Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel: click for press photo

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel believes that the future belongs to the connected. She works to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success. She believes strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life.

From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, Jessica has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things. She also is responsible for developing policies to help expand the reach of broadband to schools, libraries, hospitals, and households across the country.

Named as one of POLITICO's 50 Politicos to Watch and profiled by InStyle Magazine in a series celebrating "women who show up, speak up and get things done," Jessica brings over two decades of communications policy experience and public service to the FCC. Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Jessica practiced communications law in Washington, DC.

She is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

 

Travis Litman

Travis Litman

Acting Chief of Staff

Travis is an FCC veteran with over a decade’s experience at the agency. He served then-Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s office in different capacities including as Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Advisor. He also has held a variety of roles in the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau. In addition, he has served as Counsel on detail to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where he provided assistance to the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Before entering public service, Travis practiced communications law in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College and the University of Colorado School of Law.

Kate Black

Kate Black

Acting Chief Policy Advisor

Kate has served as Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Policy Advisor since 2017. She joined the office from EMILY's List, where she served as Chief of Staff. Previously, Kate served as the Vice President of Research for EMILY's List, where she was responsible for policies regarding key issues facing American families. While in this role, she also served as Executive Director of American Women. Kate has held a variety of other policy and research positions at a diverse group of organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, the Service Employees International Union, and Hillary Clinton for President. She is the co-author, with June Diane Raphael, of "Represent: The Woman's Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World," published by Workman Publishing in 2019. She is a graduate of Miami University and holds a Master of Arts from George Washington University.

Umair Javed

Umair Javed

Acting Chief Counsel

Umair serves as Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Chief Counsel. From October 2017 through January 2021, he served as then-Commissioner Rosenworcel's legal advisor for wireless and international issues. Umair joined the FCC from Wiley Rein LLP, where he was an attorney in the firm's Telecom, Media, and Technology practice group. Umair also has served on U.S. delegations to treaty-writing conferences and meetings of the International Telecommunication Union and as Commissioner of the Consumer Protection Commission of Fairfax County. He graduated from the University of Virginia and received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

D’wana Terry

D’wana Terry

Acting Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity

D’wana will advise the Acting Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and redress inequities in its policies and programs while also continuing to serve as the Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity. The Office of Workplace Diversity ensures that the provides employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual preference. D’wana has served in numerous senior positions at the FCC since joining the agency from private practice in 1994. Most recently, she was associate bureau chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. She has also served as an associate bureau chief and chief of staff in both the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and as acting deputy bureau chief of CGB. In addition, she previously served as chief of the Wireless Bureau’s Public Safety & Critical Infrastructure Division. She graduated from Lafayette College and received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Sanford Williams

Sanford Williams

Acting Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Director, Office of Business Communications Opportunities

Sanford will advise the Acting Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and expand opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved while also continuing to serve as Director of the Office of Communications Business Opportunities. The Office of Communications Business Opportunities promotes competition and innovation in telecommunications and information services and supports opportunities for small, women-owned, and minority-owned communications businesses. Sanford has worked in various roles at the FCC since 1999. He also worked as an attorney for Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice and taught at Augusta State University in Georgia. Mr. Williams graduated from Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in operations research and industrial engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review.

photo not yet available

Trent Harkrader

Acting Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Deputy Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau

Trent will advise the Acting Chairwoman on implementation of the recent Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, including its initiatives on broadband adoption and telehealth, while also continuing to serve as Deputy Bureau Chief in the Wireline Competition Bureau. Trent has been responsible for numerous Commission broadband policy initiatives since 2011. He has led major reforms of all four of the Commission’s universal service programs, spearheaded the agency’s work on the national security supply chain proceeding and, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ran the Commission-wide initiative to help fund health care providers offering essential telehealth services to patients. Before joining the Bureau, Trent was an attorney advisor and division manager in the Enforcement Bureau.

