Ken Novak's Weblog
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1644 Channing Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 400-7975,

  • Pioneer in Internet and data communications in developing countries.
  • 25 years programming, consulting, and managing. 6 years in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
  • Current Interests: Content distribution and collaboration services; Data syndication and synchronization; Grid computing; Extending the use of the Internet in developing countries and non-profit organizations.
  • Key skill: Conceptualizing and communicating a network application in depth. Translating benefits into value propositions and partnership roles, laying out product architecture, and guiding implementation and rollout.
  • B.S. Computer Science, Yale University, 1979.
  • Co-author, The CGNET Story: A Case Study of International Computer Networking, 1994
  • Reuters Foundation Digital Vision Fellow, Stanford University, 2001-2002.

2000-present: CTO, CGNET Services International.

Led the product development and technical assistance teams through restructuring and refocusing of product lines.

Spokesperson and senior negotiator for CGNET to new and major customers, including:

  • Prepared and delivered presentation on operating system virtualization and its implications
  • Wrote white paper on collaboration software for development researchers
  • Prepared and delivered presentation on vision for wireless sensor networks in biodiversity and wildlife preservation
  • Wrote detailed investment plan for new technologies for international agricultural research
  • Integrated and demonstrated combinations of satellite, WiFi, and peer-to-peer GIS tools for disaster relief and medical field surveys under austere conditions

Partnered with Cisco, McKinsey, and Accenture in formation of NetHope, a consortium of humanitarian agencies extending the Internet in developing countries.  Managed deployment of VOIP service and pilot broadband satellite network in Afghanistan and East Africa for CARE, Save the Children, and other NetHope members.


2001-2002:  Reuters Foundation Digital Vision Fellow, Stanford University.

Awarded the Digital Vision fellowship in its first year.   Studied novel methods of content filtering for applications in developing countries, including weblogs, RSS, and news search services.  Started .


1992-2000: Director of Network Services, CGNET Services International.

Led growth of network services business from annual $500,000 to $5 million. Directed expansion of technical staff from 3 to 28, adding 7/24/365 operation and diversifying services.  

Product architect:  Studied customer needs to design product lines for CGNET, and managed their development and rollout. Highlights:

  • Multi-platform e-mail service (1990 and 1993), growing to 350 locations in 100 countries.
  • Voice-over-packet and successor VOIP services (1993), with voice cost savings paying for the first online IP connections in several countries
  • Hosted web-accessible syndicated database (1995), with 3 million records replicated from SQL servers in 10 countries
  • Multi-vendor IP roaming service (1997), serving thousands of international travelers


1987-1992: Network Manager and Consultant, CGNET Services International (Australia and Menlo Park, CA).

On-site consulting:  Installed electronic mail systems in fifteen developing countries, often the first internet-capable e-mail in the country. Consulted with management, technical, and scientific staff on its use.

Consulted on computer acquisition and scientific applications for research organizations in several developing countries.  Advised on the use of PBX's, fax machines, and general telecomm issues.

Hired and managed a team of field consultants as the CGNET network grew.


1980-1987: Consultant, The Sombers Group (New York, New Jersey, Cameroon, Hong Kong)

Technical manager for development of an extensible message switch: negotiated and authored the functional specifications, helped design the software, and directed eight programmers for eighteen months to completion.  Installed the message switch in Cameroon for the national telegram service.

Designed and programmed applications, including systems and libraries for a new pattern-matching language, and news wire story retrieval systems for an electronic publisher.


1975-1977: Programmer, Comshare (Ann Arbor, MI).

Programmed a real-time character processing front end for a packet switched network. Packaged tools for microcomputer product development, including an assembler, a debugger and a simulator.


Photo online.  References available upon request. 

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Last update: 11/25/2005; 12:18:11 AM.
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