Meet the Cisco Certification Exam Program Managers
The Cisco Career Certification Program is widely respected and commonly cited as one of the very best in the IT industry. Much of the growth and success of the program can be attributed to the Exam Program Managers, who lead the design and developmental process for each and every one of the Cisco Certification exams. Their goal is to create and deliver exams that surpass industry standards to help advance your IT networking career.
CCIE/CCDE Certifications Program Team
CCIE/CCDE Certifications Program Team Sr. Manager
Yusuf Bhaiji, CCIE #9305 (R&S and Security), has been with Cisco Systems for over 15 years and is currently the Sr. Manager leading the Cisco CCIE/CCDE Certifications Program. Prior to this, he was the Product Manager for the Cisco CCIE Security certification and CCIE Proctor in Cisco Dubai and Sydney Labs. Before joining the CCIE program team, he was Technical Lead for Cisco TAC in Sydney for the Security and VPN team.
Yusuf’s passion for Security technologies and solutions has played dominant role in his 25 years of industry experience, from as far back as his initial Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and since reflected in his numerous certifications.
He prides himself in his knowledge sharing abilities, evident in the fact that he has mentored many successful candidates, as well as having designed and delivered a number of Network Security solutions, around the globe.
Yusuf co-chairs the Cisco CCIE Advisory council, and is advisory board member of several non-profit organizations for the dissemination of technologies and promoting indigenous excellence in the field of internetworking through academic and professional activities. Yusuf also chairs the Networkers Society of Pakistan (NSP) and IPv6 Forum Pakistan chapter.
Yusuf has authored Four Cisco Press books;
In addition to authoring, he has also been a technical reviewer for several Cisco Press books, published articles, white papers, and presentations on various security technologies. He is a frequent lecturer and well-known speaker presenting at several conferences and seminars worldwide.
LinkedIn: Yusuf Bhaiji
CCIE/CCDE Certifications Program Team Manager
Erik Vangrunderbeek is currently managing the Expert EPM (Exam Program Manager) Team within Learning@Cisco. Erik started his networking career in Cisco TAC in 1999, as a member of the Core Architecture and Technology Solutions (CATS) team, providing technical support to Cisco partners and customers. He joined the CCIE Program in 2002 as a CCIE Proctor in the Brussels lab. In 2008, Erik launched the CCIE Wireless program and became CCIE Wireless EPM. Erik focused on the introduction of Evolving Technologies throughout the entire expert portfolio in 2015-2016. Erik is CCIE R&S certified and passionate about the CCIE Program.
Zia has been with Cisco since 2000. He was part of San Jose TAC Security Solutions and Access teams for four years.
He then joined Cisco Advanced Services and supported major US based accounts like AT&T, Verizon and BT-Infonet.
He was also part of CCIE operations team for over five years and supported CCIE Lab operations in Dubai.
His fourteen years in Cisco started with troubleshooting complex network issues in the area of Security, Routing/Switching and Access technologies while working as a customer support engineer in Cisco TAC.
He has vast experience of designing, implementing and optimizing large service provider networks working as a consulting engineer in Cisco AS.
He has contributed in the development of labs at the expert and professional levels for the Cisco learning network.
He has been Program Manager of CCIE Security exam since 2014 with role of maintaining life cycle of written and the lab exams.
He is also a regular speaker in Cisco Live for the CCIE Security Tectorial and Breakout sessions
He holds Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California and is a triple CCIE# 7745 in Security, Routing & Switching and ISP Dial.
Santiago Lopez joined the Cisco Certifications and Training group (Learning@Cisco) in 2015, working as the Exam Program Manager for the CCIE Wireless. He is responsible for the exam design and content development process for both the CCIE Wireless written and lab exams.
Prior to that, Santi had 10 years’ experience as an IT professional, working for various Cisco Gold Partners in the UK. He has a strong background in wireless and security and, has been responsible for the design and implementation of many enterprise networks.
Santi has been living in the UK since 1998 and holds CCIE Wireless #46087.
