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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Connected Nation names Vice President of Digital Inclusion to lead national push for digital equity

January 5, 2021 GMT
(PRNewsfoto/Connected Nation)
(PRNewsfoto/Connected Nation)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Jan. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Connected Nation (CN), a national nonprofit working to close the Digital Divide, is taking action to more effectively respond to the increased need for digital equity across the country by naming Heather Gate as Vice President of Digital Inclusion.

“For more than a decade, Heather has faithfully led our organization’s effort to help get technology into the hands and homes of some of the most vulnerable individuals and families within the Digital Divide,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, CN. “Heather was the driving force in 2006 behind Connected Nation’s device donation program ‘No Child Left Offline.’ It was one of the first of its kind in the world and was recognized nationally for its social impact. Since that time, she has filled leadership roles within the Bill & Melinda Gates ‘Opportunity Online’ program, the ‘Computers for Kids’ program, and the ‘Every Citizen Online’ program, among others. Heather also designed and launched Connected Nation’s ‘Drive’ platform, which provides digital learning services that help thousands of people yearly.”

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Gate plays a pivotal role in the national dialogue and policy considerations around digital inclusion and equity for diverse populations. She currently serves as Vice Chairwoman of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE). She served as Chair of the Digital Empowerment and Inclusion Working Group in a previous iteration of the committee.

“I am excited that Connected Nation is making it possible for me to expand my work toward digital empowerment and digital equity. Our mission to find innovative solutions for expanding access, adoption, and use of broadband and its related technologies is more critical now than ever before,” said Gate. “It was clear to me even before the pandemic that too many families, senior citizens, veterans, and children are on the wrong side of the Digital Divide. What’s happened in 2020 is that there is a new understanding of the negative ramifications of not having that access. We must and can do better to help vulnerable populations access an increasingly digital world so that they too can leverage the resources and information found almost exclusively online that can improve their lives.”

Connected Nation works to develop and provide tools, resources, and methods that help states and communities create and implement solutions to their broadband and digital technology gaps. To learn more, go to the Connected Nation website at connectednation.org.

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SOURCE Connected Nation