The Ansari Family
An inventor and serial entrepreneur, Amir Ansari brings more than 16 years of experience to Prodea Systems, where he serves as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to co-founding Prodea Systems, Amir served in the intelligent IP division of Sonus Networks(Nasdaq: SONS), a provider of IP-based voice infrastructure products. There he was responsible for providing technical guidance and direction in deploying one of the industry's first soft switches in a carrier network.
Amir joined Sonus via its acquisition of Telecom Technologies, Inc., where he was co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. There Amir led efforts to design and deploy the INtelligentIP (INIP) Softswitch, the most robust and scalable product of its type. Telecom Technologies' client list consisted of Fortune 500 companies such as WorldCom, Qwest Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Sprint, and AT&T. Under Amir's stewardship as Chief Technology Officer, Telecom Technologies earned recognition as one of Inc. Magazine's 500 fastest-growing companies and Deloitte & Touche's Fast 500 technology companies.
Amir is a member of the XPRIZE Foundation's Vision Circle and its Board of Directors. Together with his family, he was a title sponsor for the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.
Amir is actively involved with several non-profit organizations that strive for social development. He has co-authored numerous technical papers and filed several U.S. patents in the areas of voice over IP and multimedia services. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from George Mason University.
Anousheh Ansari is a CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Ansari, along with her family, sponsored the organization’s first competition, the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million competition that ignited a new era for commercial spaceflight. Since then, she has served on XPRIZE’s Board of Directors.
Prior to being named CEO of XPRIZE, Ansari served as the CEO of Prodea Systems, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm she co-founded in 2006, and continues to serve as the executive chairwoman. She captured headlines around the world when she embarked upon an 11-day space expedition, accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman in space, and fourth private explorer to visit space.
Ansari serves on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Future Council and has received numerous honors, including the WEF Young Global Leader, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, among others. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil and Peace First, as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education and youth empowerment.
Ansari also co-founded The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, announced in October 2018 at the Tri Hita Karana (THK) Forum on Sustainable Development in Bali, with a goal of investing $1 billion in women-founded companies by 2020.
She published her memoir, My Dream of Stars, to share her life story as inspiration for young women around the world.
Ansari holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University; and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.
Hamid Ansari is President and Co-Founder and brings more than 25 years of entrepreneurial experience building and deploying technology products and services worldwide. His expertise in strategic positioning, mergers and acquisitions has resulted in several successful business transactions with values ranging from tens of millions to more than a billion dollars.
Prior to co-founding Prodea Systems, Hamid co-founded telecom technologies, inc., where he managed a professional services organization and oversaw the creation and worldwide deployment of four carrier-class products. Hamid served as the company’s President until its successful merger with Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS) in 2001.
Hamid launched his career at MCI, where he was part of a small group of pioneers in the world of telecommunications divestitures. As part of the advanced engineering group, his contributions led to the development and implementation of new products and services and resulted in one of the most technically advanced telecommunications networks in the world. Later, Hamid headed the advanced data communications network division of an international consulting company in support of World Bank projects in Africa and the Middle East.
Hamid has completed advanced credits towards a doctorate of communications. He earned a master’s degree in computer science and telecommunications from George Washington University.