Steering Committee Election 2022 - Candidates

Decentralized Identity Foundation


Brian Richter (Aviary Tech)

Markus Sabadello (Danube Tech)

Daniel Buchner (Block)

Valerie Lanard (Workday)

Karyl Fowler (Transmute)

Sam Curren (Indicio)

Rouven Heck (Consensys Mesh)

Rohit Jhunjhunwala (Affinidi)

Kabir Maiga (PassiveBolt)

Christian Kameir (Sustany Capital)

Kaliya Young (Identity Woman)

Richard Reukema (Phoenix Business Solutions Inc.)

Brian Richter

Aviary Tech
Victoria, BC. Canada
Brian Richter

Brian Richter with Aviary Tech has been a DIF member for 2 years and a dedicated contributor to multiple work groups and work items.

Brian has a strong organizational background, juggling a startup, multiple open source projects and a new and growing family. He would love to contribute to DIF at the steering committee level.

Markus Sabadello

Danube Tech
Vienna, Austria
Markus Sabadello

Markus Sabadello has been a pioneer and leader in the field of digital identity for many years and has contributed to cutting-edge technologies that have emerged in this space. He is co-editor of the Decentralized Identifier specification at W3C, co-chair of the Identifier Working Group at the Decentralized Identity Foundation, and member of the Technical Governance Board at Sovrin Foundation. Markus has spoken at dozens of conferences and published papers about both the politics and technologies of digital identity. In 2015 he founded Danube Tech, a consulting and development company that works on SSI infrastructure.

Markus has been a part of DIF from the beginning, when there was only a small number of working groups and members, and he is excited to see how successful it has been so far! He continues to be passionate about DIF as a place where we can collaborate on the common building blocks of decentralized identity that we all need. While he manages his own company in this space, he likes to dedicate a good part of his time to DIF and other communities. Therefore he would like to continue serving on the DIF Steering Committee, in order to help DIF be even more successful in the future.

Daniel Buchner

Redmond, WA. USA
Daniel Buchner

Daniel leads Decentralized Identity for Block. Prior to Block, he founded the Decentralized Identity program at Microsoft after spending his early career at Mozilla leading the Developer Ecosystem product group and various W3C Web standards efforts. He represents Block in the Decentralized Identity Foundation and is working with members of DIF and W3C to make decentralized identity a reality

Valerie Lanard

San Francisco, CA. USA
Valerie Lanard
Valerie Lanard leads Credential Engineering strategy and development efforts at Workday. The Workday Credentialing team under her leadership has made large investments & contributions in many areas that DIF is advancing: interoperability, presentation exchange, credential manifest, wallet rendering, identity hubs, sidetree & ION, and most recently the "JWT-VC Interoperability Profile" Work Item contributed to DIF in collaboration with Microsoft and Ping Identity. Besides leading open source and community efforts, Valerie manages the cross-enterprise partnership work for credentials and distributed identity. Valerie has demonstrated time and again her ability to work with multiple independent organizations and successfully deliver working software to real customers.

Valerie has a diverse leadership record in tech, scaling Product and Platform development organizations at innovative startups and enterprises, working as an engineer and founder, and collaborating cross-functionally to deliver future visions into working software. She holds a Master of Information Management and Systems from University of California, Berkeley. As a DIF steering committee member, she will bring her passion to help realize the promise of decentralized identity and credentials, cultivate collaboration across borders, and maintain focus on data integrity and ethics.

Karyl Fowler

Austin, TX. USA
Karyl Fowler

Karyl Fowler, CEO, and Co-Founder at Transmute, where her team is leveraging decentralized identity and verifiable credential technology to secure global trade and enterprise supply chains. Transmute is a top code/technical contributor at DIF and has been deeply involved in work on interoperability and scalable identifiers - most notably the Sidetree Protocol work. Karyl has served a 2 year term on the DIF Steering Committee, representing the small business membership demographic and successfully advocating for initiatives that secure DIF’s long-term viability by ensuring the technologies we standardize and incubate together find real world use and commercial homes. Examples include collaborating with DIF leaders to upgrade DIF governance practices, including transparent elections and a more diverse SC, driving attention to prioritize commercial engagement (e.g. more enterprise membership/sponsorship) in the SC Strategic Plans, and leading the effort to further define the requirements for a “DIF Ratified Specification.” Karyl has directed strategic marketing and commercialization initiatives for startups in the biotechnology and semiconductor fields where cooperative standards initiatives played a critical role in creating competitive markets. Her experience centers on emerging tech in fields with high regulatory burdens like FDA, HIPAA and ITAR. Karyl’s interests include quantified self, data rights, and democratization especially as it pertains to genetics, and ensuring privacy-by-design at every level. She holds an MS in Technology Commercialization from McCombs Business School at the University of Texas and a BA in English and Political Science from Southwestern University.

