Student Internet Equity Coalition founder will lead the non-profit’s efforts to partner with the public sector to close the digital divide.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – September 8, 2021 – EducationSuperHighway today announced that Donna Rattley Washington, founder of the Student Internet Equity Coalition (SIEC), will join them as Vice President of Government Affairs. Rattley Washington will lead the non-profit’s policy work, efforts to partner with the public sector, and be a key member of EducationSuperHighway’s senior leadership team.
Rattley Washington launched the Student Internet Equity Coalition (SIEC) earlier this year after a long and impactful career in the telecommunications industry. She was a law partner in the firm that became Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP, general manager of the Comcast cable system serving Washington, DC, Regional Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, and Vice President of Business Development at Comcast.
“Donna founded SIEC to ensure that every student has equitable, affordable, and reliable access to technology beyond the classroom,” said Evan Marwell, founder, and CEO at EducationSuperHighway. “It’s a mission that aligns with our own, and I am confident that her 20-year leadership journey, spanning law, business, education, digital adoption, and legislative affairs, makes her the perfect person to lead our work with state and local governments across the nation.”
“I am excited to join the amazing team at EducationSuperHighway, and continue my journey to eradicate the digital divide,” said Rattley Washington. “I know that together we can positively impact federal policymaking and champion broadband adoption in communities where connectivity has never been so essential to working, learning, and thriving in today’s America.”
Rattley Washington launched the Student Internet Equity Coalition (SIEC) in response to the global health crisis that laid bare the problems of the digitally disconnected student like never before. With the closing of school buildings for 55 million K-12 students, for those without reliable access to home Internet and devices – primarily students of color and those who come from low-income families – it was nearly impossible to keep up with their better-connected classmates.
In a little over a year, SIEC successfully developed a national programmatic framework that offers a permanent affordability solution for low-income Americans caught on the wrong side of the digital divide. The program was codified into legislation and adopted by the National Association of County’s Broadband Task Force. SIEC also positively impacted the outline of the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, the nation’s largest-ever broadband affordability program, which was expanded in the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
Rattley Washington will join EducationSuperHighway on September 13, 2021.
EducationSuperHighway is a national nonprofit founded in 2012 with the mission of upgrading the Internet access in every public school classroom in America. In 2013, only 10% of students had access to digital learning in their classrooms. Today, thanks to an unprecedented bi-partisan effort by federal, state, and school district leaders, supported by K-12 advocacy organizations, 43 million students are connected, and 99.7% of America’s schools have a high-speed broadband connection. Having completed its mission to upgrade schools, EducationSuperHighway pivoted to connect the 10-15 million students who lack home broadband and support households that have access to the Internet but can’t afford to connect.