Holly Saurer

Holly Saurer

Acting Legal Advisor, Media

Holly joins the office from the Media Bureau, where she has held several positions, including Deputy Bureau Chief, Associate Bureau Chief, Senior Legal Advisor and Attorney-Advisor with the Media Bureau’s Policy Division. Holly has previously served as an Acting Media Advisor for Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn, and an International and Consumer Affairs Legal Advisor for Chairman Wheeler. Prior to joining the Commission, Holly worked at the Washington, DC offices of Drinker Biddle & Reath and Miller & Van Eaton. Holly received her JD from American University and graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication.

photo not yet available

David Strickland

Acting Legal Advisor, Consumer, Enforcement, and International

David joins the office from the Enforcement Bureau, where he most recently served as Assistant Bureau Chief, managing consumer protection, privacy, and media enforcement matters. David also served as Assistant Division Chief in the International Bureau, where he worked on a variety of satellite, telecommunications policy, and spectrum-related issues. Before joining the FCC, he was an attorney in private practice, specializing in litigation and antitrust issues. David is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School.

photo not yet available

Ramesh Nagarajan

Acting Legal Advisor, Wireline

Ramesh joins the office from the Wireline Competition Bureau, where he was most recently Deputy Division Chief of the Competition Policy Division. He also served as a law clerk to United States District Judge James D. Whittemore in the Middle District of Florida. Ramesh began his legal career practicing antitrust and competition law at O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Before attending law school, he served as a Legislative Assistant to Representative Lois Capps. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

photo not yet available

Ethan Lucarelli

Acting Legal Advisor, Wireless and Public Safety

Ethan joins the office from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, where he served as legal and policy advisor to the Bureau Chief. Previously, Ethan was Director of Regulatory & Public Policy at Inmarsat, a global satellite communications company, and an attorney in the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology group at law firm Wiley Rein LLP. Ethan also is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, teaching courses in Telecommunications Law and Scholarly Writing. Ethan earned his JD with highest honors from George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Illinois.

Photo Not Available

Aurelle Porter

Acting Staff Assistant

Aurelle has worked in then-Commissioner Rosenworcel’s office since 2018 and has been at the Federal Communications Commission since 2006. During her time at the agency, she has served as Special Assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs and as a Staff Assistant to former FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin.

Andi Roane-Wiley

Andi Roane

Acting Confidential Assistant

Andi joins the office after serving in the offices of former Chairman Pai, former Chairman Wheeler, and Commissioner Simington. In prior FCC service, Andi served as the special assistant to the chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Previously, she worked as an executive assistant for more than two decades in the private sector.

September 8, 2021

September Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

With wildfires still raging in the American West and Hurricane Ida’s historic devastation from New Orleans to New York, the need for resilient communications infrastructure has never been more apparent. The Commission’s September open meeting will be headlined by a pair of items to make sure vital communications are available when people need them most. Here are the items we will consider on September 30:

  • We’re promoting more resilient networks. Today, the rain has stopped, the winds have subsided, and the storm surge has receded. But Mother Nature’s wrath is sure to visit us again. So are 911 failures and power outages and other threats to network infrastructure. That is why we are fundamentally refreshing our playbook for disaster preparedness and resiliency. We’re starting that effort today by revisiting the Wireless Resiliency Cooperative Framework, our network outage reporting rules, and strategies to address one of the primary reasons for service disruptions: electric power outages.
  • We’re repurposing airwaves for public safety and 5G. As we upgrade our networks to 5G, we need to bring America’s first responders along, too. So we are revisiting our most recent effort at remaking the 4.9 GHz band and charting a new course. To avoid a state-by-state approach to spectrum policy, we are seeking comment on how to advance the Commission’s original goal to ensure public safety enjoys maximum access to emerging broadband technologies while also increasing overall use of the band through a single, nationwide framework that creates opportunities for 5G.
  • We’re meeting consumer demand for faster, better Wi-Fi. You might have noticed that manufacturers are starting to slip in something new in their spec sheets: Supports Wi-Fi 6. This is the first major update to Wi-Fi in a long time. It means gigabit-plus speeds, more simultaneous connections, and better security. The key to enabling more of these devices is an automated frequency coordination system that will better manage the airwaves in and around your house to deliver the best performance possible without interfering with other spectrum users. We will vote to initiate the process for certifying these systems and speed the deployment of next-generation Wi-Fi.
  • We’re supporting the Internet of Things. The best way to lead in the future of wireless is to prepare for it. That’s true for the future of connected things too—also known as the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things will connect billions of devices and promises to enable innovations ranging from telemedicine to smart transportation networks to precision agriculture. As directed by Congress, we are preparing for this future in the here and now by starting a Notice of Inquiry to better understand the current and future spectrum needs of IoT connectivity.
  • We’re cracking down on the hardest-to-stop robocallers. Eliminating illegal robocalls that originate abroad is one of the most vexing challenges for the Commission. We will consider a proposal to require gateway providers that are the point of entry for foreign calls to use new caller ID authentication tools and perform robocall mitigation.
  • We’re shielding 911 call centers from robocalls. Unwanted robocalls that disrupt dinner are annoying. Unwanted robocalls that tie up public safety phone lines and disrupt emergency services are unacceptable. We will consider a proposal to bolster the Do-Not-Call registry for telephone numbers used by 911 call centers.
  • We’re connecting Tribal libraries. Libraries are a vital source of internet access, but some Tribal libraries have been shut off from E-Rate support because they didn’t meet the technical definition of a library in the Commission’s rules. We will vote on a proposal to fix this problem and to explore other measures to ensure Tribal entities can access the E-Rate program.
  • We’re strengthening the security review of companies with foreign ownership. The Commission will vote to adopt a baseline set of national security and law enforcement questions for certain applicants with reportable foreign ownership. These actions will facilitate foreign investment and the provision of new services and infrastructure in the United States while protecting consumers and promoting national security.

