Meet the Leadership Team
Chief Regulatory Officer
As Chief Regulatory Officer of the GSMA, John is responsible for overseeing the association’s full range of advocacy activities, including securing critical spectrum resources for mobile, promoting best practice in areas such as regulation, taxation and privacy, and fostering digital empowerment for citizens globally through the GSMA Foundation and the GSMA Mobile for Development programmes.
Prior to joining the GSMA, John worked at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), most recently serving as chief of staff and senior policy advisor to Commissioner Michael Copps. He also ran the FCC’s International Bureau, where he managed the agency’s relationships with foreign counterparts and served as its chief negotiator at international and regional organisations. John holds a Juris Doctorate from the Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Florida.
Vice President, Policy and Regulation
Daniel leads the GSMA’s global engagement on mobile-sector regulatory affairs. Under his direction, the GSMA is contributing new ideas and analysis to the global policy dialogue at a time when emerging digital technologies and widespread broadband connectivity are reshaping society and the economy.
Daniel has a unique record of strategic input into Europe’s telecommunications policy agenda, having previously served as head of Hungary’s National Regulatory Authority, chair of the European Regulators Group (ERG, now BEREC) and chair of the European Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG). More recently, Daniel was Director General of the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ association (ETNO).
He holds a MSc in Economics from the Budapest University of Economics and a Postgraduate Diploma from a leading French institutional programme led by Ecole de Mines, Ecole des Ponts and Sciences-Po.
He was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Republic of Hungary in 2009 for his work in EU electronic communication regulation and the Order of Merit (Knight’s Cross) of the Republic of Hungary in 2005 for his work promoting the development of the information and communications technology sector.
Head of Public Policy and Consumer Affairs
Natasha is the Head of Public Policy and Consumer Affairs at the GSMA, leading the association’s work on responsible approaches to trust and safety including data privacy, security and child online protection.
Natasha has been working in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry for over 20 years within both blue chip international and start up companies. She joined the GSMA in 2006 and built up the association’s advocacy work in consumer affairs, including founding the GSMA’s Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content and the Mobile Privacy Initiative. She is a board member, and former Chairman, of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and sits on the International Advisory Panel of the EU Kids Online research network.
Natasha holds a BA in Economics, qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is an alumni of the INSEAD Executive Development Programme.
Head of Spectrum
Brett directs the association’s full range of spectrum-related activities, in collaboration with the GSMA membership.
Under Brett’s leadership, the spectrum team is focusing on areas such as the cost of access to spectrum. How regulators decide to determine the cost of access to spectrum bands has a big impact on the evolution of mobile services. It is essential that these costs are determined in a way that takes account of the necessary network investment that drives excellent service coverage. The team also works to facilitate the deployment of mobile spectrum bands and identify new bands, including preparing for World Radio Conference-2019, where spectrum for 5G will be a hot topic.
Prior to the GSMA, Brett worked for the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as Assistant Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, dealing with a wide range of spectrum-related issues including designing the first-ever incentive auction for transferring spectrum from broadcast to mobile use.
Head of International Relations
Belinda leads the GSMA’s relationships with international intergovernmental institutions, including the ITU, the World Bank and the OECD. To help develop best-practice policy frameworks, the GSMA actively engages with these organisations by sharing industry data and analysis, as well as conveying the business perspectives and priorities of mobile operators.
Belinda is also responsible for the GSMA’s Capacity Building programme, which works with more than 20 institutional partners to deliver face-to-face and online training courses for telecoms and ICT regulators worldwide. Belinda is a Director of the US Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) and the UK Telecommunications Academy (UKTA).
Previously, Belinda was responsible for running the GSMA’s Ministerial Programme at Mobile World Congress. She was also Marketing Director for the Government and Regulatory Affairs team at the GSMA, a role to which she brought more than 15 years of marketing experience within the telecoms and ICT industry. Belinda has a BA degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Exeter.
Senior Director, Regional Advocacy
Alix leads GSMA’s regional advocacy. She works closely with the GSMA’s heads of regional offices in Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East and Latin America to develop public policy campaigns on a range of priority issues, including taxation, connectivity, spectrum and digital inclusion. She works with mobile operators, governments and third parties to identify opportunities for public-private cooperation. She also manages GSMA’s relationship with the World Economic Forum and the organisation’s strategic engagement at the Annual WEF Meeting in Davos.
Alix joined the GSMA in 2011 and has held various roles, including Market Engagement Director on mobile broadband in emerging markets. Before joining the GSMA, she worked for a public affairs and communications agency, Waggener Edstrom, in Brussels.
Alix holds master’s degrees in political science and law from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Aix en Provence and the University of Nantes, in France.
Vice President, Europe
Afke is the Vice President Europe for the GSMA, leading the association’s interests in Europe.
Before joining the GSMA in February 2015, Afke led Microsoft’s EU Institutional Relations Team in Brussels, responsible for Microsoft’s engagement with the EU Institutions, Council of Europe and the OECD. Prior to this, Afke served as a Member of Parliament in the Netherlands and was the spokesperson for Economic Affairs and Innovation, Technology and ICT for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Previously, she was responsible for KPN’s policy interests and governmental affairs in Europe. Afke was also a Council Member of the Municipality of Wassenaar (the Netherlands) for the VVD.
Afke is a current board member of idate.org, the E-Society Platform and a member of the Women in Leadership (WiL) organisation. She has also been a board member of ECP-EPN, platform for public-private cooperation in the information society and a board member of the European Internet Foundation (EIF).
Acting Head of Asia
Emanuela Lecchi is the acting Head of APAC and Head of Public Policy for APAC at the GSMA, having previously worked in the organisation’s London headquarters as Head of Competition. She is the author of the GSMA Competition Policy Handbook and the companion piece, Competition Case Studies Handbook. Prior to joining the GSMA in 2015, Emanuela was a partner at leading law firms in London, where she advised governments, regulators, competition authorities and corporate clients on matters of law and regulation. A lawyer by background, she also has an MSc in Economic Regulation and Competition from City University London and from 2006 to 2015 was a visiting lecturer there, teaching the legal module of that course. Emanuela is based in the GSMA’s Hong Kong regional headquarters.
Jawad Jalal Abbassi
Head of MENA
Jawad’s career experience in ICT and Media spans 21 years. Before joining the GSMA as head of MENA in October 2015, he managed the Arab Advisors Group which he founded in 2001. Jawad’s previous career experience includes working as a senior telecommunications and technology consultant with the Yankee Group in Boston, USA. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a Senior Analyst with the communications research arm of the Economist Intelligence Unit in Boston.
In March 2013, Jawad acted as Chairman of Jordan’s information technology association. He is also a Member of the Arab Business Forum for Information and Communication Technology ABFICT, and a Member of the steering committee for the UN ICT Task Force of the “Wireless Internet and the Arab-World” series.
Jawad holds an MSc in Information Systems from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in engineering from the American University in Cairo, Egypt (1993). In 2010, he attended Harvard Business School Executive Education.
Head of Latin America
Sebastián is the head of GSMA regional office in Latin America, responsible for representing and leading GSMA activities in the region. Sebastián has been working at the GSMA since 2006 on mobile broadband and spectrum issues in developing countries, based in Latin America. He is often consulted by government agencies and mobile operators on telecom public policy and is currently member of the National Committee of Spectrum of Colombia.
Prior to joining the GSMA, Sebastián worked as a consultant, in private and public international organisations including TechPolis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina and the Organization of American States (OAS). He holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a Licenciado degree in Economics from Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina). In 2003, he was honoured with a Fulbright Grant.