Monday, July 20, 2020
Benton Institute Welcomes New Board Members
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society announced the appointment of two new board members, Denise Linn Riedl and Leon A. Wilson.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg named Denise Linn Riedl the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of South Bend (IN) at the end of January 2019. Previously, Linn Riedl was in charge of Ecosystem Development at Chicago’s City Tech Collaborative. As a recent Benton Institute fellow, Linn Riedl authored Toward Inclusive Urban Technology: Lessons, Cases, and Resources Developed by Local Technology Champions and Planners (June 2020). She co-authored, with National Broadband Plan architect Blair Levin, The Next Generation Network Connectivity Handbook: A Guide for Community Leaders Seeking Affordable, Abundant Bandwidth which Benton released in December 2016. South Bend was just awarded a What Works Cities (WWC) Silver certification for data-driven governance. An article in Medium describes what South Bend and Denise’s team have done to deserve this award.
"I'm honored to join the Benton Institute's Board," said Denise Linn Riedl. "For decades Benton has been a force for the public interest in broadband access, media, and internet policy. These issues are more important than ever and I look forward to being a part of this amazing team."
Leon A. Wilson said, "I am humbled for the opportunity to contribute to the Benton Institute’s mission. Over the past few years, I have been a devout supporter and follower of Benton’s work under the leadership of Adrianne Furniss. I look forward to serving as a board member during this crucial time regarding the importance of broadband in both rural and urban communities."
Leon A. Wilson joined the Cleveland Foundation in October 2015 and, as Chief of Digital Innovation & Chief Information Officer, leads the foundation’s Information & Technology Services department, focusing on strategic and transformational use of technology and data within the foundation. Additionally, Wilson oversees the foundation’s Digital Excellence grant-making strategy geared toward “building a stronger, more equitable and inclusive digital community” in the Greater Cleveland area. He is a 2015 Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Lifetime Achievement Awardee and board member for the Technology Association of Grantmakers and Tech Impact. One of the sidebars from Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s (see page 66) highlightes the work of Wilson’s Digital Excellence team in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County (OH).
"I’m very excited to round out our current board membership," said Benton Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss. "As Jon Sallet wrote in Broadband for America’s Future, 'Local leadership is crucial in both identifying digital divides and combating them.' Denise Linn Riedl and Leon A. Wilson are truly innovators in our field and Benton's work will be enhanced by adding the perspective of these local-level broadband warriors."
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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