Director, Office of Broadband Development
Kansas Department of Commerce
Stanley Adams has been with the Kansas Department of Commerce for nearly 10 years and heads up the state’s Office of Broadband Development, working to identify broadband gaps and expansion plans targeted to improve economic growth. He designed and executed the state’s broadband pandemic response initiatives, which, through public/private partnerships, led to increasing connectivity at a time it was needed most. In the past year Adams also led development of the state’s long-term broadband strategic plan which calls for up to a $1.3 billion investment. A champion of harnessing broadband technology for economic growth, Stan works with internet service providers and a wide range of broadband stakeholders at the local, state and federal level to foster and promote improved broadband accessibility within the state to drive economic development, job creation, promote innovation and expand markets for Kansas businesses. His prior experience includes leadership roles in marketing and management with market leaders YRC Worldwide, AT&T Broadband, Procter & Gamble and EY.
Steve Benjamin currently focuses on outreach to state and local governments and coalition building around issues including infrastructure, telecommunications, and public financing. He is the former Mayor of Columbia, S.C., elected in 2010. He served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2018-2019 and as President of the African American Mayors Association from 2015-2016 He has also been Executive Chairman of Municipal Bonds for America, a member of the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, and a member of the Accelerator for America Advisory Council. As mayor, Steve has focused on economic development, job creation and maintaining a just, diverse, and trusted law enforcement department in Columbia. As President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Benjamin established the Mayors Leadership Institute on Smart Cities at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. He also established the Mayors and Business Leaders Center for Inclusive and Compassionate Cities, which encourages cities to be more inclusive and compassionate. Prior to his service as mayor, Steve served in South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges’ cabinet as the Chief Executive of the state’s second largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. He also served as special counsel at a national law firm, serving as co-bond counsel on the issuance of over $150 million in municipal debt. Steve has been a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy. He was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2017 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official for his leadership during an October 2015 flood.
Caressa D. Bennet
General Counsel, Rural Wireless Association
Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson
Having launched several startups, including her own successful boutique communications and technology law firm prior to joining Womble Bond Dickinson, Carri Bennet uses her entrepreneurial spirit and smarts to make the often times seemingly impossible achievable. Carri is exacting and persistent in achieving her clients’ goals. When working with clients, Carri determines the desired outcome and then creatively develops solutions that are structured to be cost effective and result oriented. She is known as a spunky outspoken advocate for small rural carriers, having battled with regulators and large companies for more than 30 years to ensure that small rural businesses have a seat at the table and a strong voice in Washington, DC. n an effort to better understand the intricate technical and business issues facing her wireless and broadband client base, Carri also served as General Counsel and the de facto chief operating officer of an international wireless carrier. In that role, she developed a wealth of knowledge on nearly every aspect of running a small commercial wireless company that operated in the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and Germany. She has since translated this experience into better servicing her clients. Carri testifies before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress and the courts on rural wireless issues and speaks regularly at industry trade shows and legal seminars on cybersecurity, data privacy, spectrum policy, universal service funding reform and business development and strategy issues for communications and technology companies. She represents her clients before the FCC, state regulatory agencies, the courts and Congress. She has advised clients and industry groups on creating strategic alliances and new business opportunities in the fast-paced world of communications technologies. In 2017, Carri was appointed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to serve on the FCC’s BDAC Federal Siting Work Group and tasked with making recommendations for improving the timing and processes associated with the siting and deployment of broadband infrastructure on federal lands and buildings.
Sen. Michael Bennet
Michael Bennet has represented Colorado in the United States Senate since 2009. Recognized as a pragmatic and independent thinker, he is driven by an obligation to create more opportunity for the next generation. Sen. Bennet has built a reputation of taking on Washington dysfunction and working with Republicans and Democrats to address our nation’s greatest challenges — including education, climate change, immigration, healthcare and national security. Before serving in the Senate, he worked to restructure failing businesses and helped create the world’s largest movie theater chain. As superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, he led one of the most extensive reform efforts in the country, resulting in substantial, sustained academic improvement for Denver’s children. He lives in Denver with his wife and three daughters.
