Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Welcomes New Senior Director of Research and Fellowships

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Monday, January 3, 2022

Press Release

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Welcomes New Senior Director of Research and Fellowships

Today, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss announced the appointment of Dr. Colin Rhinesmith as the organization’s new Senior Director of Research and Fellowships. Dr. Rhinesmith will find, secure, and manage a diverse cohort of fellows—researchers, advocates, and practitioners—and their projects supported by the newly created Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund. In addition, Dr. Rhinesmith will continue the work of his current Benton fellowship, collecting research on digital equity ecosystems through the Benton DEAR fellows program being implemented in six U.S. cities in partnership with local digital inclusion organizations. All of this work will aid Dr. Rhinesmith in the research and writing.

Furniss said, “2022 will be a historic year for federal investment in digital equity including broadband infrastructure, adoption and affordability. The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is thrilled to add Dr. Colin Rhinesmith who will spearhead our efforts to better understand how people gain access to and expertise using the critical communications and information tools of modern society.”

Rhinesmith is affiliated with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, as a member of its Scholars Council. Previously, Rhinesmith was an Associate Professor in the School of Library and Information Science and Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Scholarship and Research at Simmons University. He was a Google Policy Fellow and an Adjunct Research Fellow with New America’s Open Technology Institute. He was also a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

“I couldn’t be more excited and honored to join the Benton Institute as a Senior Director. I look forward to overseeing Benton’s research initiatives and expanding the cohort of fellows to reflect the diversity that exists in the fields of digital equity research, advocacy, and practice."

Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Information in Society Fellow, a Researcher with the Center for People and Infrastructures, and a Research Scholar with the Center for Digital Inclusion.

Rhinesmith is the author of Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives (January 2016), co-author of Digital Inclusion Outcomes-Based Evaluation (May 2017), and co-author of Growing Health Digital Equity Ecosystems During COVID-19 and Beyond (November 2020).

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.


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Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
Executive Editor, Communications-related Headlines
Benton Institute
for Broadband & Society
1041 Ridge Rd, Unit 214
Wilmette, IL 60091
847-328-3040
headlines AT benton DOT org

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