NCTA – The Internet & Television Association has announced Rikin Thakker, Ph.D., as its next chief technology officer and senior vice president, technology. Dr. Thakker comes to NCTA from the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), where he served as its CTO.
During his tenure at WIA, Thakker worked on issues ranging from 5G deployment to advising on topics including spectrum allocation, as well as Wi-Fi and 3GPP standards, private wireless networks, broadband workforce development and more. Additionally, he has been an adjunct member of the faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park since 2009.
Thakker has also served on various governmental committees, including currently as a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Technological Advisory Council since the start of 2022. He also serves on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) and is an active participant in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and 6G working groups.
Prior to his time at the Wireless Infrastructure Association, Thakker was vice president of spectrum and technology policy at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), where he was the lead technology policy strategist, encouraging regulators and policymakers to incorporate equal opportunity considerations, as well as efforts to close the digital divide. He represented MMTC at the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).
Thakker received his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University, his Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communications from Gujarat University.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Thakker as he brings extensive experience and impressive credentials that will benefit NCTA and the industry,” said Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA. “As our new CTO, he will play a crucial role in steering NCTA's legislative and regulatory interests related to technology policies, standards, and guidelines.”