Home » Kentucky nonprofit’s director of digital inclusion named to FCC committee

Kentucky nonprofit’s director of digital inclusion named to FCC committee

Heather Gate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the second time, Heather Gate, director of digital inclusion for Bowling green-based Connected Nation, has just been named to serve on the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) for the Federal Communications Commission.

“I was happy to learn that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai decided to extend this committee’s important work for another two years. So much is at stake and we need to continue building on the progress we’ve made,” said Gate. “Right now, too many families, senior citizens, veterans, and children — across both rural and urban communities — still do not have access to the same educational, healthcare, and economic opportunities that the rest of us do, and that’s just scratching the surface. That is simply not acceptable.”

Chairman Pai first announced his intention to form the new federal advisory committee in April 2017. Initially chartered in July 2017 for two years, the ACDDE provided advice and recommendations to the FCC on “how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.”

Gate was again named to the 2019 committee and asked to serve as its Vice Chair. In the FCC announcement Chairman Pai applauded Gate for serving as the chair of the ACDDE’s Digital Empowerment and Inclusion Working Group in the previous committee. He stated that her energy, knowledge and organizational skills resulted in a productive working group.

“It’s so important to have a dialog with other stakeholders and identify ways to work together so we can help more people,” Gate said. “By having a voice on this committee, Connected Nation can also have an even broader impact. If we’re able to share our best practices and understanding of the unique challenges minority groups face with FCC leadership as they seek to close the Digital Divide, then we will be able to multiply the positive impact of our work and mission to connect all people.”

Since 2006, Gate has been responsible for CN’s strategy development and implementation of programs that impact digital inclusion for all people in all places.

“We believe everyone belongs in a Connected Nation,” said Tom Ferree, chairman & CEO, CN. “Heather works tirelessly to connect those within vulnerable populations, and I know that her experience with minorities, rural communities, families, and others on the frontlines of the Digital Divide has already proven invaluable in this setting and will continue to be a great benefit to the FCC as it seeks to empower disadvantaged communities through broadband and next-generation networks.”