Joshua Broder serves as CEO of Tilson, which is on a mission to build America’s information infrastructure. Under his leadership, Tilson grown from less than 10 employees to 600 in 20 locations. He is also the founder of Tilson’s public utility affiliate, which owns 5G infrastructure including poles, towers, dark fiber and neutral host networks nationwide. Josh cut his teeth in leadership as an Army Signal Officer on missions in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan designing, building and operating the communications network for US forces. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and is a graduate of AT&T’s Operation Hand Salute at JFK University with a certificate in entrepreneurial studies. Josh serves on the boards of several private companies in the utility, tech, energy, and banking industries, as well as the Jackson Labs, a global biotech and research organization.
Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP
Andrew Brown is the Managing Partner of Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP (“LB3”) and Chairman of the firm’s consulting affiliate, TechCaliber Consulting (“TC2”). He represents large enterprise and public sector customers in strategic sourcing and contract negotiations for ICT products and services, including large managed service outsourcings, cloud computing, SD-WAN deployments and other complex corporate digital transformation initiatives. He also provides regulatory advice and advocacy on issues critical to the end-user community including Universal Service, Net Neutrality, privacy, E911, and other proceedings that affect the cost and competitiveness of enterprise ICT products services. He serves as co-counsel to the Ad Hoc Telecom Users Committee, an organization of large enterprise customers of ICT, which has been a longstanding participant in regulatory proceedings that promote competition, end-user choice, and overall efficiency in the marketplace.
Federal Communications Commission
Commissioner Brendan Carr is the senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, and he served previously as the agency’s General Counsel. Described by Axios as “the FCC’s 5G crusader,” Carr has led the FCC’s work to modernize its infrastructure rules and accelerate the buildout of high-speed networks. His reforms cut billions of dollars in red tape, enabled the private sector to construct high-speed networks in communities across the country, and extended America’s global leadership in 5G. Commissioner Carr is also focused on expanding America’s skilled workforce—the tower climbers and construction crews needed to build next-gen networks. His jobs initiative promotes community colleges and apprenticeships as a pipeline for good-paying 5G jobs. And he is recognizing America’s talented and hardworking tower crews through a series of “5G Ready” Hard Hat presentations. Commissioner Carr leads a groundbreaking telehealth initiative at the FCC. The Connected Care Pilot Program supports the delivery of high-quality care to low-income Americans and veterans. Commissioner Carr’s time outside of Washington helps inform his approach to the job. He regularly hits the road to hear directly from the community members, local leaders, and small business owners that are impacted by the FCC’s policies at town halls and events across the country. Commissioner Carr brings nearly 20 years of private and public sector experience in communications and tech policy to his position. Before joining the agency as a staffer back in 2012, he worked as an attorney at Wiley Rein LLP in the firm’s appellate, litigation, and telecom practices. Previously, Commissioner Carr clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for Judge Dennis Shedd. And after attending Georgetown University for his undergrad, Commissioner Carr earned his J.D. magna cum laude from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law where he served as an editor of the Catholic University Law Review. Commissioner Carr was nominated to the FCC by President Trump and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. Commissioner Carr lives in Virginia with his wife and three kids.
Vice President, Government Relations
Chris Champion serves as vice president of Government Relations for C Spire, a diversified telecommunications company headquartered in Ridgeland, Miss. In that role, Chris has oversight of both federal and multi-state policy issues for the company. In addition, he manages the company’s political engagement activities. Prior to joining C Spire, Chris was vice president in the Cornerstone Government Affairs, Jackson, Miss., office where he represented a variety of clients in the agriculture, energy, corrections, and non-profit sector. Chris’s public service includes serving as special assistant to United State Sen. Roger Wicker in Washington, D.C., until he returned to his home state where he held the position of policy director for Gov. Phil Bryant. Chris was the Governor’s designee to the Tennessee Valley Authority Regional Energy Resource Council, Delta Regional Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission and the Southern States Energy Board.
Mignon L. Clyburn
Federal Communications Commission
Mignon L. Clyburn became the first woman head of the FCC in May 2013 when she was named Acting Chair by President Barack Obama following her second appointment to the federal commission. Commissioner Clyburn began her public service career at the FCC in August of 2009, after spending 11 years as a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina representing the state’s Sixth Congressional District. She served as chair from July 2002 through June 2004. Prior to her service on the PSC, Commissioner Clyburn was the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a Charleston, SC-based weekly newspaper that focused primarily on issues affecting the African American community. She co-owned and operated the family-founded newspaper for 14 years. A longtime champion of consumers and a defender of the public interest, Commissioner Clyburn considered every Commission proceeding with an eye on how it would affect every American. She was a strong advocate for enhanced accessibility in communications for disabled citizens and worked closely with representative groups for the deaf and hard of hearing. She pushed for affordable universal telephone and high-speed internet access, greater broadband deployment and adoption throughout the nation, and transparency in regulation.
