GVF appoints former Intelsat, Red Cross exec to succeed Hartshorn

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WASHINGTON — The Global VSAT Forum, an association of satellite communications companies that addresses spectrum, cyber, signal interference and other challenges, announced David Meltzer as its new secretary general.

Meltzer replaces David Hartshorn, GVF’s secretary general for 20 years who resigned at the end of June to lead the non-governmental organization Geeks Without Frontiers. 

David Meltzer, GVF secretary general. Credit: GVF
David Meltzer, GVF secretary general. Credit: GVF

Meltzer most recently worked at the American Red Cross as general counsel and chief international officer, directing legal, international disaster relief and development activities. He previously worked for satellite operator Intelsat for 16 years and five years at Terrestar Networks, a satellite operator purchased by EchoStar in 2014.

Hartshorn, in an email, said he helped the GVF board assess candidates for the secretary general position.

“David was chosen because of his years of experience with operators in various segments of the industry, including a mobile start up, a fixed regional service provider, and an established global operator,” Hartshorn said. “Further, he brings strong leadership skills that will be key for GVF and for its membership.”

Hartshorn was one of the satellite industry’s most vocal defenders of spectrum, a finite resource that satellite and cellular operators spar over to provide telecom services. New spectrum for fifth-generation 5G cellular networks is anticipated to be one of the most intensely debated topics among national regulators and telecom service providers at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference, now just over a year away.

In a statement to SpaceNews, Meltzer said his priority as head of GVF is “to raise awareness of the industry’s critical role in meeting the world’s telecommunications needs today and tomorrow, advocate on behalf of the industry, and help members deliver the best products and services.”