Advisory Council Members

Samia Melhem

Senior Operations Officer, Policy Division, World Bank

Samia Melhem is a member of the e-Government practice group in the Global ICT department at the World Bank. Her current responsibilities include technical assistance and advisory services on ICT Policies. She is focused on ICT4D in a wide variety of sectors from telecoms policy and regulation to public sector reform, taxes, customs, trade, education, knowledge Economy and private sector development. In her last 20 years in the World Bank Group, Samia has held several positions in Africa, Middle East and Europe and Central Asia regions, Information Solutions Group and infoDev. Her expertise is mostly in planning, developing and implementing large scale information systems for governments, and on using ICT as a tool to support public administration reform. Samia also manages GICT's learning and training program and chairs the e-development Thematic Group. She holds degrees in Electrical Engineering (BS), Computer Sciences (MS)and Finance (MBA). 

Brian Behlendorf

Director, Mozilla Foundation
Co-Founder, CollabNet

Brian Behlendorf is often referred to an "open source pioneer".  He founded CollabNet, with O'Reilly & Associates, in July 1999. The company provides tools and services based on open source methods. Before launching CollabNet, Behlendorf was co-founder and CTO of Organic Online, a Web design and engineering consultancy located in San Francisco. During his five years at Organic, Behlendorf helped create Internet strategies for dozens of Fortune 500 companies. During that time, he co-founded and contributed heavily to the Apache Web Server Project, co-founded and supported the VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) effort, and assisted several IETF working groups, particularly the HTTP standardization effort. Before starting Organic, Behlendorf was the first Chief Engineer at Wired Magazine and later HotWired, one of the first large-scale publishing Web sites.

Brian is currently a Director of the Mozilla Foundation and a retired Director and President of the Apache Software Foundation. 

Timothy Ney

Co-founder, Linux Greenhouse

Timothy Ney is well-known and respected for his advocacy of digital access, as well as his extensive knowledge of open source licensing and business models.  As co-founder of the Linux Greenhouse, which nurtures collaborative innovation in the private and public sectors, he has advised governments in Brazil, Chile, Korea and Spain on IT strategy.  He served as executive of the GNOME and Free Software foundations, where he grew the impact of those organizations around the world.  He fostered corporate involvement with open source, convening the first seminar for corporations on the General Public License (GPL) at MIT and advising the team that introduced Nokia's Internet tablet to the developer community.  Prior to his work in open source, Timothy served as Executive Director of the Independent Feature Project and as Program Director at the New York Foundation for the Arts.  He was Director of Business Development for the premier entertainment industry online service Baseline, a company acquired by the New York Times.  He has broad experience in independent media production and distribution producing documentary and feature films in the U.S., South America and Europe.  He serves on the board of the Solo Foundation and the advisory board of Composers Collaborative in New York.

Dr. Shahani Weerawarana

Chief Technology Officer, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka

Dr. Shahani Weerawarana is presently the Chief Technology Officer of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka. She is also the visiting lecturer in the Department of Computer Sciences & Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. She is a highly experienced IT professional with more than 15 years of industry experience. She has a Ph.D. in Computer Science, a Masters Degree in Computer Science, and a Masters Degree in Mathematics from Purdue University, USA, also an active participant in the Sri Lankan Free & Open Source Software community. 

Previously, Shahani was the Head of Engineering (and prior to that, the Chief Software Architect), at Virtusa in Sri Lanka, where she held overall responsibility for the technical, software quality assurance and R&D tracks. Under her leadership at Virtusa, many engineering governance frameworks and initiatives were effectively rolled out, thereby helping the Sri Lankan operations grow significantly whilst preserving its standards and its ability to deliver software solutions with a high degree of client satisfaction. Prior to joining Virtusa in Sri Lanka, Shahani worked at Prescient Markets Inc., New York, and at IBM TJ Watson Research Center, New York, USA. 

Bill Welty

Chief Information Officer, California Air Resource Board

Bill was appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the California Air Resources Board in 1990. As CIO, he has overall responsibility for information technology systems, services, policies and operations. The ARB has been providing public access to air quality data via the web since 1994, relying on open source solutions, like Linux, Apache, PHP, to do so since 1995.

Previously, Bill served as the Agency Information Officer for the California Environmental Protection Agency. He also directed the Office of Technology Adaptation and Planning for the California State Controller's Office, introducing innovative uses for desktop computers and office technologies. Bill has over 20 years of experience in applying information technologies to improve employee productivity, leveraging partnerships with clients to develop useful and reliable low cost business systems.

Bill has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor and a Certified California Community College Instructor in computer studies. He resides in El Dorado Hills, California, with his wife Charlene, where he serves as president of his local community services district.

Ron Fresquez

Founder/CEO, The Open Source Technology Alliance (TOSTA)

Ron is the founder and CEO of  The Open Source Technology Alliance. (TOSTA) TOSTA is a collaborative exchange for Private and Public Sector organizations and Educational Institutions interested in furthering their knowledge and understanding of Source Software. Ron has written numerous White Papers on the subject of open source and risk, sponsored open source educational conferences and seminars and is a frequent speaker on the various aspects of open source.

Prior to forming The Open Source Technology Alliance Ron was co founder and Director of Sales for Roseville based Integral Business and Defense Solutions. Integral provides Open Source Software Development, Systems Integration and Business Process Automation consulting services to the Department of Defense, (DoD) Aerospace, Telecommunications and Financial markets.

Ron holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in Medical Technology Management.