Rep. Mike Doyle
Rep. Mike Doyle is currently serving his 14th term in Congress representing the 18th District of Pennsylvania, which includes the City of Pittsburgh and 53 other communities in Allegheny County. Congressman Doyle serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is one of only four exclusive committees in the House. There he sits on the subcommittees on: 1) Energy and 2) Communications and Technology. Congressman Doyle serves as the Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. Congressman Doyle is a member in the House Democratic Caucus and the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus, also known as the Coalition for Autism Research and Education (C.A.R.E.). He is also one of the founders and co-chairs of the House Distributed Generation Caucus, which works to promote the widespread adoption of decentralized power generation technology that is both fuel efficient and environmentally friendly and reduces peak demands on our nation's over-utilized electricity transmission grid – and he is a member of the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus, which promotes hydrogen and fuel cells. Congressman Doyle also co-founded and chairs the House Robotics Caucus, which works to ensure that our nation remains globally competitive in the field of robotics. Doyle also serves on several other important Caucuses, such as Steel, Human Rights, and the Internet.
Senior Manager of Public Policy
Michael Essington serves as DISH’s Senior Manager of Public Policy, overseeing all manner of public policy issues in Washington, D.C. He has been with DISH since 2019. Before joining DISH, Michael served as General Counsel to Senator Todd Young from Indiana, where he was the Senator’s lead advisor on Senate Commerce issues related to communications, technology, and consumer products, as well as Senate Finance issues related to tax. Prior to that, Michael served as Legislative Counsel to Congressman Adam Kinzinger advising him on a variety of issues from commerce and tax to foreign relations and defense matters. Michael graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and he received his undergraduate degrees from Cedarville University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.
Senior Legislative Counsel
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ernesto Falcon is Senior Legislative Counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation with a primary focus on intellectual property, open Internet issues, broadband access, and competition policy. He represents EFF’s advocacy, on behalf of its members and all consumers, for a free and open Internet before state legislatures and Congress. Ernesto’s work includes pushing the state of California to pass the strongest net neutrality law in the country in response to federal repeal efforts, as well as leading EFF's research and advocacy to promote universally available, affordable, and competitive fiber broadband networks.
As leader of the firm’s Communications Practice, and co-chair of the global industry sector team, Michele Farquhar helps clients with a range of global and U.S. communications policy initiatives, spectrum auctions, licensing and compliance matters, and regulatory strategy involving M&A transactions as well as litigation. Farquhar obtains regulatory approvals, waivers, and other licenses for many new and cutting-edge technologies. She also leads teams advising major global companies on regulatory strategy issues involving a range of international jurisdictions. Farquhar joined the firm in 1997, after serving as chief of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. While at the FCC, she led the agency’s new spectrum auction initiative and held primary responsibility over several major auctions and spectrum policy initiatives, as well as the bureau’s implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Previously, Farquhar served as acting deputy assistant secretary and chief of staff for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She played a lead role in developing the administration’s positions on telecommunications reform as well as spectrum, international, electronic commerce and other policy issues. As vice president for Law and Regulatory Policy at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, she gained industry knowledge and regulatory advocacy experience while representing cellular carriers on regulatory, policy and legal issues before the FCC. Farquhar also served as senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Ervin Duggan and as the mass media advisor to two FCC general counsels.
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher
Lizzie Fletcher represents Texas’ Seventh Congressional District, in the greater Houston area. A resident of Houston and Congressional District 7 nearly all of her life, Congresswoman Fletcher was elected to represent the district in 2018. Prior to her election, she represented Houstonians in the courtroom as a lawyer on a wide range of matters. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and William & Mary Law School, where she was the editor-in-chief of the William and Mary Law Review. In the 117th Congress, Congresswoman Fletcher serves on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce and on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee.
