New Orleans Conference: April 5-6, 2022

Bringing people together for overdue conversations about protecting our businesses and customers from vulnerabilities, errors, hackers and fraudsters




RAG New Orleans will take place on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th April 2022 at the University of New Orleans, by the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Attendance is free of charge to employees of communications providers and digital service providers who register in advance.



The conference will cover cybersecurity, revenue assurance, fraud management, robocall and spam prevention, enterprise risk management, governance, audit, billing accuracy, data integrity and other types of business assurance for electronic communications providers and digital service providers. The formal agenda will begin promptly at 9.00am on both days of the conference, with a full schedule of panels and presentations in addition to a networking lunch and a coffee break in the mid-afternoon.

Unlike other conference organisers, RAG does not announce agenda items until the relevant speakers have confirmed their participation. The following schedule shows the current draft agenda, which will be updated as new speakers are added. Click on a speaker’s name to read their biography. Keep reading below for more information about some of the highlight sessions on both days.

Tuesday, April 5

  • The conference will begin with opening remarks from the two co-chairs, Ed Finegold, well-known tech industry author and analyst, and Rachel Goodin, Head of Technology Audit at Ocado, the innovative international online retail business.
  • Kathy Romano, Vice President of Direct to Consumer Billing and Payments at Discovery, will explain how she is reapplying three decades of experience from Verizon to the assurance of the new streaming services of Discovery.
  • Fadila Boumaza, Executive Director of Business Services at TEOCO, will reflect upon the last decade of business assurance for comms providers.
  • Ken Bessant, Director of Information Security at internet provider Xplornet, will give a presentation about the skills needed by a security function, entitled “Security: Mindset vs Credentials”.
  • Taruna Ranjan, Director of Business Assurance at T-Mobile, will join John Brooks, CEO of Globetom Americas, to discuss how telcos and digital service providers can unleash the true power of data.
  • Following lunch, a series of sessions on illegal robocalls will begin with Matthew Gamble, Vice Chair of the Canadian Chapter of the Internet Society, talking from personal experience about the issues faced by smaller telcos expected to comply with Canada’s STIR/SHAKEN regulations.
  • Jeffrey Ross, COO of GBSD Technologies, will remark on the ways a STIR/SHAKEN certification authority in the USA needs to adapt its thinking to address the challenges of authenticating calls that cross international borders.
  • A prestigious panel will discuss the US and Canadian plans for tackling robocalls and the impact these will have on international carriers and telcos in other countries. The panel will include Linda Vandeloop of AT&T, Chair of the US Secure Telephone Identity Governance Authority (STI-GA).
  • Tom Walker, Associate Director for Fraud Investigations at AT&T, will give a presentation about catching and prosecuting robocallers that draws on AT&T’s data about robocall fraud.
  • Bill Leahy of Symmetry Solutions will share real-life examples of costly mistakes that occurred as a result of misunderstandings and miscommunications between different departments within comms providers.
  • Carlos DaSilva of international carrier PCCW Global will be joined by experts in firewalls and fraud detection for a discussion about the factors causing increased abuse of SMS messaging.
  • Arnd Baranowski, CEO of Oculeus, will give a presentation about the use of artificial intelligence to stop fraudulent calls before they have been connected.

Wednesday, April 6

  • Sha’ad Hossenbaccus, Global Revenue Assurance Manager at Millicom and an expert with worldwide experience of comms and fintech, will talk about the risks when delivering new financial services to mobile phone users across Latin America and the challenges involved in accepting payment in Bitcoin.
  • Sergey Okhrimenko, formerly the COO of Lanck Telecom and now the CTO of AB Handshake Corporation, will discuss ways telcos can work together to validate calls and reduce fraud.
  • Our panel on the strategic evolution of revenue assurance will include Robert McKay, Senior Manager for Revenue Assurance Operations at UScellular and Donald Reinhart, CEO of LATRO. The panel will be moderated by Terri Smith, who was formerly VP for Finance Systems, Transformation and Integrity at T-Mobile.
  • Jacqui Biggart, technology security manager at Canadian operator TELUS and member of the RAG Steering Committee, will give a presentation about the ways she is exploring the automation and monetization of cybersecurity services supplied to other parts of her business.
  • Our panel on the top cybersecurity challenges faced by communications providers will include:
    • Georgetown University Professor Eric Burger. Eric was previously an advisor to the White House and CTO at the FCC.
    • Security consultant Eric Chilton. Eric was previously at the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) where he held the rank of Special Agent in Charge.

