MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – SETI Institute announces the addition of
four high-tech leaders to its Board of Trustees: Lewis
Platt, former Hewlett Packard Chairman and CEO; Linda
Bernardi, founder and CEO of ConnecTerra, Inc.; Joel
Birnbaum former HP Senior Vice President of Research and
Director of HP Labs; and Alan Bagley, former HP executive.

“Every one of these people has made, or is making, a major
difference in technology,” said Thomas Pierson, SETI
Institute CEO, “This Board expansion represents the next
phase of strategic growth for the Institute. Each new
member brings to our Board the kind of visionary leadership
that has characterized our science team and led to bold
initiatives like the Allen Telescope Array.”

Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is the international
leader in research and education relevant to the origin,
nature and prevalence of life in the universe, including the
possibility of intelligent life. The Institute is home to
more than 40 research projects, including Project Phoenix,
which currently uses the large radiotelescope in Arecibo,
Puerto Rico to conduct the world’s most comprehensive search
for the possible radio signature of distant civilizations.

Future SETI Institute projects include the Allen Telescope
Array, being developed in partnership with the University of
California, Berkeley. Projected for completion in 2005,
this innovative 10,000 square meter array of 20-foot
antennae will conduct both full time SETI research and other
radio astronomy projects. The current development phase of
the Allen Telescope Array is privately funded by a combined
$12.5 million gift from philanthropists Paul Allen and
Nathan Myhrvold. This is the largest donation ever directed
to a SETI project.

The appointment of three former Hewlett Packard executives
reflects a long and close relationship with that company
starting with the involvement of the late Bernard Oliver,
former HP Vice President and Lab Director. In the early
1970s, Oliver took a short sabbatical from HP to lead a NASA
study team that produced Project Cyclops, a comprehensive
study that would become the foundation for modern SETI
research. Oliver would later join the SETI Institute Board
of Trustees and serve as senior technical advisor. In 1993,
when Congressional funding for SETI research was eliminated,
Oliver and other SETI leaders secured financial assistance
from computer pioneers William Hewlett, David Packard,
Gordon Moore and Paul Allen, thus enabling Project Phoenix
to proceed. Today the SETI Institute/HP association
continues through the Board appointments of HP alumni who
share Oliver’s interest in the scientific search for life
beyond Earth.


Lew Platt served seven years as Chairman, CEO, and President
of HP, retiring in 1999 to assume leadership of
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates (which he headed until 2001).
Prior to becoming CEO, Platt served HP in various managerial
capacities for 33 years. Named Corporate Top Manager by
Business Week in 1995, Platt’s distinguished career includes
directorships of the Boeing Company, 7-Eleven and the David
and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Other honors include a presidential appointment during the
Clinton years to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and
Negotiations (ACTPN), and chairmanship of the World Trade
Organization Task Force. Platt is a member of Morgan
Stanley Capital Partner’s and Rein Capital Advisory Boards
and serves on the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton
School of Business Board of Overseers.

Platt holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell
University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania
Wharton School of Business, and an honorary doctorate in
Engineering Science from Santa Clara University. Platt’s
many years as a venerable leader in the technology industry
brings a valuable breadth of experience and knowledge to the


Also retiring from Hewlett-Packard Company in 1999 (as
Senior Vice President of Research and Development and
Director of HP Labs), Joel Birnbaum maintains a key role at
HP as senior technical advisor, reporting directly to Carly
Fiorina, HP Chairman and CEO. At HP Labs, Birnbaum
developed the precursor of HP’s Precision Architecture, led
research into new directions in computer architecture,
hardware and software, and made personal contributions in
the areas of distributed computer system architecture,
real-time data acquisition, analysis and control, and RISC
processor architecture. Today, Birnbaum continues to help
the company shape its technology strategy and to communicate
this strategy to the marketplace.

Birnbaum is a member of the National Academy of Engineering,
a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers, a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of
Engineering, a Fellow of the California Council on Science
and Technology, a Fellow of the Association for Computing
Machinery, and is a newly elected Fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. Widely recognized and
respected by his peers for exceptional technological
foresight, Birnbaum now brings this expertise to the SETI
Institute. Birnbaum holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics
from Cornell University, a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in
Nuclear Physics from Yale University, and an Honorary
Doctorate from the Technion University of Israel.


Al Bagley has been a long time SETI Institute supporter and
volunteer. Bagley’s HP service spanned 37 years including
positions as General Manager of the Frequency and Time
Division (which later became the Santa Clara Division) and
Engineering Manager of HP’s Electronic Instruments Group.

Bagley’s involvement with SETI dates back to the late 1980s
when he served on a technical advisory panel for the NASA
SETI program. He has remained actively interested in SETI
research and has helped generate support for the Institute’s
research efforts. Bagley is a past member of Trimble
Navigation’s Scientific Advisory Board, and with this
affiliation, helped to secure important in-kind support for
the Allen Telescope Array.

Bagley received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from
California Institute of Technology, and his M.S in
Engineering from Stanford University, where he was awarded
an HP Fellowship.


Linda Bernardi spent the first 12 years of her career at BBN
Technologies of Cambridge, MA, (the company that that
implemented and operated ARPANET), where her passion and
vision for future possibilities of the Internet began.

Over the course of her career, Linda has been involved in
the growth of innovative high technology companies in the
US, Europe, and the Far East. She combines her strong
technical background with global business development and
executive management experience. Following BBN, Linda
assumed the role of VP of Strategic Business Development at
PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development), of Raleigh, NC,
where her work was strongly focused on issues and
technologies relating to global distributed data and
information access. Over the years, Linda has built
critical alliances with leading hardware, software,
consulting firms and application companies, with a strong
international emphasis. Her interest in strategic
development and introduction of new technologies to the
market led her, in 1999, to start Bernardi and Co., a
strategic consulting company. At this same time, she laid
the groundwork for launching a new enterprise using
breakthrough technology and leading the next evolution of
the Internet to connect businesses with their devices.
Linda founded ConnecTerra of Burlington, MA, in January
2001, where she serves as CEO and President, and is
pioneering the creation of foundation technologies for the
‘Internet of Devices’.

Her interests run deeper than the Creation of technology.
Linda is profoundly concerned with the relationship between
technology and society, with a focus upon education and
diversity. Of note, she is a Trustee for the Institute for
Women and Technology (IWT); and she has a strong passion for
mentoring women entering and growing in corporations, as
well as corporations acknowledging and promoting women in
leadership positions. Bernardi received her B.A. in Biology
from California State University, Northridge, and her M.S.
in Applied Statistics from the University of California, Los

The 2002 appointments of Platt, Bernardi, Birnbaum and
Bagley bring the total SETI Institute Board membership to
15. Other members recently appointed include Herbert
Stansbury, business executive and syndicated cartoonist;
John Gertz, Founder of Zorro Productions; and David Liddle,
General Partner, U.S. Venture Partners.

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