Executive Team

Mark Dankberg Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer view bio
Richard Baldridge Director, President and Chief Operating Officer view bio
Doug Abts Vice President, Global Mobility view bio
Marc Agnew Vice President, Commercial Networks view bio
Robert Blair Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary view bio
Girish Chandran Vice President and Chief Technical Officer view bio
Melinda Del Toro Senior Vice President, People and Culture and Chief People Officer view bio
Bruce Dirks Senior Vice President, Treasury and Corporate Development view bio
Shawn Duffy Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer view bio
Kevin Harkenrider Senior Vice President and President, Broadband System view bio
Keven Lippert Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives view bio
Mark Miller Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer view bio
Ken Peterman President, Government Systems view bio
David Ryan Vice President and President, Viasat Space Systems view bio

 

Mark Dankberg, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Mark Dankberg

Mark co-founded Viasat Inc. in 1986 and has led the company's rapid growth. He has held the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception.

Under his leadership, Viasat has consistently been one of America’s fastest growing technology companies. As a start-up, Viasat was selected to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies three times. After listing on the NASDAQ exchange in 1996 Viasat has been recognized multiple times by leading business and industry publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Red Herring, DefenseNews, Space News, and Washington Technology for its exceptional performance and growth.

Mark is an acknowledged industry expert in aerospace, defense, and satellite communications, and is the leading visionary for a new generation of high-capacity satellite systems. He has co-authored several military standards on satellite networking, and holds a number of patents in communications and satellite networking technologies. He has participated on Department of Defense advisory panels and was invited to testify before a Congressional committee on high technology growth companies and IPOs.

Mark has received a number of awards for his industry and business leadership:

  • 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year in San Diego in 2000
  • 2003 Satellite Industry Executive of the Year in 2003
  • 2008 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace International Communications Award
  • 2012 Visionary Executive of the Year, Satellite Markets and Research
  • 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Foundation Industry Innovator
  • 2013 San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO Founders Award
  • 2015 Society of Satellite Professionals Hall of Fame

He has also been an invited speaker on communication technology, entrepreneurship, and executive management at several universities including Rice University, NYU, and University of California at San Diego. He was a founding member of the board of directors of the San Diego Telecom Council (now CommNexus), and served on the San Diego County Regional Economic Advisory Board. In addition, he has been invited to serve as a judge several times at the local and national levels for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.

Mark began his career with the Collins Radio Division of Rockwell International, and at Linkabit Corp in San Diego, where he held positions in engineering, technical management and business segment management.

He earned B.S. EE and M.S. EE degrees from Rice University and is a member of the Rice University Electrical and Computer Engineering Hall of Fame.


Richard Baldridge, Director, President and Chief Operating Officer

Richard Baldridge, Director, President and Chief Operating OfficerRichard Baldridge joined Viasat in April 1999, serving as our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer from 2000 and as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2002. Mr. Baldridge assumed his current role as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2003. 

Mr. Baldridge was elected to the Board of Directors of Viasat in 2016. In addition, Mr. Baldridge serves as a director of Ducommun Incorporated, a provider of engineering and manufacturing services to the aerospace and defense industries, and EvoNexus, a San Diego based non-profit technology incubator.

Prior to joining Viasat, Mr. Baldridge served as Vice President and General Manager of Raytheon Corporation’s Training Systems Division from January 1998 to April 1999. From June 1994 to December 1997, Mr. Baldridge served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Hughes Information Systems and Hughes Training Inc., prior to their acquisition by Raytheon in 1997. Mr. Baldridge’s other experience includes various senior financial and general management roles with General Dynamics Corporation. 

Mr. Baldridge holds a B.S.B.A. degree in Information Systems from New Mexico State University.


Doug Abts, Vice President, Global Mobility

Doug joined Viasat in September 2015 as Vice President, Strategy Development of Broadband Services.  In May 2017, he was appointed to his current role as Vice President, Global Mobility.

Doug has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of general management, business development, operations, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning. From July 2010 to August 2015, Doug served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development of Bridgepoint Education. From August 2003 to June 2010, he operated in key management and business development roles at Science Applications International Corporation.

Early in his career, Doug served with distinction as an officer in the United States Navy SEALs. Doug earned a B.A. degree from Stanford University and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.


