the PhD work of Martin Casado at Stanford University, where he was a student of Dr. Nick McKeown, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and worked closely with both Nick and Scott. After OpenFlow® was created, Scott, along with Nick, founded ONF in 2010 to transfer control of OpenFlow® development to a newly created non-profit organization.

“I am one of the luckiest people in networking because I’ve spent the past five years working closely with Scott on many projects, including launching ONF together,” said Dr. McKeown. “Scott’s vision and leadership have been a tremendous contribution to ONF and SDN as a whole. My luck carries on as Scott and I will continue to do research, looking for ways to advance SDN together. It is a great privilege to call him a colleague and friend.”  

“ONF, and SDN along with it, has come a long way in these past four years,” said Dr. Shenker. “I have been thrilled to be a part of this endeavor, and am delighted to hear that Jennifer will be joining the ONF Board. She is an amazing researcher whose depth of insight and breadth of experience, along with her passionate commitment to the SDN movement, make her an ideal addition to the Board.”

The ONF board consists of 10 members. Current Board members include:

  • Najam Ahmad – Director, Technical Operations, Facebook
  • Axel Clauberg – Vice President, IP & Optical, Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Igor Gashinsky, Distinguished Architect, Infrastructure Group, Yahoo, Inc.
  • Albert Greenberg – Partner Development Manager, Microsoft
  • Urs Hölzle – Board Chairman and President, and Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure & Google Fellow, Google
  • Yukio Ito – Senior Vice President of Service Infrastructure, NTT Communications
  • Nick McKeown – Professor, EE and CS, Stanford University
  • Chris Neisinger, P.E. – Executive Director, Emerging Technologies, Verizon
  • Jennifer Rexford – Professor, Computer Science, Princeton University
  • Thomas Scarpati –  Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

About ONF
Launched in 2011 by Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo!, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a growing nonprofit organization with more than 140 members whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of open SDN. ONF promotes open SDN and OpenFlow® technologies and standards while fostering a vibrant market of products, services, applications, customers, and users. For further details visit the ONF website at: https://onfstaging1.opennetworking.org.