LinkedIn: Santiago Lopez
Elaine Lopes, CCIE #4478 (Routing & Switching and Service Provider), has 20+ years of experience in networking - 14 of them with Cisco networks. In the past 8 years she switched gears to her project and program management career, holding the PMP certification from PMI. She has worked on many CCIE certifications through their design, implementation and operation phases, and is currently the Exam program manager for CCDE and CCAr and Team Lead for the CCIE program team, and she’s passionate about how lives can change for the better through education and certification.
Blog: Unleashing CCDE
LinkedIn: Elaine Lopes
CCIE Data Center
Mubasher Nawaz joined Cisco Systems in May of 2007. Currently he is working as Exam Program Manager in Cisco Systems Inc. with primary responsibility for the CCIE Data Centre Exam including planning, designing and testing the exam for the industry leading CCIE program. Before joining Learning@Cisco team he was working as a Network Consulting Engineer with primary focus on Application Networking Services, Layer 4-7, Core Routing and Switching and related technologies. Areas of expertise include Nexus series switches, UCS, Application Network services Layer 4-7 and Storage. Mubasher has a Masters in Computer Networks from LUMS, Pakistan and also holds double CCIE in Routing & Switching and Data Centre. In addition he also holds Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
CCIE Routing & Switching (Written Exam)
Kurt joined Cisco in 2011 as a CCIE R&S exam support engineer, and has been working in the IT industry for over 17 years. He started working for British Telecom (BT) as a Technical Design Authority, supporting many large enterprise customers with the design and implementation of their network. In 2010 he was a Senior Solution Consultant at Orange Business Services, where he designed high end solutions for several multinational companies. Since 2015, Kurt is working as the Exam Program Manager on the CCIE Routing and Switching written exam.
CCIE Routing & Switching (Lab Exam)
"What drives me every single day is that education and recognition change peoples’ lives. Earning a CCIE number is a valuable credential, but it’s the learning path that makes it truly invaluable.
My main objective is to ensure that every single decision we make on any exam’s score report is the right one. This is easier said than done and I’m always looking for innovative, valid, reliable and relevant ways to improve the exam content.
If you want to contribute authoring and/or reviewing exam content, please do not hesitate to apply at www.cisco.com/go/certsme"
Bruno joined Cisco in early 2005 as a college intern and after a couple years in TAC, he is now in charge of the content design and development of CCIE R&S lab exams. He is a frequent speaker at Cisco Live conferences around the world where he loves motivating CCIE candidates.
Ben Ng is a Certification Product Manager with Learning@Cisco, responsible for the CCIE Collaboration certification. He started his networking career in the Cisco TAC in 1999, where he provided technical and escalation support to Cisco customers on WAN, LAN switching, Multi-Service, and Unified Communications technologies. Ben joined the CCIE program in June 2003 to launch the CCIE Voice Certification, which evolved into CCIE Collaboration in 2013. Ben is passionate about technical training and assessment, and he enjoys talking to customers and certified individuals, to learn how networking and collaborative technologies are changing how people work, live, learn, and connect with one another. Ben is CCIE certified in R&S, Voice, and Collaboration.
CCIE Service Provider
CCIE #6892 (SP and Collaboration) has been with Cisco Systems for over 19 years and is currently the Exam Product Manager in Learning@Cisco with primary responsibility for content design and development of CCIE Service Provider certification exams. Prior to this, he was the Solution Architect in EMEAR where he provided strategic and tactical consulting to hundreds of Cisco customers and partners and lead digital transformation in multiple industry verticals through integrated architecture domain expertise in Service Provider, Collaboration, Cloud, Software Defined Networking, Virtualization, IoT, and Automation/Orchestration. He has also been a technical reviewer of Cisco Press books, published design guides, white papers, and presented in various industry seminars and conferences. He holds VMware, TOGAF, ITIL and AS Specialist Certifications along with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering. Kashif is passionate about making an impact in people’s lives through education and CCIE certification programs.