Marc Agnew, Vice President, Commercial Networks

Marc Agnew joined Viasat in 1988, and has held various technical, management and business positions with Viasat over the past 30 years. From 2003 to 2004, Mr. Agnew served as Vice President, Government Broadband, from 2005 to 2012, he served as Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Systems, and from February 2012 to October 2014, he served as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Broadband Services. From November 2014 to January 2017, Mr. Agnew worked to create Viasat’s European broadband joint venture, where he then served as Chief Technology Officer until May 2018, while also leading Viasat’s office in the United Kingdom from September 2016 to September 2017. Mr. Agnew was appointed to his current position of Vice President, Commercial Networks in May 2018.

Prior to joining Viasat, Mr. Agnew worked at Comsat Telesystems and M/A-Com Linkabit. Mr. Agnew earned a B.S.E.E degree from The George Washington University and an M.S.E.E degree from The University of California, Berkeley.


Robert Blair, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Robert joined Viasat in May 2008 as Assistant General Counsel. In April 2009, Robert was appointed Associate General Counsel, in 2014 he was appointed Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and in May 2017, Robert assumed his current position as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.

Robert has served as a director of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation since 2015. Prior to joining Viasat, Robert was an associate at the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP.

Robert holds a J.D. degree from Stanford University and A.B. degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Policy Studies from Syracuse University.

 


Girish Chandran, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer

Girish joined Viasat in October 2007 as a Principal Engineer. In September 2013, he was appointed Chief Technology Officer — Commercial Networks and in May 2017, he assumed his current position as Vice President and Chief Technical Officer.

Girish has extensive experience building multimedia networks. Prior to joining Viasat, from 2001 to 2007, Girish served as Vice President of Engineering at Newtec America Inc., a satellite communications equipment provider. From 1995 to 2001, he held several roles, including Vice President of Systems Engineering, at Tiernan Communications Inc. (acquired by Radyne Comstream Inc.), a provider of video compression and transmission solutions.

Girish earned a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, an M.S. degree in Electrical Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science and a BSc. degree in Physics from the University of Kerala.


Melinda Del Toro, Senior Vice President, People and Culture and Chief People Officer

melinda del toro headshot imageMelinda Del Toro joined Viasat in 2001 as Manager of Learning and Development. In 2003 she began to assume a broader role with the Human Resources organization. In 2008 she was appointed Director of Human Resources and in 2011 was appointed Vice President — Human Resources. In April 2016, she assumed the position of Senior Vice President — Human Resources, which was retitled Senior Vice President — People and Culture in April 2017. In May 2018, she was also named Chief People Officer.

Ms. Del Toro currently serves on the board of trustees at the San Diego Museum of Art. Ms. Del Toro started her career teaching at San Diego State University within the School of Communication. Prior to joining Viasat she held roles in corporate learning and organizational development for Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management, Qualcomm Personal Electronics and Sony Electronics.

Ms. Del Toro holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication from San Diego State University.


Bruce Dirks, Senior Vice President, Treasury and Corporate Development

Bruce Dirks, Senior Vice President, Treasury and Corporate DevelopmentBruce Dirks joined Viasat in April 2013.

Prior to joining Viasat, Bruce served as a portfolio manager at Fidelity Management & Research Company. Prior to joining Fidelity in 2000, he was vice president – Investments at TRW Investment Management Company from 1993 to 2000. Bruce began his career at Raytheon Company as a financial analyst and also worked on the corporate finance team at General Dynamics Corporation.

Bruce earned a B.A. in Economics from Amherst College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

 

 


Shawn Duffy, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Shawn Duffy, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerShawn joined the company in 2005 as Corporate Controller, and was appointed Vice President and Corporate Controller in 2009, Chief Accounting Officer in 2012, and Sr. VP, and CFO in 2014.

Prior to joining Viasat, Shawn was a senior manager at Ernst & Young, LLP, serving the technology and consumer product markets.

Shawn is a certified public accountant in the State of California and holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration (Accounting) from San Diego State University.

