Jim Brinksma, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Blue Planet
Jim Brinksma has over 15 years of technology experience spanning the department of defense, start-ups, financial services and Ciena. He is currently Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Ciena’s Blue Planet Division. In this role, he is responsible for expanding the Blue Orbit partner ecosystem to accelerate SDN and NFV adoption, engaging customer innovation centers to create next generation services and developing relationships across the start-up, financial services and open source communities.
Jim’s previous roles include Vice President Field Systems Engineering & Customer Operations at Ciena, Vice President Network Products & Strategy at Goldman Sachs, Sr. Systems Engineer at Cyras Systems, Network Engineer at Enkido, and he served in the United States Navy during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Jim’s doctorate is from University of Maryland and his dissertation covered “Public Market Signals as a Guide for Entrepreneurs Seeking Venture Capital Investment”. He also completed the Strategy and Innovation Program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the Non-Profit Board Leadership Program at Harvard Business School, and is a National Association of Corporate Director’s Board Leadership Fellow.
Manuel Damas, Vice President, Blue Planet SW
Manuel Damas is Vice President, Blue Planet SW at Ciena, and leads a worldwide team responsible for software & SDK development, Documentation and Tier 4 support of the company’s SDN, Orchestration and Virtualization Platform. Specifically Manuel’s team develops the resource adapter software and the Toolkit used to manage “hard” and virtualized network resources.
Through his 15-year career with Ciena, Manuel has held a number of technology leadership roles, including leading the Switching R&D team that developed the 5400 and helped make Ciena the #1 OTN vendor in North America. Other accomplishments include the introduction of Ciena’s CoreDirector platform into large customers, and leading the network management development team. In the recent past he has led the cross-product solutions, interoperability testing, product trials, product lifecycle planning, Quality, documentation, and Ciena customer experience teams.
Manuel holds a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He is active member of the Atlanta community where he lives with his family, and participates in various charity events supporting Habitat for Humanity, Kaiser Permanente Hospital, and North Fulton Community Charities.