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Near Field Communication Forum Announces Paula Hunter as New Executive Director

The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, today announced that Paula Hunter has been named the organization’s new Executive Director.

Elected by a vote of the NFC Forum Board of Directors, Hunter comes to the NFC Forum with more than 18 years of leadership experience in technology association management, marketing, operations, and business development. Her distinguished career includes executive roles at the Outercurve Foundation, SEMPO, Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), and UnitedLinux. In these roles, Ms. Hunter has led global teams and has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences around the world.

As Executive Director, Hunter presides over the day-to-day affairs of the NFC Forum under the direction of the Chairman, Officers, and Board of Directors. Her responsibilities include strategic planning and direction, membership development, budgeting, evangelism for the Forum and its mission, and outreach to liaison and vertical market partners.

"With hundreds of millions of NFC-enabled devices now reaching the market, the NFC Forum is in an unprecedented position to drive adoption among developers, businesses, and consumers worldwide,” said Hunter. "I am looking forward to helping the NFC Forum continue its leadership role as we enter a new era of market expansion and solution implementation."

Hunter takes the directorship reins from Debbie Arnold, who became NFC Forum Director in January 2011, after leading marketing staff efforts since 2006. Prior to that role, Arnold contributed to the development of the NFC Forum as a Board alternate representing Sponsor member Visa. Arnold has elected to step back from day-to-day management but will continue to play a role in key Forum activities. Under Arnold’s leadership, the NFC Forum has grown to a record 190 member organizations, published several technical specifications, and signed liaison agreements with eight industry associations. Arnold also spearheaded the formation of the NFC Forum Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which focus on NFC solution implementation, interoperability, best practices, and future requirements in key vertical markets and industry segments to drive market adoption.

"The NFC Forum is pleased to welcome Paula Hunter, whose deep experience in nonprofit leadership and business outreach will benefit us greatly," said Koichi Tagawa, Chairman of the NFC Forum. "She is the right person to build upon the strong foundation created by our outgoing Director, Debbie Arnold, whose outstanding and tireless work in advancing the Forum mission has made us a bigger, more effective, and more focused organization. On behalf of the Board of Directors and all our members, I would like to thank Debbie Arnold for her outstanding work in advancing the Forum’s mission."

Ms. Hunter joins the NFC Forum following more than three years as Executive Director of the Outercurve Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities. Prior to Outercurve, she served as Director of Operations for SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, and director of worldwide marketing and business development for the Open Source Development Labs, where she was instrumental in driving membership growth to increase industry awareness of OSDL programs. Earlier in her career, Ms. Hunter was general manager of UnitedLinux, a joint venture formed to create a unified Linux offering, and marketing programs manager for the UNIX workstation and PC product lines at Digital Equipment Corporation. She holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University.

About Near Field Communication Technology

NFC technology makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch. A standards-based connectivity technology, NFC harmonizes today's diverse contactless technologies, enabling current and future solutions in areas such as access control, consumer electronics, health care, information collection and exchange, loyalty and coupons, payments, and transport. NFC technology is supported by the world's leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.

About the NFC Forum

The NFC Forum ( was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum's mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum's 190 global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. The NFC Forum's Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Broadcom Corporation, Google, Inc., Intel, MasterCard Worldwide, NEC, Nokia, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa Inc.

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