Director of Research
Communications Workers of America
Nell Geiser is director of research for the Communications Workers of America, a labor union representing workers in telecommunications, media, technology and other sectors. CWA has long advocated for universal service principles and robust public oversight of communications networks. Nell supports CWA's telecom policy program at the state and federal level and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Sen. Angus King
In January 2013, Angus King was sworn in as Maine’s first Independent United States Senator, filling the same seat once held by storied Maine leaders Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, and Olympia Snowe. Sen. King is a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the Committee on Rules and Administration. A leading voice on the importance of improving America’s cybersecurity, Senator King was selected by Congressional leadership to co-chair the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a bipartisan effort established by Congress to review the threats facing America in cyberspace and develop a forward looking plan on how to defend ourselves against cyber threats. The commission, which consisted of bipartisan members of Congress, top Executive Branch officials, and nonpartisan industry leaders, laid out more than 75 recommendations to improve the cybersecurity of U.S. critical infrastructure and prepare the nation for future challenges in an increasingly digital world. Prior to taking office, Senator King served as the 72nd Governor of Maine. During his two terms in the Blaine House, he focused on economic development and job creation. Then-Governor King also achieved significant reforms in education, mental health services, land conservation, environmental protection, and the delivery of state services. He was re-elected in 1998 by one of the largest margins in Maine’s history. Senator King is married to Mary Herman and has four sons, Angus III, Duncan, James, and Ben, one daughter, Molly, and six grandchildren. He attended Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia Law School. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the Maine outdoors, either on his Harley or with his family in their camper.
Associate Administrator, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth
Doug Kinkoph is Associate Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, which includes responsibility for the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives. Kinkoph joined the Department of Commerce in 2010 and has served in a number of roles, including Acting Assistant Secretary, working on issues including spectrum management, broadband, and public safety communications. In his current role, Kinkoph is responsible for all of NTIA’s broadband programs, including the development, implementation and management of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) $48B broadband programs including the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, and Digital Equity Programs. Kinkoph also oversees three active broadband grant programs: the Broadband Infrastructure Program, the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program and the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program. Kinkoph also has responsibility for the agency’s BroadbandUSA program, which was created under his leadership in 2015. He also oversaw a $4 billion broadband grant program that funded the deployment of broadband infrastructure, public computer centers, sustainable adoption of broadband service, and statewide broadband planning. Before joining the Department of Commerce, Kinkoph held multiple executive roles in the communications industry as well as in the public and private sectors as a telecommunications policy expert. He served as Vice President of Operations at Soundpath Conferencing where he was responsible for all sales, marketing, and customer service operations. His private sector experience also includes serving in senior regulatory and policy roles at XO Communications, Nextlink, and LCI. Kinkoph earned an M.A. in Administration from Central Michigan University and a B.S. in Telecommunication Management from Ohio University.
Chief Advocate and General Counsel
Angie joined INCOMPAS in 2013 as its chief advocate and general counsel, managing the INCOMPAS policy team and its work before the federal government. FierceTelecom named Angie a "Rising Star in Wireline" in 2014 and one of the Top Women in Wireline in 2015 for her advocacy work on behalf of INCOMPAS members. Angie is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and has been involved in its leadership as a former Executive Committee and Nominations Committee member. Before joining INCOMPAS, Angie was legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, where she was primarily responsible for the Commissioner’s wireline and broadband agenda, including the Commissioner’s work as chair of three federal-state joint boards. Prior to that, Angie was a special counsel in the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. She also practiced telecommunications and media law in the Washington, D.C. office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP for more than a decade. Angie earned a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, where she also earned a certification from The Institute for Communications Law Studies, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Baylor University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Rep. Bob Latta
Republican Leader, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Since 2007, Congressman Bob Latta has served the people of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Congressman Latta is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee where he plays an intricate role in crafting the nation’s telecommunications, energy, environment, health care, and interstate commerce policy. Latta is Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, where he advocates for policies that help consumers, grow our economy, and spur innovation. Latta is also a member of the Subcommittee on Energy and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, which he chaired in the 115th Congress. Additionally, Latta was selected by leadership to serve as a member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress where he works with an even number of Republicans and Democrats to make Congress work better for the American people. Along with his committee positions, Congressman Latta is a Deputy Whip and Co-Chairs the Rural Broadband Caucus, the Congressional Propane Caucus, and the Congressional French Caucus. Throughout his tenure, Congressman Latta has advocated for the interests of the people of Northwest and West Central Ohio through policies that further economic prosperity and job creation. His top priorities include improving access to broadband capabilities in rural areas, balancing the budget, maintaining a strong national defense, and implementing commonsense government reforms. Congressman Latta has had more than 20 bills signed into law during his Congressional tenure.
