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.

  • Jaya Maharajah

    Jaya Maharajah

    Jaya Maharajah, Director of Human Resources, is responsible for talent acquisition, culture, and employee development.  Prior to NextNav, Jaya led talent acquisition, US immigration, global relocation, and benefits for Knowles Intelligent Audio.  Before Knowles, she spent most of her HR career at Cisco Systems, where she worked on multiple HR teams.  Jaya has a strategic HR leadership certification from Cornell and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Toledo.  She is trilingual.

  • 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.

Our Investors

  • Columbia Capital
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Telcom Ventures
  • Oak Investment Partners
  • New Enterprise Associates
  • Fortress Investment Group
  • Future Fund