—Jessica

August 6, 2021

New Mobile Map: A Preview of What’s to Come

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

We all know the frustration of a dropped call, a video that won’t download, or an app that won’t refresh when you are trying to get the latest score or news. That frustration can be heightened when you are using your smartphone in an area where you are supposed to have mobile service. The more we rely on our smartphones, the more consumers need a clear sense of where mobile broadband service is available in their communities.

Today, the FCC is providing the public what they need with new, first-of-its-kind information on mobile wireless service coverage.

We are rolling out a new mapping tool that will empower consumers with better data on mobile broadband coverage in America. This is the first major update in a series of improvements to the agency’s publicly available resources to track where broadband coverage is and is not across the country.

Why does this map matter? This new map is a building block towards better broadband maps in the future. It serves as a public test of the standardized criteria developed to facilitate improved mapping under the Broadband DATA Act. Using standardized metrics and consumer-friendly technology and data visualization techniques, we’re able to take in data from multiple sources and create a map that is not only useful, but user-oriented. Consumers are able to input their address or another location and see with pin-point accuracy what coverage is available at that location.

The mapping tool shows where 4G LTE mobile broadband and voice services are available for each of the nation’s four largest wireless carriers: AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. Combined, these four service providers represent the vast majority of market share for mobile wireless connections in the U.S. There are a few things notable about this tool.

These four service providers voluntarily submitted standardized data to the FCC, prepared using a common set of parameters. Now, you can easily view standardized 4G LTE network coverage data for each of these service providers in one place.

Another notable feature of this mapping tool is that you can see coverage areas for both voice and broadband 4G LTE services. The broadband coverage areas are drawn based on a minimum download and upload speed metric of five megabits per second (5 Mbps) and one megabit per second (1 Mbps), respectively. But voice calls over an LTE network typically do not require this amount of network speed. Because of this, the carriers have provided separate coverage area maps where subscribers should be expected to make and receive voice calls over the LTE network. Providing distinct maps for voice and broadband LTE service will give consumers a more accurate picture of service availability whether they are getting online or calling a friend.

How did we get here? In February, I announced the establishment of the new Broadband Data Task Force, a group of experts at the FCC dedicated to implementing long-overdue improvements to the agency’s broadband data and mapping tools.

These efforts focused largely on the need for better maps to help policymakers make more informed decisions about targeting investments to close the digital divide. I couldn’t support that effort more. But beyond helping policymakers, I chartered the Broadband Data Task Force to take a more holistic approach on ways the Commission can use data to empower consumers and how consumers can provide data to the Commission to arrive at a better understanding of broadband availability.

