Solomon Assefa is a Research Scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and has worked on nanophotonics technology for optical interconnects, with responsibilities spanning research, development, and technology transfer to commercial foundry. His research contributions include high-speed optical detectors, nano-structured platforms for bio-sensing and quantum information processing. His work on nanophotonics has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, Forbes, Technology Review, EE Times and IEEE Spectrum. He is Program Manager for Growth Markets and Strategic Initiatives, Science and Technology, and collaborates with IBM executives and scientists to develop strategic initiatives in emerging markets. He was a key participant in the launch strategy for the IBM Research Lab in Kenya, IBM's first in Africa. He is a recipient of the Technical Accomplishment Award, Corporate Recognition Award and several Invention Achievement Awards from IBM. He was named one of the World's Top Young Innovators under 35 and received the TR35 award from MIT's Technology Review (2011). He holds a BSc in Physics, a BSc and MSc in EECS and a PhD, all from MIT.