 

 


Kevin Harkenrider, Senior Vice President and President, Broadband Services

Kevin Harkenrider, President, Commercial NetworksKevin Harkenrider joined Viasat in October 2006 as Director — Operations, served as Vice President — Operations from January 2007 until December 2009, served as Vice President of Viasat and Chief Operating Officer of Viasat Communications Inc. from December 2009 to April 2011, as Senior Vice President — Infrastructure Operations from April 2011 to May 2012, and as Senior Vice President — Broadband Services from May 2012 to May 2015, and as Senior Vice President — Commercial Networks from May 2015 to May 2018. Mr. Harkenrider assumed his current position as Senior Vice President and President, Broadband Systems in May 2018.

Prior to joining Viasat, Mr. Harkenrider served as Account Executive at Computer Sciences Corporation from 2002 through October 2006. From 1992 to 2001, Mr. Harkenrider held several positions at BAE Systems, Mission Solutions (formerly GDE Systems, Marconi Integrated Systems and General Dynamics Corporation, Electronics Division), including Vice President and Program Director, Vice President — Operations and Vice President — Material. Prior to 1992, Mr. Harkenrider served in several director and program manager positions at General Dynamics Corporation.

Mr. Harkenrider holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Union College and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh.


Keven Lippert, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Keven Lippert, President, Broadband Services and Chief Legal OfficerKeven Lippert joined Viasat in May 2000 as Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary. In April 2007, he was appointed Viasat’s Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, in 2012 he was appointed Senior Vice President — General Counsel and Secretary, and in June 2014 he was appointed Executive Vice President — General Counsel and Secretary. In May 2017, he was appointed President, Broadband Services and Chief Legal Officer, and in May 2018, he assumed his current position as Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Prior to joining Viasat, Mr. Lippert was a corporate associate at the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP.

Mr. Lippert holds a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

 


Mark Miller, Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder 

Mark Miller, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical OfficerMark is a co-founder Viasat Inc. and has helped lead the company’s rapid growth. Before its initial public offering in 1996, Viasat was named three times to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies. Since then, the company's continuing superior performance qualified it as one of the BusinessWeek "100 Best Small Corporations," as one of the "200 Best Small Companies in America" by Forbes, and for position number eight on the Business 2.0 list of "100 Fastest Growing Technology Companies." Most recently Viasat was named to Red Herring magazine’s "Small Cap 100" for 2005, recognizing innovative technology and smart business models that nurture growth and profitability.

Prior to joining Viasat, he was a Staff Engineer at M/A-COM Linkabit from 1983 to 1986. From 1982 to 1983 he was employed at Cubic defense Systems in San Diego.

Mark’s main technical interests and active work lie in area of modulation, coding, digital signal processing and multiple access techniques.

He is the holder of various patents and has taught Satellite Communications through the UCSD extension program.

Mark holds a B.S. EE degree from the University of California, San Diego and a M.S. EE degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Ken Peterman, President, Government Systems

Ken Peterman, President, Government SystemsKen joined Viasat in April 2013 as Vice President, Government Systems. In June 2014, he was appointed Senior Vice President, Government Systems, and in May 2017, he assumed his current position as President, Government Systems.

Ken has over 30 years of experience in general management, systems engineering, strategic planning, portfolio management, and business leadership in the aerospace and defense industries. From July 2012 to April 2013, Ken served as President and Chief Executive Officer of SpyGlass Group, a company he co-founded which provides executive strategic advisory services to the aerospace and defense industries. From 2011 to July 2012, Ken served as President of Exelis Communications and Force Protection Systems, and from 2007 to 2011, he served as President of ITT Communications Systems, which are both developers and providers of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products and systems. Previously, Ken served as Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Collins Government System’s Integrated C3 Systems and Rockwell Collins Displays and Awareness Systems.

Ken earned a B.S.E.E. degree from Tri-State University (now Trine).


David Ryan, Vice President and President, Viasat Space Systems

Dave Ryan joined Viasat in May 2016 as Vice President — Intelligence Programs, and was appointed Vice President and President, Viasat Space Systems in May 2018.

Prior to joining Viasat, Mr. Ryan held several roles at Northrop Grumman Corporation from 2005 to 2014, including Sector Vice President and General Manager of the Intelligence Systems Division. He also served in various roles at The Boeing Company from 1990 to 2005, including President of Boeing Space Systems International. Mr. Ryan currently serves as a director of Space Micro Inc., a satellite electronics product company.

Mr. Ryan earned a B.S.E.E and an M.E.E degree from Rice University.