Kris Rinne - AT&T
Senior Vice President, Network Technologies
Kris Rinne is responsible for network architecture, service platforms, radio access roadmap and initial implementation, wireless device requirements and certification, network platforms, network performance analysis, and industry standards development at AT&T.
Ms. Rinne’s career within AT&T and its predecessor companies includes positions as chief technology officer – Cingular Wireless, vice president – technology strategy for SBC Wireless, and managing director – operations with Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems.
In 2011, she was named as “The Most Influential Woman in Wireless” by Fierce Wireless and was listed in the Global Telecom Business Power 100 list of the most powerful telecom executives.
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important to our nation?
In today’s world of advancing technologies, it is more critical than ever that a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math be employed by corporations and educators across theU.S.to ensure our competitiveness in the global economy. Innovation and technology are at the core of AT&T and the need for a highly educated workforce in the areas of STEM is critical to our future. AT&T provides hundreds of millions of dollars to education initiatives each year including internships and job shadowing to help develop and recruit this talent.
Who is your STEM role model and why?
My parents are my STEM role models. In grade school, my mother was my math teacher. She inspired me to pursue a math degree with the intention of becoming a math teacher as well. However, a college professor arranged an interview for me with Southwestern Bell, and it was the math degree that opened the door for a fulfilling and life-long career with AT&T. My father through example (and patience!) gave me a thirst for understanding how things worked!
Which woman leader do you most admire and why.
I most admire First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Not only was she a brilliant, well-educated First Lady and a close advisor to her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she was also a mother to six children, an international author, speaker, politician and activist for civil rights. In her advocacy for the formation of the United Nations, she stressed the urgency of understanding other peoples of the world. President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Of what one initiative are you most proud?
In my role overseeing Network Technologies at AT&T, I have had the distinct privilege of leading the effort for crafting the strategy and technology evolution that has enabled AT&T to become the global leader in mobile broadband. In 2005, we became the first company in the globe to launch a wide scale deployment of HSPA – the 3G technology that is now the most popular around the globe. This helped revolutionize the way people use their cellphones – from watching videos to uploading photos to their favorite social media site. And we didn’t stop there. We now offer widespread, ultra-fast and consistent 4G speeds with two 4G networks (LTE and HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul). This gives us a competitive edge that is unmatched in the world today.