Our Executive Team

Geolocation Pioneers

Backed by an experienced management team that has built and operated multiple national wireless systems, NextNav is revolutionizing urban and indoor positioning for public safety and commercial applications.

  • Ganesh Pattabiraman

    Ganesh Pattabiraman

    As the Co-Founder and CEO of NextNav, Ganesh is leading the mission to enable the future of geolocation. He is passionate about bringing scale to technologies. Over his twenty+ year career, spanning companies such as Qualcomm, he has led various initiatives in launching terrestrial, satellite based (GPS and LEO), proximity-based location systems into mass market devices – including GPS and sensor based technologies.

    Ganesh has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University.

  • Arun Raghupathy

    Arun Raghupathy

    As Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Engineering, Arun Raghupathy heads Engineering at NextNav spanning Systems Algorithms, Hardware, Firmware and Software domains. Before co-founding NextNav, he spent more than 10 years as a technology leader developing innovative ideas and maturing them into commercial products at multiple technology companies. At Qualcomm, he was involved in development of technology for cellular modems including key contributions to transmitter design and to the design of the first CDMA direct conversion receiver chipset. At Texas Instruments, he led the GPS systems team and, as system architect, developed innovative GPS measurement and positioning techniques applied to multiple generations of smartphone multi-radio chipsets. At NextNav, he has been a key contributor to the critical IP and the architect for system/HW/SW design for the TerraPoiNT and Pinnacle services. He has more than 50 issued patents.

    He has a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999 and an M.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park 1996. with specialization in signal processing and communications. Prior to that he obtained a Bachelors of Technology in Electronics Engineering and Communications degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1993.

  • Christian Gates

    Christian Gates

    Christian Gates is NextNav’s Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development, leading the business development team, managing the company’s corporate partnerships, and contributing to its policy outreach efforts. Before joining NextNav, he was VP of Strategy at SkyTerra. Mr. Gates’ background includes a range of telecommunications and technology ventures, after starting his career in finance. Mr. Gates is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

  • David Knutson

    David Knutson

    David Knutson, SVP of Network Operations and Deployment, is responsible for manufacturing, designing, building and operating the NextNav network. Prior to joining NextNav in 2011, David worked for multiple startups. At American Personal Communications/Sprint Spectrum, he helped launch the first PCS network in the United States. At Telecorp PCS (AT&T Wireless’ largest affiliate), he was the head of Engineering and Operations from inception until its sale to AT&T in 2001. At Cyren Call Communications, he helped pave the way for what is now FirstNet. David also held roles as SVP Outsourcing, EVP Sales and Business Development and COO for a global $250 million revenue services business unit of Wireless Facilities Inc (WFI) focusing on wireless network design and deployment for major carriers around the world.

  • Dan Hight

    Dan Hight

    Dan Hight, VP Business Development and Partnerships, leads efforts to build sustainable partnerships, leveraging NextNav’s next generation location infrastructure and service for public safety and first responders, consumer applications, gaming, AdTech/MarTech and IOT solutions. Prior to NextNav, Dan Hight was an executive at mobile location platform GroundTruth and advisor to media companies, technology platforms and associations. A location media veteran, Hight has created strategic partnerships for the past 20 years.

  • Gillian Smith

    Gillian Smith

    As Vice President of Marketing, Gillian Smith is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing NextNav’s marketing and communications efforts. She is an award-winning marketing executive with over 25 years of experience with companies and organizations including Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Teach For America, and has been a pioneer in the digital media space.  Her marketing campaigns have won awards including Cannes Golden Lions, Effies, Association of National Advertisers Best Multicultural Advertising,  Best Viral Advertising (Wall Street Journal), and even Best Campaign of the Century according to The New York Times. Gillian is passionate about launching new products and leveraging the power of innovative technologies to enhance people’s lives and improve experiences.

  • Gary Parsons

    Gary Parsons

    Gary Parsons, the Chairman of NextNav, spent over 45 years in the telecom industry and is noted for the founding or early stage development of a number of innovative telecom companies, including XM Satellite Radio, SkyTerra, TerreStar Networks, Telecom*USA and MCImetro.  He served as the founding CEO and then Executive Chairman of XM Satellite Radio from 1997 through its merger with Sirius in July 2008, and continued as Chairman of the combined Sirius XM Radio until 2010.

    Gary was a pioneer in the deployment of fiber optic networks in the 80s and 90s and hybrid satellite-terrestrial technologies (such as XM Radio, SkyTerra and TerraStar) during the 2000s. In addition to NextNav, Mr Parsons also serves on the Board of Directors of Omnispace LLC, Siden Inc, Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, and is Executive Chairman of Torad Engineering, LLC. He holds a Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Science from Clemson University, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina, and is Co-Chairman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Mr. Parsons was inducted into the US Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2002.

  • Ganesh Pattabiraman

    Ganesh Pattabiraman

    As the Co-Founder and CEO of NextNav, Ganesh is leading the mission to enable the future of geolocation. He currently holds seven patents and is passionate about bringing scale to technologies. Over his twenty+ year career, spanning companies such as Qualcomm, he has led various initiatives in launching terrestrial, satellite based (GPS and LEO), proximity-based location systems into mass market devices – including GPS and sensor based technologies.

    Ganesh has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University.

