Dr. David F. Welch
Infinera, Inc.

David F. Welch is the Chief Strategy Officer of the fiber optics systems business Infinera, Inc., a company he co-founded in 2001 to create revolutionary changes in that market. A key contributor in the development of advanced integration technology and the implementation of this technology into transport and switching systems, Dr. Welch is currently responsible for corporate strategic directions  and specifically Infinera’s optical technology direction and implementation. Infinera has become the only vertically integrated telecommunications company in North America , growing to 350 people with engineering facilities in three states plus Bangalore , India .  Most recently, Infinera was identified as the market leader for the deployment of 10 Gb circuits in the long haul transport space by Dell Oro . Infinera’s businesses include a wafer fabrication capability for advanced photonic integrated circuits, optical packaging, analog and digital ASIC design teams, hardware and software engineering, and manufacturing.

Welch earned his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware in 1981 and his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 1985. In January of 1985, he became a research scientist for SDL, Inc., where he was promoted to Vice President of R&D in 1990. In 1996, he was named Vice President of SDL's Systems Business Group and, in 1998, as Chief Technical Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development, he assumed responsibilities that included overall technology direction and merger/acquisitions. After the merger of SDL and JDSU, Dr. Welch became Senior Vice President for JDSU responsible for technology direction, integration, and business development activities for the amplification and transmission portions of the business. Then, in early 2001, he co-founded Infinera, Inc.

Welch has published over 250 articles and is an author of over 80 patents. His research in the areas of semiconductor lasers, non-linear optics, diode pumped solid state lasers, fiber amplifiers, fiber lasers, and silica waveguide devices earned him the 1992 Adolph Lomb Award from the Optical Society of America, the 1998 Engineering Achievement Award from the Laser and Electro-Optics Society, and the 1999 Fraunhofer Award, and his contributions have been acknowledged in over 17 product-of-the-year awards. Welch is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and a senior member of the IEEE.