So what’s next? For starters, the mapping tool we release today is the first in a series of efforts to provide consumers with a better understanding of network coverage for the predominant mobile wireless technology used by most Americans. Looking long term, this map is an important step toward the FCC’s collection of robust, standardized coverage data for all mobile broadband technologies and from all service providers, and refinement of that data by leveraging consumers’ and other stakeholders’ on-the-ground experiences. While the Commission is building more accurate maps showing where fixed and mobile broadband services are and are not available using industry data, we will also establish systems and processes to validate and supplement provider-submitted data. One such effort will be a process through which consumers, state, local, and Tribal governmental entities, and other stakeholders may submit data to challenge the accuracy of the FCC’s coverage maps.

This is an exciting and important step on the path towards the comprehensive broadband availability maps Congress entrusted to the FCC. While this mapping tool is a preview of things to come, it also demonstrates the future of the consumer-facing and user-friendly tools that will help everyone—consumers, state and federal policymakers, and other stakeholders—understand where broadband is available.

July 14, 2021

August Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Today and tomorrow, the Commission is hosting a showcase of new technologies that will enable greater innovation in equipment for our 5G networks. This open and interoperable technology will mean lower costs and, perhaps most significantly, increased security for 5G. The Commission’s August open meeting will feature an item to jump-start innovation in this technology, in addition to several other items to tackle challenges like unwanted robocalls. Here’s what we’ve got lined up.

  • We are enabling cutting-edge research and development to extend our 5G leadership. Research and development are the cornerstone of the innovation process. The Commission will vote on a proposal to designate two new innovation zones that would enable greater experimentation with advanced wireless technologies—one in Boston and the other in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition, our proposal would expand the geographic area of an existing innovation zone in New York City. By creating opportunities to integrate open radio access network technologies, our action will help spur the development of more secure 5G alternatives, too. Think of these Innovation Zones as seeds that will grow technologies we can harvest for our 5G future.
  • We are making life harder for malicious robocallers. Widely available VoIP software can allow bad actors to make spoofed robocalls with minimal technical experience and cost. The FCC will consider a proposal to modernize our rules regarding direct access to numbers by providers of VoIP services. The changes would safeguard our finite numbering resources while seeking to curb robocalls and reduce the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage.
  • We are strengthening our regime for authenticating calls and blocking unwanted ones. Caller ID technology known as STIR/SHAKEN promises to authenticate phone numbers and make it easier to block fraudulent calls before they ever reach your phone—helping combat the consumer plague of unwanted robocalls. FCC rules require voice service providers to implement and participate in the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework. To ensure due process and promote trust in this system, the Commission will vote to establish a process for voice providers to appeal decisions by the private group that oversees STIR/SHAKEN if providers are rendered noncompliant with our rules to combat robocalls.
  • We are making sure communications tools are there for individuals with hearing or speech disabilities. Internet Protocol (IP) Relay allows an individual with a hearing or speech disability to communicate with voice telephone users by transmitting text via the Internet. The Commission will consider a proposal to change the compensation methodology for IP Relay providers, which would help ensure that financial support is sufficient to sustain a functionally equivalent telephone service for eligible consumers.
  • We are updating our political programming and recordkeeping rules. The FCC has political programming and recordkeeping rules for broadcast licensees, cable operators, and satellite providers, but we have not formally reviewed these rules since 1991. We will consider two updates to these rules that are designed to comply with statutory requirements and account for modern campaign practices.
  • We are making it easier to use low-power radio services. The Commission will vote on an order to resolve three long-pending petitions regarding our personal radio services rules. Specifically, we would permit FM as an optional modulation scheme in the CB Radio Service; allow automatic or periodic location and data transmissions on General Mobile Service and Family Radio Service frequencies; and correct inadvertent modifications to our rules for medical device communications.

—Jessica

June 29, 2021

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is Live!

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Today, we are starting the most significant single campaign ever to tackle the Homework Gap and make sure American students have access to the broadband and devices they need for school—the Emergency Connectivity Fund. Effective immediately, schools and libraries can apply for support to purchase laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections to facilitate off-campus remote learning.

As we open the window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, there are three numbers that every eligible school and library needs to know.

The first number is 16.9 million. That’s how many students do not have the high-speed internet access at home they need to fully participate in online learning. This problem, that I’ve labeled the Homework Gap, has been exacerbated during the pandemic and locked too many children out of the virtual classroom. We’ve seen the effects of Homework Gap during this crisis. Parking lots are full of cars with students using a free WiFi signal to get into class. Parents struggling to find safe spaces for their children to get online. These families have grit, but it shouldn’t be this hard. But help is here.

