Watch hundreds of session videos from the Paris Summit in glorious HD    Watch Summit Sessions

Individual Member Profile

chris c. kemp white background small


Chris Kemp

Date Joined
August 01, 2012

Nebula From (Current)
Statement of Interest

Ensure that the future of cloud computing is open.


Chris C. Kemp is an entrepreneurial executive with a passion for igniting innovation in high-tech organizations. Kemp is a Founder of Nebula, a company he started after serving as the Chief Technology Officer of NASA. Kemp co-founded the OpenStack project, and provided leadership and funding for the development of OpenStack’s first project, Nova.  

As the CTO NASA, Chris was responsible for pioneering work in cloud computing, open source, and open government. Chris served on the White House Cloud Computing Executive Steering Committee, and chaired the Cloud Standards Working Group. Previously, he served as the CIO of NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley where he forged partnerships with Google and Microsoft and helped create Google Moon, Google Mars, and Microsoft World Wide Telescope. Prior to joining NASA, Chris helped create the third largest online community, was the founding CEO of the leading web-based vacation rental platform Escapia (AWAY), and, as the founding CEO of Netran, where he developed OpenShop, the first online grocery shopping platform for Kroger, the world’s largest grocery store chain.  



I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Nova,Glance,Keystone,Horizon,Quantum,Cinder,Ceilometer,Heat,Oslo,Openstack-ci,Openstack-manuals,Deployment,DevStack


Chris is a candidate in the 2015 Board Election .


What is your relationship to OpenStack, and why is its success important to you? What would you say is your biggest contribution to OpenStack's success to date?


I led and funded the development of Nova, OpenStack’s first project.  My team of engineers at NASA contributed the the code for Nova, and I made it possible for NASA to contribute to the ongoing development of OpenStack under the Apache open source license; a first for the US Government. Lew Moorman and I publically announced OpenStack on July 19th 2010 during a keynote at OSCON.  I secured OpenStack’s first paying customer, the White House, which used an early version of OpenStack to power a high profile website sponsored by the President.  I wrote the first check and signed the first Platinum membership agreement to fund the OpenStack Foundation.  My company Nebula, which I started with a number of my colleagues from NASA, is one of the largest contributors to OpenStack.  I have evangelized OpenStack to millions of people all over the world since its inception through articles I have written in Wired, Information Week, Business Week, Forbes, given hundreds of keynotes, and have had initiated thousands of interactions with customers and partners.


Describe your experience with other non profits or serving as a board member. How does your experience prepare you for the role of a board member?


I am a founding member of the OpenStack board of Directors, and have served for the past two years in Nebula’s platinum seat with my colleague Vish Ishaya.  I have served on the boards of a number of privately held companies throughout my career.  Finally, I presently serve on the board of Nebula, which has been a “non profit” since its inception as a venture-funded start-up. 


What do you see as the Board's role in OpenStack's success?


The OpenStack board of directors is primarily responsible for overseeing the OpenStack Foundation, and ensuring that it represents the values of openness and transparency that are so essential to the success of OpenStack.  We are the ambassadors that ensure that all stakeholders, from individual contributors to governments and multi-national corporations are working together to build a platform and community that will power the next generation of computing infrastructures.    


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be in 2014?


The top priority of the board in 2015 will be to ensure that OpenStack delivers on the promise of an ecosystem of products and services that work well together.   

As a board we must continue the work of developing a clear framework for usage of the OpenStack trademark, licensing it only to companies that build products and services that implement an evolving set of community-defined core capabilities so end users of OpenStack products and services will experience a high level of interoperability between vendors.

We must spend more time discussing strategic questions such as: How can OpenStack be the foundation for a vibrant ecosystem of products and services that compete on merit instead of lock-in and fragmentation?  How can the OpenStack Foundation use its resources to increase the velocity of development across all OpenStack projects – faster code reviews, faster allocation of resources to boring but important aspects of the system, etc.  How can we leverage the member companies better to address some of the important policy and political challenges that will confront the project as it continues to grow?  How should the evolving public cloud landscape including container technology affect the core capabilities of OpenStack?


The board must above all remain in touch with the needs and challenges of the companies that are consuming, commercializing, integrating with, and contributing to OpenStack.  For OpenStack to fulfill its destiny as the foundation of the cloud datacenter, the OpenStack Board must balance the needs of these stakeholders as the community continues to grow. 

Chris has already been nominated by:

  • Tina Nolte
  • Sebastian Stadil
  • Joel Friedly
  • Chet Burgess
  • Tristan Goode
  • Joshua McKenty
  • Stefano Maffulli
  • Joe Gordon
  • Vishvananda Ishaya
  • Adam Lawson