  • Peter D. Aquino

    Peter D. Aquino

    Peter Aquino is currently the Chairman & CEO of Spartacus Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq: TMTS). Spartacus announced a combination with a next generation GPS leader, NextNav LLC. He is a 30+ year veteran of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications industry, starting his career at AT&T / Verizon in 1983. Mr. Aquino has a track record of successfully guiding companies through M&A, major expansion efforts, turnarounds, and strategic partnerships. He has run 4 public companies thus far, including Spartacus AC, and served in leading roles as: Chairman & CEO of Internap Corporation between 2016 and 2020, a North America retail data center company; Chairman and CEO of Primus Telecommunications Group, Inc. from 2010 until 2013, a global telecommunications company providing voice, high-capacity data, and data center services to enterprises; and President and CEO of RCN Corporation from 2004 until 2010, a competitive cable MSO and Metro Fiber company primarily in the Northeast US. Mr. Aquino is also the founder of Broad Valley Capital, LLC since 2014, where he advises firms focused on TMT, and also provides capital to for start-up broadband companies. Mr. Aquino served on several public boards including more recently; Lumos Networks, FairPoint Communications, Alaska Telecom, and TiVo, Inc. He is currently on the board of Spartacus Acquisition Corp. Mr. Aquino earned a B.A. from Montclair State University, New Jersey; and an M.B.A. from George Washington University, Washington, DC.

  • Bandel L. Carano

    Bandel L. Carano

    Bandel L. Carano is a Managing Partner at Oak Investment Partners, which he joined in 1985 and became a General Partner in 1987. Bandel is currently on the Boards of Airspan Networks, Centric Software, MobiTV, Mojix, NeoPhotonics, NextNav, nLight, and SmartDrive. Bandel has also led investments in and/or served on the Boards of 2Wire, Avici, CoreTek, Endwave, Fiber Tower, Good Technology, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Netopia, Phononic Devices, Picture Tel, Polycom, Presidio, Protean Electric, Qtera, Sentient Networks, Solarflare Communications, Tegic, Trapeze Networks, Wellfleet, Entropic, Illustra/Informix, Sybase, Tele Atlas, Actel, Airgo Networks, CommQuest, Kenet, Level 5, NanoH2O, NemeriX, Newport Media, Resonext, SMIC, Synaptics, Virata, Interconnectix, Parametric, Synopsys, Tensilica, Wavestream, and Zayo.

    Bandel received BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He currently serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Stanford Engineering Venture Fund.

  • Jim Fleming

    Jim Fleming

    Jim Fleming focuses on investments in the cybersecurity, media, and mobile sectors. He is currently a Partner at Columbia Capital, and a director of CPG, Deep Edge, High Band Holdings, Karousel, LB Spectrum, Local Media, Omnispace, SoundHouse, and Vivacity Networks. The Tennis Channel, Tristar, and Extenet. He previously held board seats with AB Spectrum (wireless assets sold to T-Mobile), Altamira (acquired by ClearSky), Baja Broadband (acquired by TDS), ExteNet Systems (acquired by Digital Bridge and Stonepeak), Presidio (acquired by American Securities), Nuvox Communications (acquired by Windstream), TVCC and CCTV (acquired by Light Squared), Mobile Satellite Ventures, XM Satellite Radio, ICG Communications (acquired by Level 3 Communications), Taqua (acquired by Tekelec), WCS Wireless (acquired by NextWave Wireless), and WNP Communications (acquired by XO Communications), and has worked closely with a number of former Columbia portfolio companies including Digital Television Services (acquired by Pegasus Communications) and NeoWorld (acquired by Nextel). Jim received his B.A. from Stanford University.

  • Alan B. Howe

    Alan B. Howe

    Alan Howe has served as a co-founder and the Managing Partner of Broadband Initiatives, LLC, a boutique corporate advisory and strategic consulting firm, since 2001. Previously, he held various executive management positions at Covad Communications, Teletrac, Inc., Sprint and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. Mr. Howe is an experienced public company director. He currently serves on the boards of Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE: BW), Resonant (NASDAQ:  RESN), Sonim Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SONM), and Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: OESX).  Mr. Howe was previously a director of Spartacus Acquisition Corporation.

    Mr. Howe received a Masters of Business Administration from the Kelley Business School at Indiana University and a Bachelors of Science – Business Administration and Marketing from the Gies School of Business at the University of Illinois. Mr. Howe was selected to serve on our board of directors because of operational, corporate finance, business development and leadership experience as well as his in depth strategic knowledge of the wireless, location technology, telecommunications, and software industries.

  • Neil Subin

    Neil Subin

    Neil currently serves as Chief Investment Officer for MILFAM, a single-family office.

    Throughout his career, Neil has served as a director and major shareholder for a number of telecommunications companies through various cycles of their growth and development. His efforts include advising companies on the appropriate approach to support the growth and development of their spectrum assets via effective financial and operating plans. He has also been integral in providing substantial transaction support for spectrum assets tied to several of the major telecommunications companies which has resulted in significant value creation for these businesses.

    Neil also has extensive experience as investor, including roles as Managing Director of the investment advisor to Aspen Advisors and as Chairman of Broadbill Partners.

    Neil currently serves on the boards of Alimco Financial Corp, Centrus Energy Corp, Frontiersman Holdings, Inc., and Quantlab Financial LLC. Prior board memberships include Phazr Inc., Federal-Mogul Corporation, Fibertower Corp, First Avenue Networks, Inc., WCS Wireless LLC, 360networks (USA), Inc., Primus Telecommunications Group, Institutional Financial Markets, Inc., and Komag, Inc.

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