Connected Nation's VP of Digital Inclusion to lead FCC's Communications Equity and Diversity Council as Chair

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 1:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just announced that Heather Gate, Vice President of Digital Inclusion, Connected Nation, will serve as Chair of its Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC).

(PRNewsfoto/Connected Nation)
(PRNewsfoto/Connected Nation)
I applaud Chairwoman Rosenworcel's commitment to helping our nations' most vulnerable populations through this committee

"Heather has been a tireless advocate for digital equity and inclusion across the country," said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. "The pandemic revealed just how critical Heather's work is to find ways to expand access to technology to all people and create a more diverse world on digital platforms.  I applaud Chairwoman Rosenworcel's continued commitment to and vision for helping our nations' most vulnerable populations through this committee."

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel rechartered the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) under the new CEDC designation. According to the FCC's website, the mission of the CEDC is "to make recommendations to the Commission on advancing equity in the provision of and access to digital communication services and products for all people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability."

Gate served on the ACDDE in a variety of roles since 2017 including serving as the Chair of the Committee's Digital Empowerment and Inclusion Working Group. Now, as the CEDC Chair, she plans to build upon that work.

"I am extremely honored that Chairwoman Rocenworcel has entrusted me to lead this important council," said Gate. "I am committed to ensuring that the council is productive and more importantly, our work culminates in the delivery of recommendations and insights to the FCC that will advance digital equity, entrepreneurship in diverse communities, and access to digital communications services for all."

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.

During her time with CN, Gate has guided the successful implementation of digital inclusion programs that saw more than 80,000 people receive basics skills training, along with the distribution of 10,000 computers to vulnerable populations from rural to urban low- to-moderate-income (LMI) communities; led the design and implementation of the No Child Left Offline program in Kentucky and the Computer 4 Kids program in Tennessee; and supported the implementation of various Lifeline Broadband Adoption Pilots that ranged from securing refurbished devices in Puerto Rico to coordinating digital literacy workshops for the Hopi Tribe in northeast Arizona. Gate's work also included the planning and implementation of the New York, Nebraska, and Delaware Opportunity Online programs, an effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and focused on helping libraries improve connectivity.

Gate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Kentucky State University, where she earned the President's Award. She also has master's degrees in computer science and public administration from Kentucky State University.

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SOURCE Connected Nation

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