Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee is Vice President and Chief Research and Policy Officer for the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) where she is responsible for designing and implementing a research and policy agenda that supports MMTC’s mission, and advocates for telecom and Internet policy reform through legislation, rulemaking, executive orders, public-private partnerships, and best practices. Prior to joining MMTC, Dr. Turner-Lee was President and CEO for the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), a national membership association that educates, advocates and empowers for multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry through pipeline development, hiring and retention. Prior to NAMIC, Dr. Turner-Lee was Vice President and the first Director of the Media and Technology Institute for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, one of the nation’s leading research and public policy institutions whose work focuses on issues of concern to African Americans and other people of color. During her tenure, Dr. Turner-Lee created the first “National Minority Broadband Adoption Study” that has been cited by government, industry and community-based organizations interested in understanding and advancing Internet use for people of color. Most notably, the study was cited in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) congressionally mandated National Broadband Plan, and the FCC’s subsequent report detailing the information needs of communities. She also served as a senior executive at One Economy – a global nonprofit that uses the power of technology and information to expand opportunities for low-income people. In 2011, she was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age by former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski of the Federal Communications Commission. In the last two years, she has been honored by the Alliance for Women in Media as one of their 60 most inspiring women in media, by CableFax as one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable and one of the Most Powerful Women in Cable, by MMTC for its Extraordinary Service Award, by Multichannel News as one of their “Women to Watch,” and Rainbow PUSH as one of the most inspiring leaders. She has also been selected twice by Time Warner Cable as one of four participants in their signature Digital Research Program. Her other recent recognitions have come from the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Northern VA Chapter and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Dr. Turner-Lee serves on the board of directors for the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC). She is a former Research Fellow with Northwestern University’s Asset Based Community Development Institute, a Ford Foundation Rockwood Leadership Fellow, and has served as adjunct faculty at Northwestern and North Park Universities. She is the author of several research and policy publications and a sought out speaker on a variety of topics. She graduated with honors from Colgate University, has a doctorate in Sociology from Northwestern University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Despite the real, persistent problem of the digital divide, the tech policy world remains transfixed by net neutrality. Join ITIF for an expert panel discussion of a new ITIF report proposing a legislative grand bargain that would give the FCC clear jurisdiction to regulate net neutrality while at the same time appropriating significant new funds for a national digital divide initiative.