Senior Policy Counsel
Jenna Leventoff is a Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge. Prior to joining Public Knowledge, Jenna served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) at the National Skills Coalition, where she led WDQC’s state policy advocacy and technical assistance efforts on state data system development and use. She also served as an Associate at Upturn, where she analyzed the civil rights implications of new technologies, and as Manager and Legal Counsel of the International Intellectual Property Institute, where she led the organization’s efforts to utilize intellectual property for international economic development. Jenna received her J.D, cum laude, and B.A from Case Western Reserve University. In her free time, Jenna enjoys yoga, international travel, and experimenting with new recipes.
Andrew D. Lipman
Andrew D. Lipman practices in most aspects of communications law and related fields, including regulatory, transactional, litigation, legislative, and land use. Andy’s clients in the private and public sectors include those in the areas of local, long distance, and international telephone common carriage; Internet services and technologies; conventional and emerging wireless services; satellite services; broadcasting; competitive video services; telecommunications equipment manufacturing; and other high-technology applications. Additionally, he manages privatizations of telecommunications carriers in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Mattey Consulting LLC
Carol Mattey is the Principal of Mattey Consulting LLC, based in the Washington, DC metro area. Ms. Mattey is one of the nation's leading experts on universal service, drawing on more than a decade of experience as Deputy Chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau overseeing the FCC's universal service programs. Among other accomplishments, she led efforts to modernize the FCC’s universal service programs, including the creation of the Connect America Fund and transition to award support through competitive auctions. In her current position, she advises broadband providers and others active in the telecommunications industry, with a particular focus on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and other government broadband funding programs.
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Kelly McGriff is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of the Uniti Group. In that capacity, he works with states, counties, and municipalities to secure ROW rights for network infrastructure build across all Uniti entities. Kelly is also head of the Litigation Department for the Uniti Group. Kelly previously served as General Counsel of Southern Light from 2005 until its acquisition by Uniti Group in 2017. Kelly has spent more than 15 years working in virtually every aspect of communications law and related fields, including regulatory, transactional, litigation, legislative and land use in both the private and public sectors, including Internet services and technologies; conventional and emerging wireless services; telecommunications equipment development; and other high-technology applications. In the spring of 2017, Kelly was appointed to the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee at the FCC by Chairman Pai, and served as Chairman of the Committee’s State Model Code Working Group.
Christopher A. McLean
Assistant Administrator, Electric Programs
Rural Utilities Service
Christopher A. McLean is the Assistant Administrator for Electric Programs (AAE) at the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). He was named to that position on January 11, 2015. This is Chris’ third time at the agency. As AAE, Chris presides over a $48 billion loan portfolio. In recent years the RUS annual lending budget for new electric infrastructure loans has exceeded $5 billion. The agency makes low interest loans for rural electric infrastructure, renewable energy generation, smart grid technology, grid modernization and energy efficiency. Chris is also currently serving as Acting Administrator of the entire agency which also finances water, sewer, telecommunications and broadband infrastructure. Prior to his return to RUS, Chris was the Acting Director of the Program Planning and Accountability Division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) at the United States Department of Agriculture. He came to OASCR in 2013 as civil rights fellow in the policy office. From 2010-2012, Chris served as a senior advisor to the Administrator of the RUS. Chris was in private practice from 2001-2010. He was the co-owner of e-Copernicus, a consulting firm that specialized in telecommunications, transportation, and technology policy. Chris is also the former Executive Director of the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition (CERC). Chris is a former RUS Administrator and former Governor of the Rural Telephone Bank. He was appointed Deputy Administrator in January 1998. In 2000, he was the first person nominated and confirmed for the position of RUS Administrator. Prior to joining RUS, he worked on Capitol Hill for more than 15 years. Chris hails from Omaha, Neb. He received an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University, a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law, and a degree in Business Administration from Creighton University in 1980. Chris also completed the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University.
