Management Team - Executive Officers

Management Team - Executive Officers


Mark D. Dankberg Chairman of the Board, CEO view bio
Richard A. Baldridge President, COO view bio
Bruce Dirks Sr. VP, Treasury & Corporate Development view bio
Shawn Duffy Sr. VP, CFO view bio
H. Stephen Estes VP Enterprise Services view bio
Kevin Harkenrider Sr. VP Broadband Services view bio
Steven R. Hart VP Chief Technical Officer view bio
Keven K. Lippert EVP General Counsel and Secretary view bio
Mark J. Miller VP Chief Technical Officer view bio
Ken Peterman VP Government Systems view bio
John Zlogar VP Commercial Networks view bio



Mark Dankberg, Chairman, CEO

Mr. Dankberg 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.

Mr. Dankberg 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.

Mr. Dankberg was 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.

Mr. Dankberg 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 COO

Mr. Baldridge 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. Mr. Baldridge 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 company approaching revenues of $1 billion. 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.

Mr. Baldridge 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. Mr. Baldridge also held various senior management roles within General Dynamics Corporation.

Mr. Baldridge 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.


Bruce Dirks, Senior Vice President, Treasury & Corporate Development

Bruce Dirks joined ViaSat in April 2013.

Prior to joining ViaSat, Mr. Dirks 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. Mr. Dirks began his career at Raytheon Company as a financial analyst and also worked on the corporate finance team at General Dynamics Corporation.

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


Shawn Duffy, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

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

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

Ms. Duffy 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.


Stephen Estes, Vice President, Enterprise Services

Stephen Estes first became part of the ViaSat team with the acquisition of several commercial divisions of Scientific-Atlanta in April 2000.

Mr. Estes served as Vice President and General Manager of the Antenna Systems group from 2000 to 2003. From 2003 to 2005, he served as a co-founder of an entrepreneurial startup. In September 2005, Mr. Estes rejoined ViaSat as Vice President — Human Resources, then lead the Government Systems segment for over one year, and during fiscal year 2013 assumed his current position as Vice President, Enterprise Services.

Mr. Estes began his career as an electrical design engineer, moving into various management positions in engineering, program management, sales and marketing, and general management for companies that included Scientific-Atlanta, Loral (now part of L-3 Communications), and AEL Cross Systems (now part of BAE Systems).

Mr. Estes holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Brescia University, an Electrical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University focused on finance and marketing.


Kevin Harkenrider, Senior Vice President Broadband Services

Prior to taking on his new role, he was COO at WildBlue where he was responsible for integration of the subsidiary following its acquisition in 2009 and preparation for the rollout of new WildBlue services following the summer 2011 launch of ViaSat-1.
Mr. Harkenrider joined ViaSat in October 2006 as VP Operations, managing the supply chain and manufacturing for all segments of the company. He has over 30 years of prior operations experience, including numerous senior management positions at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), General Dynamics, and BAE Systems.
Mr. Harkenrider holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Union College and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.


Steven R. Hart, Chief Technical Officer and co-founder

As 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.

Mr. Hart is a co-founder ViaSat Inc. and has helped lead the company’s rapid growth from three people in 1986 to a global company of nearly 2,000 employees today.

Mr. Hart 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, Mr. Hart 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.

Mr. Hart 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.

Mr. Hart 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 K. Lippert, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Keven Lippert manages ViaSat’s legal department, providing wide-ranging legal support to its business operations, including corporate, employment, government and commercial contracts, real estate, intellectual property, international, legal compliance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, financings, and securities law. Prior to moving into his new role in April 2007 he was Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, positions he had held since joining ViaSat in 2000.

Mr. Lippert has also played a key role in leading the legal team for company acquisitions. Beginning in 2000, he has been instrumental in due diligence, negotiations, and structuring of agreements for the acquisitions of WildBlue Communications, US Monolithics, Efficient Channel Coding, Enerdyne, Comsat Labs, Intelligent Compression Technologies, and JAST Antenna Systems.

Prior to joining ViaSat, Mr. Lippert was a corporate associate at the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP from 1997 to 2000. He 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 J. Miller,  Chief Technical Officer and co-founder 

Mr. Miller 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.

Mr. Miller’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.

Mr. Miller 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.


Gregory D. Monahan, Senior Vice President

Mr. Monahan has served in his current role since September, 2007. As an officer of the company, his current responsibilities include overseeing administration, new facilities acquisition, and a variety of other corporate duties.

Mr. Monahan has helped ViaSat achieve 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 has been recognized for its innovative technology and smart business model that nurtures growth and profitability. ViaSat has achieved listings among the BusinessWeek "100 Best Small Corporations", Business 2.0 "100 Fastest Growing Technology Companies", Red Herring "Small Cap 100", and Forbes "200 Best Small Companies in America".

Prior to joining ViaSat, Mr. Monahan was Assistant Vice President of M/A-COM Linkabit in San Diego from 1978 to 1988.

Mr. Monahan holds a J.D. degree from the University of San Diego and B.S.ME and M.B.A. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.


Ken Peterman, Vice President Government Systems

Ken Peterman joined ViaSat in April 2013. Mr. Peterman has over 30 years of experience in systems engineering, strategic planning, portfolio management, and business leadership in the aerospace and defense industries.

From July 2012 to April 2013, Mr. Peterman 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, Mr. Peterman 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, he was Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Collins Government System’s Integrated C3 Systems and Rockwell Collins Displays and Awareness Systems.

Mr. Peterman earned a B.S.EE degree from Tri-State University (now Trine).



John Zlogar, Vice President Commercial Networks

John Zlogar joined ViaSat in 2000 as part of ViaSat’s acquisition of several commercial divisions of Scientific Atlanta.  From 2003 to 2011, he served as Vice President and General Manager of ViaSat Antenna Systems. Since 2011, he has served as Vice President Commercial Networks.

During his career, Mr. Zlogar has held various management positions in systems engineering, program management, sales and marketing, and general management. Prior to joining ViaSat, Mr. Zlogar worked for RCA Government Systems and Scientific Atlanta.

Mr. Zlogar holds a B.S.EE degree from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S.EE degree from Stanford University.


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