The second number is $7.17 billion. That is how many dollars are available from the Emergency Connectivity Fund from Congress. That means it’s time to think big and submit proposals that will dramatically narrow the Homework Gap in every community.

The third number is 45. That is how many days schools and libraries have to file an application for support. That is not a lot of time. It is imperative that stakeholders approach this unprecedented opportunity with a sense of urgency. Here are some things you should be doing already to get started.

I would encourage everyone reading this to spread the word where you can about the Emergency Connectivity Fund. You can learn more about the program and what tools we’ve made available to help make outreach a little easier from our Emergency Connectivity Fund website. It’s going to take a huge push over the next several weeks. With your help, I know that we can maximize the impact of this historic investment. Our kids and neighbors across the country are counting it.

—Jessica

June 21, 2021

July Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Summer has finally arrived, but the Commission is unusually busy. Since going live with our Emergency Broadband Benefit last month, we’ve enrolled millions of households in this unprecedented effort to give Americans substantial discounts on home broadband service, and that number continues to grow by the day. Next week, we will open the application filing window for the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund—our nation’s largest single effort ever to make sure students have access to the broadband and devices they need for homework and remote school. At the same time, we continue to move forward on work that is central to the Commission’s core responsibilities and work that helps make the agency more accessible to the public. Here are the items we have lined up for our July open meeting.

  • We’re putting the finishing touches on a program to remove and replace insecure equipment from our wireless networks. In 2020, the Commission adopted rules and established a program to reimburse telecommunications providers for costs to remove, replace, and dispose of communications equipment and services in their networks that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. Late last year, Congress appropriated $1.895 billion to implement this program, while also calling for modifications. The Commission will be voting on a Report and Order to incorporate these Congressionally mandated changes, such as expanding eligibility for the program to allow more carriers to participate and expanding the types of services and equipment that are eligible for reimbursement funding.
  • We’re enabling the use of state-of-the-art radar sensing technologies. The radar market has never been so dynamic. State-of-the-art radar sensing technology is enabling a new era of technological innovation that is shaping the future of the cars we drive and the phones in our pockets. With the right policies in place, we can help spur the use of these radars for vital sign monitoring in car seats that will enhance in-vehicle safety, for touchless control of device functions or features that can benefit users with mobility or speech impairments, and for much, much more. So the Commission will consider a proposal to expand the permissible uses for short-range radars in the 57-64 GHz band and ensure that all these new uses can coexist with each other.
  • We’re cleaning up our broadcast radio rules. The Commission’s current rules for full-power and translator radio stations contain a number of provisions that are redundant, outdated, or in conflict with other rules. We will vote on a proposal to update and clean up these rules to reduce any potential confusion, alleviate unnecessary burdens, and make sure they reflect the latest technical requirements.
  • We’re updating our filing requirements for the digital age. While the overwhelming majority of applications to the Commission must be filed electronically, we still have paper filing requirements. The Commission will be voting on a proposal to mandate electronic filings for certain applications to our International Bureau and to remove certain duplicate paper filing requirements. This common-sense move would reduce costs and administrative burdens, facilitate faster and more efficient communications, and improve transparency to the public.
  • We will also consider an item from our Enforcement Bureau.
Broadband: With Jessica Rosenworcel

Broadband Conversations

Dedicated to amplifying the voices of women who are making a difference in our digital lives.

Broadband Conversations is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. Each episode, Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will talk to women who are breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they're working on, what's on their minds, what they think is the next for the future. Because there are just too few, it's time to amplify these women's voices.

Episodes

On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to meet Kathryn de Wit, Manager of the Broadband Research Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Kathryn and her team at Pew have done critical work understanding just who has connectivity and who does not—data that is fundamental for closing the digital divide. As the on-going pandemic has demonstrated, access to broadband is no longer just nice-to-have, it is a necessity for work, education, healthcare, and so much of modern life. Kathryn shares what states are doing to get more people connected and how their efforts could be models for the future.