Goverment Relations Director
Andrew joined INCOMPAS in 2020 as government relations director to help represent members before state and local bodies, including legislatures, public utility commissions and municipalities on technology and communications issues. Prior to joining INCOMPAS, Andrew worked as a government affairs associate at G2G Consulting in Washington, D.C., assisting with the firm’s federal lobbying efforts, preparing clients for meetings on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies, and submitting appropriations requests to Congress. He had previously worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) as a legislative correspondent, handling writing and research on policy issues including education, defense, homeland security and healthcare. Following his years as a legislative staffer on the Hill, Andrew worked as a management consultant in Deloitte’s federal practice. His main responsibilities focused on supporting case workers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky on systems integration for their health benefits exchange program, coordinating project plans for allocating grants services within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and leading communications outreach for the New Products and Innovation group at the U.S Postal Service. Andrew graduated with his International Masters of Business Administration (IMBA) from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University.
Carlos Monje Jr.
Under Secretary for Policy
U.S. Department of Transportation
Carlos Monje Jr. is the Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. He previously led the domestic agency review process for the Biden-Harris presidential transition where he recruited, trained and deployed more than 400 volunteers to do a top to bottom review of the federal government. He served as Twitter's Director of Policy and Philanthropy for the US and Canada. Before joining the company, Monje led agency review for the Clinton-Kaine Transition Team. He previously served as Acting Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation. He oversaw implementation of surface transportation programs, the TIGER discretionary grant program, and efforts to promote equity and economic development. Monje was previously Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council where he helped oversee all aspects of policy, message and event development across a wide spectrum of domestic policy issues, including disaster recovery, veterans affairs, and national service issues. He also was a founding staffer of the White House Office of Social Innovation, where he oversaw efforts to pass and implement the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Monje also served as deputy policy director at Obama for America and a special assistant in President Obama’s DC Senate office where he handled homeland security and veterans affairs. Monje previously worked as a policy and press aide in the United States Senate and on a number of federal and statewide electoral campaigns.
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
Chris Nelson is currently chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Chris was appointed Jan. 8, 2011, by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to fill a vacancy on the commission and was elected by South Dakota voters in November 2012 to continue his service for the remaining four years of the term. He was re-elected to a full term in November 2016, garnering the highest electoral percentage ever for a contested statewide race. Chris served as the PUC's chairman in 2012, 2015 and 2016 and as vice chairman in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2019 and 2020. He is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners serving on the association's Board of Directors, chairing the Broadband Expansion Task Force, co-chairing the Washington Action Program, is a member of its Investment Committee and is a past chairman of its Committee on Telecommunications. He has been appointed by the FCC to the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, representing the interests of NARUC as state chairman of the board. Chris is on the board of directors for the National Regulatory Research Institute. Previously, Chris served as South Dakota’s secretary of state, having been elected in the 2002 general election. Chris was unopposed for re-election in 2006, which was the first time the office was unopposed in the history of South Dakota. Prior to becoming secretary of state, Chris held the position of state election supervisor in the secretary of state's office for 13 years and was uniform commercial code supervisor in the same office for two years.
Federal Communications Commission
Michael O’Rielly served as a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission from 2013 through 2020. He is currently President at MPORielly Consulting Inc., a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Media Institute. Before joining the FCC, Mr. O’Rielly held a variety of leading staff positions during 20 years on Capitol Hill in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, ending as Policy Advisor in the Office of the Senate Republican Whip.
Chip Pickering has been CEO of INCOMPAS since January 2014. During that time, INCOMPAS has achieved significant growth with leading internet, backbone, business broadband, wireless, and international companies. Under his leadership, INCOMPAS has led numerous public policy campaigns promoting competition through an open internet and in the business broadband market. Pickering was a six-term Congressman representing Mississippi’s Third District. During his time in the House, he served on the Energy & Commerce Committee, where he was vice chairman from 2002 to 2006 and a member of the Telecommunications Subcommittee. He also was co-chairman and founder of the Congressional Wireless Caucus and an assistant minority whip of the House. Previously, Chip worked for Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and served as a staff member on the Senate Commerce Committee, where he helped shape the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Because of his role in drafting the 1996 Act, he became well known as a Congressional leader on telecommunications issues. While in Congress, Chip served as chair of the subcommittee overseeing the transition to the commercial internet, the establishment of domain names, registries, and internet governance. He also successfully led a bipartisan legislative effort to codify net neutrality principles through the House in 2006. Prior to joining INCOMPAS, Chip was a partner with Capitol Resources LLC, a public affairs and government relations firm, where he represented an array of telecom clients, including wireless, cable and competitive broadband providers, as well as non-profits and companies specializing in education, energy, technology and defense.
