On 4 June, 1997, leading members of the satellite communications industry arranged a meeting in London, where they agreed that the industry had been fragmented for too long and that a unified voice - a non-profit, international association - was needed globally to represent the interests of VSAT system and service providers, as well as end users. The promotion of the technology and the services it supports was also seen as an important role for the industry's new organisation. 

On 31 March, 1998, the Global VSAT Forum was officially launched during an International VSAT Congress held in Rome, Italy, where the association's first permanent Secretary General, David Hartshorn, was introduced to the Membership by the Acting Secretary General, Susan Bull of COMSYS.

Since then, the GVF has become the single and unified voice of the global satellite communications industry.  It brings together organisations engaged in the delivery of advanced broadband and narrowband satellite services to consumers, and commercial and government enterprises worldwide.

Headquartered in London, with a regional office in Washington DC and global affiliates, the GVF is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organisation with 200+ members from every major region of the world.  The broad-based membership represents every sector of the satellite industry, including fixed and mobile satellite operators, satellite network operators, teleports, satellite earth station manufacturers, system integrators, value added and enhanced service providers, telecom carriers, consultants, law firms, and users. 


GVF Secretariat

The GVF Secretariat consists of David Hartshorn, the Secretary General; Martin Jarrold, the Chief of International Programme Development; and Angie Mar, the Director of International Programmes.

David Hartshorn - Secretary General

altDavid Hartshorn is Secretary General of GVF. Mr. Hartshorn leads the Forum's efforts to facilitate the provision of satellite-based communications solutions throughout all nations of the world. In particular, Mr. Hartshorn works closely to support national-, regional- and global-level policy makers as they formulate state-of-the-art satellite regulatory frameworks. 

He is also responsible for creating greater awareness of the commercial, economic, political and technological advantages that  satellite-based communications provide.

Mr. Hartshorn also currently serves on various public and private-sector advisory boards, committees, working groups, and project teams where he is involved in facilitating satellite-enabled disaster preparedness, community engagement, financially sustainable business, health, education and more. He is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Satellite Professionals International, and is Founder of its UK Chapter.

Mr. Hartshorn has worked in the satellite communications industry for more than 20 years, serving in sales, business development, publishing, and association offices based in North and Southeast Asia, North America and Western Europe.

He has been published in hundreds of editions of magazines and newsletters, and has spoken and chaired at conferences and seminars in every major region of the world.

Martin Jarrold - Chief of International Programme Development

altMartin Jarrold has worked for GVF for more than 10 years, having been appointed GVF Chief of International Programme Development in June 2001.  His particular responsibilities include outreach to the member organisations of the GVF and for the further development of the profile of the Forum within the satellite communications industry, and across the global telecommunications policy and regulatory community.  This extends to the development and delivery of programmes focused on extending the understanding of, and promoting the use of, satellite-based communications in various key end-user vertical markets.  

Mr. Jarrold is Chairman of the GVF Oil & Gas Communications Conference Series, and of the GVF Broadband Maritime Conference Series, which combined have produced 17 conferences in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, and South America (as of 1st July 2011).  The Oil & Gas Communications Series is expanding into the Angola market in 2012.  Mr. Jarrold is also Co-Chairman of the GVF Maritime Satcom Forum.

Mr. Jarrold is a frequent contributor to various telecommunications and other industry publications.  In addition he regularly chairs and contributes to a wide variety of telecommunications conferences, symposia, and workshops around the world.

Previously, Mr. Jarrold was Commissioning Editor and Head of Research for Space Business International magazine.  His earlier career was predominantly in teaching and writing.  He holds an honours degree in History and Politics.

Angie Mar - Director, International Programmes

Ms. Angie Mar is the newest addition to the GVF, having joined the Secretariat as Director of International Programmes on November 2013.  Her duties include managing the global promotion of current GVF members, events and initiatives, outreach to international organisations, and the creation of new opportunities and communication channels to benefit GVF Members.  In addition to working for the forum and its members, she is responsible for providing support to the Satellite Spectrum Initiative, GVF working groups, and event programmes.

Ms. Mar joins GVF with broad experience in the satellite industry and has developed a deep understanding of industry platforms to identify key market initiatives to grow platforms based on members needs.  She previously tenured at the Intelsat Corporation, where she provided support to global and federal satellite industry regulatory initiatives, promoted international trade controls awareness, and contracts administration.

Ms. Mar holds both an MBA and Master in Marketing degrees from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor degree in Marketing from George Mason University. 