#3431 minutes

Kimball Sekaquaptewa, CTO Santa Fe Indian School

On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to meet Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Officer at the Santa Fe Indian School. A member of the Hopi Tribe, Kimball has decades of experience working to bring connectivity to Tribal schools and libraries. Her efforts were recently featured in the New York Times and by Good Morning America. She has been a vocal advocate for getting all students connected, which is especially critical on Tribal Lands where four out of 10 students lack access to broadband at home. During a pandemic that has hit Tribal communities especially hard, listeners will hear how Kimball is working to help students get and stay connected for remote learning.

Join Commissioner Rosenworcel for the second half of her conversation with five female Superintendents who are leading communities across the country through an unprecedented school year. Listeners will hear more from Dr. Kristi Wilson from Arizona, Dr. Ann Levett from Georgia, Krestin Bahr and Dr. Susan Enfield from Washington, and Heidi Sipe from Oregon about what school looks like right now for students who have been asked to learn remotely at home. You’ll hear how schools are communicating with their students and families about the technology challenges they face, solutions they see for solving the Homework Gap, and what these education leaders hope for the future of digital life and learning.

Classes may have begun, but the start of this school year is unlike any other. With a virus that has forced so many schools to keep their doors closed, millions of students are in online classes at home. We wanted to hear how women who are leading school systems are navigating these days and get their thoughts on how as a nation we can improve digital education. In Part One of this special two-part conversation, listeners will meet five Superintendents from across the country: Dr. Kristi Wilson from Arizona, Dr. Ann Levett from Georgia, Krestin Bahr and Dr. Susan Enfield from Washington, and Heidi Sipe from Oregon. You’ll hear how they prepared for this new school year, what challenges they face, and how they are working to develop new ideas to keep their communities learning during this difficult time.

#3129 minutes

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Before being elected to Congress, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene spent over twenty years as a technology entrepreneur and business leader. In Congress, she’s used this experience to help develop policies that create jobs and foster innovation. She’s also used this background to advance cybersecurity and improve data privacy. Listeners will get to hear how she believes we can secure our networks and protect against online threats as we enter in the next generation of technology.

#3016 minutes

Emily Ramshaw, Co-Founder and CEO of The 19th

Journalism has always been essential part of how we make decisions about our lives, our communities, and our country. During the pandemic getting the facts we need to know about what is happening in the world around us is especially important. On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will meet Emily Ramshaw, who has started a new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom during the ongoing health crisis. She is the CEO of The 19th, which focuses on telling stories about women, policy, and politics. With women holding one-third of the jobs deemed essential, Emily’s efforts to bring attention to their stories and so much more that might be missed by more traditional news outlets is absolutely critical as we navigate the challenges ahead.

#2919 minutes

Leah Lizarondo, CEO and Co-Founder of 412 Food Rescue

The ongoing public health crisis has had a devastating impact on our economy.  It has led to increased unemployment and greater food insecurity for households across the country.  As a result, we are seeing record-breaking lines with people waiting in cars and on sidewalks to pick up groceries to feed their families.  On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to meet a woman who is doing her part to help.  Leah Lizarondo is the CEO and Co-Founder of 412 Food Rescue, a food recovery organization that uses technology to link retailers who have excess food with volunteers who are able to distribute it to families and individuals experiencing food insecurity.

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is an expert in equitable access to digital technology and the new Director of the Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation. Her research explores broadband deployment and the intersection of race, civic engagement, and criminal justice reform. In this episode listeners will get to hear her about her work to expand digital equity and her belief that we need to build a technology ecosystem that provides innovation and opportunities for all.

#2732 minutes

Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC

The Coronavirus has impacted every town and city across the country. One of the hardest hit has been New York City, where Julie Samuels, the guest on this episode of Broadband Conversations, lives and works. Julie is the Executive Director of Tech:NYC and on this episode listeners will hear what she is seeing firsthand and how technology could assist in this crisis, as so much of in our lives, from work to healthcare to education, has migrated online.

Before a siren blares or an ambulance arrives, 911 operators are the first, first responders. Now we are relying on these operators and dispatchers to coordinate emergency response during a national crisis. In this episode, listeners will meet Karima Holmes, Director of the Office of Unified Communications for the District of Columbia. Director Holmes oversees the city’s emergency 911 operations and she is working to protect the District’s 700,000 residents and 20 million annual visitors.