Vice President, Public Policy
Staci Pies is Vice President, Public Policy for Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure (large towers, small cells and fiber) connecting cities, businesses and people to data, new technologies and wireless services. Staci develops and leads Crown Castle’s federal legislative and regulatory priorities as the company builds and maintains the infrastructure behind the world’s most revolutionary technologies. Staci has more than 25 years of experience providing strategic counsel on technology and telecommunications issues. Before joining Crown Castle in August 2019, Staci led connectivity policy and advocacy for Google. Her experience includes leading state government affairs at Skype, including after the acquisition by Microsoft. Before joining Skype in 2008, Staci leads federal affairs at PointOne, a wholesale VoIP provider, and Level 3 Communications (now part of CenturyLink) after serving in leadership roles at the FCC.
Sen. Rob Portman
Rob Portman is a U.S. Senator from the state of Ohio, a position he has held since he was first elected in 2010, running a campaign that focused on common-sense conservative ideas to help create jobs and get the deficit under control. During his Senate tenure, Sen. Portman has introduced more than 240 bills, including 200 bipartisan bills, and more than 150 of his legislative priorities have been signed into law. He is Ranking Member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Joint Economic Committee. In 1993, Rob was first elected to Congress, where he represented the diverse, seven county Second District in southern Ohio. He was proud to serve the Second District for 12 years, and in seven elections, he never received less than 70 percent of the vote. During his time in the House, Rob earned a reputation as a serious leader who focused on results. In 1993, Sen. Portman was first elected to Congress, where he represented the diverse, seven county Second District in southern Ohio. In 2005, Sen. Portman left Congress when he was asked to serve as the United States Trade Representative, the Cabinet-level official responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy. As America’s Trade Representative, Sen. Portman was successful in reducing barriers to U.S. exports and increasing enforcement of trade laws to help level the playing field for American farmers, workers, and service providers. Under his leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought successful legal challenges against international trade law violations—including against China. Following his accomplishments as Trade Representative, Sen. Portman was asked to serve in another Cabinet post, this time as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Chief of Staff
Brian Regan is a seasoned communications and technology attorney with more than 10 years of experience working within government and the private sector. Brian currently serves at the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Chief of Staff. In this role, he develops and executes Starry’s spectrum strategy in the U.S. and abroad, leads Starry’s policy development and communications regulatory efforts, leads strategic projects focused on growth, and helps execute the day-to-day management of the company. Brian joined Starry as the Senior Director for Legal, Policy, and Strategy at Starry where he developed and executed the company’s spectrum strategy and led policy development
on a variety of issues, including privacy and competition. Prior to Starry, Brian held several senior positions at the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Bureau, including Associate Bureau Chief and Chief of Staff. During his tenure at the FCC, Brian managed the Wireless Bureau’s spectrum policy portfolio and helped lead the FCC’s spectrum engagement with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and other federal agencies. Brian played a significant role in several major spectrum policy initiatives, including AWS3, AWS-4, 3.5 GHz, and Spectrum Frontiers. Before the FCC, Brian was the Director of Government Affairs for the Wireless Infrastructure Association.
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel believes that the future belongs to the connected. She works to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success. She believes strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life. From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, Jessica has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things. She also is responsible for developing policies to help expand the reach of broadband to schools, libraries, hospitals, and households across the country. Named as one of POLITICO's 50 Politicos to Watch and profiled by InStyle Magazine in a series celebrating "women who show up, speak up and get things done," Jessica brings over two decades of communications policy experience and public service to the FCC. Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Jessica practiced communications law in Washington, DC.
Jamie Belcore Saloom
Assistant Chief Counsel for Telecommunications, Internet and IP
SBA Office of Advocacy
Jamie Belcore Saloom is the Assistant Chief Counsel for Telecommunications, Internet, and IP at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. She has worked at the SBA Advocacy since 2008, previously serving as Assistant Chief Counsel for Land Use and Energy. Prior to joining SBA Advocacy, Jamie was a Regulatory Studies fellow at the George Mason University School of Law, where she co-authored a paper on regulatory analysis in Department of Homeland Security rulemaking. She graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 2007, and completed her undergraduate degree at The George Washington University in 2003.
