IGF-USA 2022 Session

Internet Equity 3.0: What’s Changed? What Still Needs to Change?

Thursday, July 21

2:30 – 3:45 PM EDT

In the Internet 2.0 world, there has been much discussion of the digital divide, limited rural broadband access, and limited funding, but solutions have proven to be elusive. How are the challenges with equity as the Internet evolves? This IGF-USA session will focus on local challenges in Internet access, adoption, and affordability and how they affect community outcomes. The goals of this session are to improve our understanding of meaningful access, where the gaps exist, why they exist, and how to best address these needs.

Nina Bodenhamer

Director of City Give, City of Fort Collins

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Nina Bodenhamer serves as the inaugural Director of City Give, an “in house’ approach to municipal philanthropy that allows the City of Fort Collins to respond to strategic projects and community needs that fall outside the normal city budget priorities but are well-positioned for private funding A career in philanthropic partnerships, informal community learning, and strategic engagement began at Sesame Workshop, New York, and continued with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. As an independent consultant, national clients have included Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Scholastic Entertainment, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Prior to joining the City of Fort Collins, Nina worked for Colorado-based Bohemian Foundation launching Give 10, an initiative designed to inspire charitable connections, celebrate philanthropy and build a stronger community.

Joshua Edmonds

Director of Digital Inclusion, City of Detroit

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Joshua Edmonds is the City of Detroit’s inaugural Director of Digital Inclusion and is America’s first municipal Director of Digital Inclusion. He is responsible for the creation of Connect 313 – Detroit’s sustainable digital inclusion strategy designed to bridge the digital divide. While appointed at the City, Joshua has testified in front of Congress on the matter of digital equity, hosted Detroit’s first Digital Inclusion Summit, Established the City’s first Digital Equity Fund, and helped publish the City’s first digital infrastructure plan focusing on fiberoptic open access. Joshua also chairs the telehealth workgroup within the Federal Communications Commission’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. Prior to his current role, Joshua served as a Digital Inclusion Policy Fellow at the University of Michigan, a Digital Innovation Fellow at The Cleveland Foundation, and a Public Service Fellow at the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority working on President Obama’s ConnectHome initiative. Among others, Joshua has been recognized by Forbes, the Federal Communications Commission, Next Century Cities, Government Technology, and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance for his contributions to the field.

Dr. Romella Janene El Kharzazi

Founder and Session Chair, What's My Advice?

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Dr. Romella Janene El Kharzazi is a Social Science Research Analyst for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a People Governance expert with over 15 years of experience in helping organization operate more efficiently and ethically, both as an internal and external consultant. She specializes in Assessment, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Research, Strategy, and Talent Management. She has performed expert witness work in employment related manners in both private and public sector cases, including Sterling Jewelers, BNSF, FAA, and USPS/McConnell. Her work has led to policy and management changes at major employers. As a measurement expert, Romella has contributed to several US governmental data products, including equal employment demographic on data.census.gov, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Standard Occupation Classification Manual, OMB Race & Ethnicity Statistical Management Directive, and the American Community Survey. Romella has served on the EEOC Vulnerable Worker Task Force and the EEOC Bostock Implementation Work Group. While in RED, Romella has conducted research on IT professionals, Women in STEM, younger workers, training effectiveness, sexual orientation and gender identity terminology and measurement, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Romella is a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma and is a SHRM certified Senior Human Resources professional. She obtained dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Economics from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduation from Occidental, she was nominated to the National Economic Honor Society. Romella earned a doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University in Michigan. Outside of work at the EEOC, she volunteers for IGF-USA.

Sarah Oh Lam

Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute

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Sarah Oh Lam is a Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute. Oh completed her PhD in Economics from George Mason University, and holds a JD from GMU and a BS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. She was previously the Operations and Research Director for the Information Economy Project at George Mason School of Law. She has also presented research at the 39th Telecommunications Policy Research Conference and has co-authored work published in the Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property among other research projects. Her research interests include law and economics, regulatory analysis, and technology policy.

Kimberly McKinley

Chief Marketing Officer, UTOPIA Fiber

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Kim McKinley joined UTOPIA Fiber in 2010. In her role as CMO, she oversees the Marketing, Sales, Order Fulfillment and the Customer Service departments. Before coming to UTOPIA Fiber, she worked in the Hospitality Marketing industry on the east coast. Kim has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.


Dustin Loup

Co-Chair, IGF-USA