Sam Curren

Indicio Tech
Driggs, ID. USA
Sam Curren

Sam Curren has been involved in the Identity Community for over 12 years, working and researching on personal data, distributed systems, supply chain, digital birth certificates, and Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs). He is a co-chair of both the Hyperledger Aries project and the DIF DIDComm Working Group. Sam has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Brigham Young University.

Rouven Heck

Consensys Mesh
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Rouven Heck

Rouven Heck has a computer science background and over 15 years of experience in banking IT, having worked for Deutsche Bank in various IT and strategy roles in Germany, Hong Kong, and New York before joining a Crypto Startup (ConsenSys) in early 2016. Rouven is the Identity R&D Lead at ConsenSys Mesh (currently on sabbatical). Prior to his current role, he co-founded the Decentralized Identity Platform uPort in 2016 which was one of the first SSI projects. Rouven is a DIF founding and SC member since 2017; and since 2019 DIF's Executive Director.

Rohit Jhunjhunwala

Berlin, Germany
Rohit Jhunjhunwala

Rohit is Engineering Director of the Core platform at Affinidi focused on solving issues in Identity, Verifiable Credentials, trust etc. Affinidi which serves customers across Finance, Travel, Health and many other domains. Rohit has over 15 years of experience in Online Search, Location Services and marketplaces from his years in Microsoft and smaller startups.

Kabir Maiga

Ann Arbor, MI. USA
Kabir Maiga

Kabir Maiga is the co-founder of PassiveBolt, a technology company that has pioneered a Tier 1 supplier class in access control and lock manufacturing, modeled after the automotive industry. He is a devout innovator and envisions an entirely keyless future built on decentralized identity. He is currently fully focused on self sovereign identity use cases that pertain to the physical world, namely locking and unlocking secure spaces (home, office, hotel, car, etc...). He was previously recognized and awarded the top industry awards in the space including CES 2020 Innovation Awards, CES 2021 Innovations Awards, IoT World Best Consumer Technology nomination and more. He was recognized by Forbes in 2021 in the Forbes Next 1000 list of top rising entrepreneurs in the United States.

Kabir Maiga was formerly technical lead at Continental Automotive, where he helped develop keyless entry technologies currently deployed in over 120 million cars globally. He started the PassiveBolt project within Continental and later spun off with Continental as lead investor. He has over 13 years of business and engineering experience. He worked in engineering in the auto industry, in finance on Wall Street, and has experience building technology startups. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Kettering University and a master’s degree in entrepreneurship from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Christian Kameir

Sustany Capital
Newport Beach, CA. USA
Christian Kameir

Christian is the chair of the Banking and Financial Services Interest Group, member of the Opentravel Technical Advisory Council, co-host of the 'Your Rights - Your Bytes' show, and a managing partner at Sustany Capital. He worked as a software engineer, before graduating from Muenster’s School of Law, and was the general counsel for one of Europe's first internet service providers. Christian speaks and writes on topics ranging from high-tech investing to decentralized finance, identity and blockchain for Forbes. He lectures at Harvard, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and the NOVA School of Law.

Kaliya Young - Identity Woman

Identity Woman
Oakland, CA. USA
Kaliya Young

Kaliya Young also known as Identity Woman founded the Internet Identity Workshop in 2005 and dedicated her career to the development of user-centric identity tools and technologies. She was at the founding meeting of DIF and has been active in working groups since its inception. She co-chairs the DIF Interoperability Working Group and Co-chair the Secure Data Store working group jointly chartered with CCG. She curates a weekly newsletter summary of all the activities going on in SSI.

I'm running for the steering committee because I believe that DIF needs strong strategic leadership as the industry matures. DIF must work collaboratively with its neighbors, W3C CCG, W3C Working Groups, Trust over IP, OpenID Foundation, ID2020 and others. DIF needs to build relationships with civil society organizations and technology rights organizations whose opinions about emerging technology can influence decision makers' opinions and frame new technology opportunities and dangers for the public that adopts them. If clear strategic messaging is not developed in the next year there is a real danger the technologies we have worked so hard to develop will not get adopted because of fear based conspiracy theories.

Richard Reukema

Phoenix Business Solutions Inc.
Calgary, AB. Canada
Richard Reukema

Richard's skillset is a blend of experience of a deep technical resource, an entrepreneur mindset, and a business analyst. Richard always begins his work by understanding the business context for his services. From this base of understanding, an analysis starts on how to best select/use/create/integrate technology into the overall business process, which resolves the business problem(s). Richard has provided his skills and consulting services to large, medium, and small business environments, always looking to streamline business processes and gain efficiency. He has performed in many roles such as Solutions Architect, VP of Product Management, Technical Team Lead, Technical Architect, Developer (C#), Database Administrator, Data Integration, and Instructor.