Peggy Schaffer is the Executive Director of the ConnectME Authority, Maine’s program to expand broadband to unserved areas of the state. Prior to joining ConnectME, Peggy was the Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State's office and served as the Co-chair for the Maine Broadband Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization that is focused on expanding high speed broadband. Peggy served as the Chief of Staff in the Senate Majority Office and the Senate President's office, and prior to that as the lobbyist for the Department of Economic and Community Development under Governors King and Baldacci. She holds a Bachelor degree in Public Administration from the University of Maine at Augusta, and an MBA from Thomas College. Peggy lives in Vassalboro, Maine.
Federal Communications Commission
Nathan Simington was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the FCC by President Donald J. Trump. He was confirmed by the United States Senate in 2020. Commissioner Simington brings both private and public-sector experience to the Commission. Previously, he served as Senior Advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA.) In this role, he worked on many aspects of telecommunications policy, including spectrum allocation and planning, broadband access, and the U.S. Government’s role in the Internet. Prior to joining the Commission, he was senior counsel to Brightstar Corp., an international mobile device services company. In this capacity, he led and negotiated telecommunications equipment and services transactions with leading providers in over twenty countries. Prior to joining Brightstar, he worked as an attorney in private practice. Commissioner Simington is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. He also holds degrees from the University of Rochester and Lawrence University. Commissioner Simington grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada. He became a United States citizen and now lives in McLean, Va., with his wife and three children.
Christopher L. Shipley
Attorney and Policy Advisor
Chris joined INCOMPAS in 2015 as attorney and policy advisor and is responsible for representing INCOMPAS on wireless, universal service, disabilities access, media, and competition issues. Before joining INCOMPAS, Chris was an associate with LMI Advisors, advising clients in the satellite and wireless industries on regulatory issues related to experimental licensing and international market access. Earlier in his career, Chris completed a legal internship with Harris Corporation, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and served as the legal fellow for Rep. Anna Eshoo, the Ranking Member of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Chris graduated from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America with a Juris Doctor in 2013 and also earned a certification from the Institute for Communications Law Studies. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2000, Chris served for three administrations as a policy analyst and grant administrator at the Arizona Governor’s Office.
Attorney and Policy Advisor
Lindsay Stern is an attorney and policy advisor at INCOMPAS. Prior to joining INCOMPAS, Lindsay was a policy fellow at Public Knowledge, where she focused on issues of broadband deployment, affordability and net neutrality, and advocated for consumers at the FCC, FTC and Congress. During law school, Lindsay was a legal intern at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in the office of Sen. Richard Durbin, as well as at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and Street Law, Inc. Lindsay graduated with Honors from The George Washington University Law School, where she was a member and published author of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal. Lindsay graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Franklin & Marshall College, where she received her B.A. in Government. She also spent a semester studying at the University of Edinburgh. Lindsay is a member of the New York State Bar.
Digital Progress Institute
Joel Thayer, President of the Digital Progress Institute and Principal of Thayer, PLLC, previously was an associate at Phillips Lytle. Before that, he served as Policy Counsel for ACT | The App Association, where he advised on legal and policy issues related to antitrust, telecommunications, privacy, cybersecurity and intellectual property in Washington, DC. His experience also includes working as legal clerk for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen. Additionally, Joel served as a congressional staffer for the Hon. Lee Terry and Hon. Mary Bono.
Capital Projects Fund Director
U.S. Treasury Department
Joseph Wender currently serves as Director of the Capital Projects Fund, overseeing the $10 billion program at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and helping to ensure that all communities have access to high-quality modern infrastructure, including broadband, needed to access critical services. He previously served as Sen. Ed Markey’s Senior Policy Advisor and handled a wide range of issues including telecommunications and privacy. Wender also served as then-Rep. Markey’s Legislative Director. Prior to working for Sen. Markey, Wender served as Counsel for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Unite Private Networks
Matt Wiltanger is General Counsel with Unite Private Networks. Matt has over 15 years of in-house general counsel experience in highly-regulated industries facing compliance challenges. Prior to that time, Matt worked for ten years as a litigation attorney for a national law firm based in Kansas City. Matt has a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri and a law degree from the University of Kansas.