Executive Team

Mark Dankberg Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer view bio
Richard Baldridge President and Chief Operating Officer view bio
Doug Abts Vice President, Global Mobility 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 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 President, Commercial Networks view bio
Steven Hart EVP, Engineering and CTO view bio
Keven Lippert President, Broadband Services and Chief Legal Officer view bio
Mark Miller Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer view bio
Ken Peterman President, Government 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, President and Chief Operating Officer

Richard Baldridge, President and Chief Operating OfficerRick is responsible for leading corporate strategy and operations for the Viasat organization as a whole, guiding and evaluating the company’s three operating segments (Services, Commercial, and Government), and cultivating and maintaining relations with the investor community. Rick joined Viasat in April 1999 as vice president and chief financial officer, added the positions of executive vice president and COO in July 2000, and was appointed president in November 2003.

During his tenure, Viasat has grown organically and through acquisitions by more than a factor of 10, to a multi-billion dollar enterprise. His leadership has helped build the organization from a small business to a major prime contractor and technology partner to companies worldwide, including a transition from a product manufacturer to a global service provider.

Rick came to Viasat from Raytheon Corporation where he was vice president and general manager of its Raytheon Training Systems division. With over 4,000 employees in the division, his responsibilities included day-to-day management including marketing, legal, finance, and overall management.

Other experience includes roles as chief operating officer, CFO, and VP of finance and administration for Hughes Information Systems and Hughes Training Inc., before the divisions were acquired by Raytheon in 1997. Rick also held various senior management roles within General Dynamics Corporation.

Rick graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration, and an emphasis in information systems from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, where he is a member of the NMSU School of Business Hall of Fame. He serves on the board of CommNexus, a non-profit industry association that works to accelerate the formation, growth, and success of the technology industry in the San Diego region.


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.


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

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. She assumed her current position of Senior Vice President — People and Culture in April 2016.

Melinda 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.

Melinda 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, President, Commercial Networks

Kevin Harkenrider, President, Commercial NetworksKevin joined Viasat in October 2006 as Director, Operations; served as Vice President, Operations from January 2007 until December 2009; Vice President of Viasat and Chief Operating Officer of Viasat Communications Inc. from December 2009 to April 2011; Senior Vice President, Infrastructure Operations from April 2011 to May 2012; Senior Vice President, Broadband Services from May 2012 to May 2015; and as Senior Vice President, Commercial Networks from May 2015 to May 2017. Kevin assumed his current position as President, Commercial Networks in May 2017.

Prior to joining ViaSat, Kevin served as Account Executive at Computer Sciences Corporation from 2002 through October 2006. From 1992 to 2001, he 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, Kevin served in several director and program manager positions at General Dynamics Corporation. .

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


Steven Hart, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder

Steven Hart, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical OfficerAs CTO, he provides technical direction across the company in areas of networking, architectures, software, and information security. He works with a diverse set of Viasat business areas to drive innovation and strategic positioning, and supports business development activities, with technical support in product concept development, customer relations, and proposal activities.

Steven is a co-founder Viasat Inc. and has helped lead the company’s rapid growth from three people in 1986 to a global company that is the largest high-tech electronics employer in north San Diego County.

Steven has over 25 years of experience in design, development and engineering management for digital communications and networking equipment. He has provided leadership in many Viasat product areas, helping it grow from individual “black-box” products to integrated network communication systems. He also led the development of new satellite networking algorithms and directed the creation of the Viasat Information Security business.

Prior to joining Viasat, Steven was a staff engineer and manager at Linkabit, worked as a computer security analyst at the Merdan group on various projects for the National Security Agency and the Navy, and served the U.S. Air Force as an imagery intelligence specialist for four years.

He has authored numerous technical papers in satellite networking and computer and communications security, and holds patents for inventions in these areas.

Steven was named the 2004 Outstanding Executive by the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering for his dedication to ensuring the highest quality in education for its students through close ties with San Diego’s high tech industry.

Steven holds a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and an M.A. in mathematics from the University of California, San Diego.


Keven Lippert, President, Broadband Services and Chief Legal Officer

Keven Lippert, President, Broadband Services and Chief Legal OfficerKeven 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. He assumed his current position as President, Broadband Services and Chief Legal Officer in May 2017.

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

Keven 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).