GVF Board of Directors



Arunas Slekys, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Hughes Network Systems

 Arunas Slekys is responsible for managing all of Hughes marketing communications and advocacy initiatives worldwide.  He holds a B.App.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University  of Toronto, a M.Sc. from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in computer and communications engineering from UCLA. He is the co-author of a founding patent for wireless data systems (CDPD), and is a frequently published author on satellite and wireless communications. Dr. Slekys has served as the elected Chairman of the GVF Board since 2006.





Yasir Hassan, Director of Transmission Operations, ARABSAT 

Yasir Hassan has almost 20 years of experience in the Telecommunication field starting with King Fahad City for Satellite Communication in Saudi Arabia.  He joined ARABSAT in July 1998, reaching the position of Engineering Services Head in 2008, and was selected to be the Director of Transmission operation in 2010.

Mr. Hassan holds a Bachelor of Science with honour degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Eastern Mediterranean University, Northern Cyprus, and obtained his MBA from University of Leicester, UK in 2005.  He also serves as a Director on the Satellite Interference Reduction Group.



Simon Gray, Vice President of Humanitarian Affairs,  Eutelsat

Simon Gray is also a member of the ITU Advisory board for developing disaster comms strategy world-wide. He has been elected by the other 8 satellite fleet operators to coordinate the Satellite charter with the UN for the satellite industry. Mr. Gray has worked in the satellite industry for over 20 years and while at Eutelsat has been responsible for the largest training program ever undertaken by a satellite operator. His role in Eutelsat has also encompassed developing a new class of satellite terminal, equipment approval, mobile Apps, training courses & training tools. His team has also been responsible for overseeing over 350,000 terminal installations across 4 continents and he is the point of reference for the Eutelsat fleet for remote terminal technology.



Tracey Haslam, President, Harris CapRock Communications, Inc.

Tracey Haslam has been the President of Harris CapRock Communications, Inc. (HCC) since January 2014. Ms. Haslam is responsible for leading HCC, the premier global provider of managed communications solutions for remote and harsh environments in the energy, government and maritime markets. Ms. Haslam has more than 25 years of experience leading businesses and teams in markets ranging from offshore oil exploration and production to defence, technology and after-market services. She served as Vice President and General Manager of Harris CapRock’s energy business.

Ms. Haslam received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and engineering from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and a Master’s degree in business administration from INSEAD in France.




Paul Deedman, Director, Spectrum Regulation, Inmarsat

Paul Deedman’s role in Inmarsat is to ensure that the necessary international spectrum regulations are in place for the continuing operation of the current Inmarsat satellites, network, and future systems. He is involved in CEPT spectrum activities and the ITU-R working parties, most recently on issues such as new regulations for Ka-band mobile terminals (ESIMs) and protection of the L-band MSS spectrum for proposed terrestrial LTE systems.  He has participated in all of the ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences since 1997, and has been closely engaged in the regional preparations for WRC. Mr. Deedman joined Inmarsat in 2000, having previously worked for the Radiocommunications Agency, and has an honours degree in Telecommunications from the University of London (Queen Mary College).



Michael DeMarco, Senior Vice President, Operations, Intelsat

Michael DeMarco leads Intelsat’s network engineering, network operations and information system teams, including the company’s global teleport operations. With more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Mr. DeMarco is also responsible for the company’s information system strategy and the delivery of the company’s end-to-end service portfolio – including the integration of the Intelsat EpicNG® platform.

Mr. DeMarco earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a MBA from Fairfield University in Connecticut.





Keith Johnson, President of Energy, SpeedCast 

Keith Johnson has 30 years and of experience in the Satellite Telecommunication and Energy industries.  In his role at SpeedCast, he oversees all of SpeedCast’s business activities for the Energy and Oil & Gas sector, including strategic planning, programme management, business development and global sales.  He is a member of the Executive Staff, and participates directly in supporting the various strategic acquisitions over the last few years. 

Mr. Johnson is an author of many published papers on telecommunications, satellite, wireless and IT.  He attended Texas A&M University, and graduated from Houston Baptist University with a double major in Marketing and Management. 

GVF Full Members

  • Arabsat - Arab Satellite Communications Organisation
  • Eutelsat Communications
  • Gilat Satellite Networks, Ltd.
  • Hughes Network Systems LLC
  • General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • ViaSat, Inc.
  • SpeedCast
  • SES
  • EMC
  • Yahsat
  • Talia Group
  • iDirect
  • Harris CapRock
  • Inmarsat
  • Intelsat
  • O3b Networks Ltd
  • OneWeb
  • Telesat