  • Every RAG conference includes a panel that discusses which frauds are causing most problems for telcos and the best ways to mitigate them. The experts debating the ‘hot topics in fraud’ in New Orleans will include Katia Gonzalez Gutierrez, Head of Fraud and Security at leading international carrier BICS and the Chair of the i3Forum’s fraud group since 2011.
  • Prashanthi Koutha of Netflix will give a presentation about the ways her business uses quantification of risk to make better cybersecurity decisions.
  • Geoff Ibbett of RAG and Symmetry Solutions will lead a workshop about how he crowdsourced the industry’s most comprehensive inventory of telco revenue and cost leakages and the plan to expand this catalog by incorporating definitions and descriptions of all frauds too.
  • Anthony Sani of RAG and Orillion will run a workshop about businesses uploading fraud data as ‘payment’ for access to a blockchain-based exchange of fraud intelligence.
  • Our closing Wise Heads panel will feature industry veterans discussing their key takeaways from the conference and the challenges to be prioritized over the year ahead. The moderator will be Eric Priezkalns, Chief Executive of RAG and Editor of Commsrisk.

Biographies of all the confirmed speakers can be found here.



The conference will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Homer Hitt Center within the University of New Orleans, close to the heart of the city and boasting views across the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The university campus is five miles north of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter and is well served by public transport links. The venue is marked in red on the map of the area immediately below.


Advice about Accommodation

Attendees are responsible for arranging and paying for their own accommodation. Here is a list of New Orleans hotels that generally receive good reviews, ordered by the approximate price of a room.


Evening Food and Entertainment

As well as providing lunch and refreshments during the day, conference attendees will get a taste of the real New Orleans each evening as we visit two memorable locations for dining and fun.

The first evening of the conference, Tuesday April 5, will be spent enjoying the great ambience and superb local cuisine found down by the marina at Lake Pontchartrain. There will be fresh seafood and cajun cooking served at The Blue Crab Restaurant and Oyster Bar. A surprise after-dinner speaker will also share his wit and wisdom.

Be sure to remain in New Orleans for the second evening, Wednesday April 6, to enjoy a specially-arranged show for the RAG audience from New Orleans music legend Kermit Ruffins. Kermit is one of the city’s best-loved musicians, having spent 40 years performing in the feel-good style of jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Louis Jordan. In the 1980’s he was central to the rejuvenation of the New Orleans brass music scene as one of the founders of the Rebirth Brass Band, before going on to form other bands and releasing a series of albums oriented around his bright, silvery trumpet style. Kermit gained international fame through his regular guest appearances as himself on the HBO television series Treme and his joyous duet with Bill Murray of “The Bare Necessities” for the soundtrack of Disney’s live action remake of The Jungle Book.

Kermit will perform for us at one of New Orleans’ most treasured institutions, the Rock ‘n’ Bowl. All the conference attendees will be welcome to take full advantage of the Rock ‘n’ Bowl’s unique mix of dancing, food and ten-pin bowling, with lanes reserved just for RAG and more jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice than anyone can eat.

Please advise of any dietary restrictions when completing the booking form for your seat.



This printable PDF brochure for the conference was created on March 9; you can download it from here or view it below. However, we always recommend that attendees check the agenda on this webpage for the most up to date schedule of speakers.


Free Registration for Employees of Communications Providers and Regulators

Employees of electronic communications providers, internet service providers, cable companies, streaming content providers, digital service providers and their regulators qualify for free seats by registering with the email address provided by their employer; any registration using a personal email address (for example, will be rejected. Click here to register if you qualify for a free seat.


Attendance Options for Sponsors, Academics and Invited Guests

Sponsoring businesses may send their representatives to RAG New Orleans 2022. If your business is interested in participating in RAG events then please make your initial query through our contact form. Sponsors communicate their list of delegates through their designated liaison with RAG; employees of sponsors should not attempt to book seats through the public registration form mentioned above.

RAG allocates a limited number of complimentary seats for freelance consultants, subject matter experts, academics engaged in relevant research, and other industry leaders. To maintain a balanced audience, these seats will only be made available to specific named individuals. Invitations will be emailed in due course. If you wish to be added to the guest list you should contact a member of the RAG Committee, or else ask one of the conference sponsors to forward your request.

One of the most important aspects of our conferences is what we call the ‘RAG Spirit’. We want attendees to feel relaxed and have the freedom to talk openly about the challenges they face. To protect the RAG Spirit, we reserve the right to decide who may attend on a case-by-case basis.


About Our Sponsors

RAG is a not-for-profit enterprise, and telcos and regulators may attend our events for free, as do many specially invited experts. That means we rely on the generosity of businesses that pay for everything from our web server to the coffee we serve attendees. We would like to thank the following businesses for making this conference possible.

Gold Sponsors

AB Handshake Corporation, Globetom, Mobileum, Neural Technologies, Oculeus, Subex, Symmetry Solutions, TEOCO

Silver Sponsors

Araxxe, FraudBuster, GBSD Technologies, LATRO, XINTEC

Bronze Sponsors
Calltic, Cellusys, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Six Degrees, TMT Analysis, Trustonic

If you would like to host a future RAG event or if you want to learn about sponsorship opportunities then please get in touch. We will be glad to hear from you!