Angela Thi Bennett to Lead Digital Equity Work in Federal Government
Angela Thi Bennett will serve as the first-ever digital equity director at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the US Department of Commerce.
She will move from her current position as DigitalC’s director of advocacy, where she has been a strong champion for digital inclusion in Cleveland. Angela has also been deeply engaged in national digital equity work for years with National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA).
“We are thrilled Angela Thi Bennett is joining the NTIA team,” said Angela Siefer, executive director of NDIA. “Her local digital inclusion experience combined with her active national community involvement means she is equipped to understand the challenges and the need for holistic and collaborative solutions.”
NTIA is the agency responsible for advising the President of the United States on telecommunications and information policy issues. Currently, NTIA has a strong focus on expanding broadband access and adoption and advancing digital equity.
This is the first-ever position in the federal government with “digital equity” in the job title.
Starting the position on March 28, Angela will be charged to direct the allocation of $2.75 billion from the Digital Equity Act and help develop guidelines for states to equitably use these funds.
“I am honored to join the Biden Administration and to serve the American people,’’ Angela said of her new role in a press release shared today by DigitalC. “As my ability to serve scales to the national level, I remain steadfastly committed to amplifying marginalized voices, empowering local communities to drive solutions and creating shared standards of metrics to inform interventions and create accountability.”
Throughout her career, Angela has focused on community work and improving the quality of life in her Cleveland and greater Ohio communities. From serving as Superintendent of OAK Leadership Institute, a community school in Cleveland, to acting as chairperson of the Achievement Committee and Urban Committee of the Ohio State Board of Education.
Angela earned her bachelor’s, juris doctor, and master’s from Case Western Reserve University. Her vast community and public sector experience includes leading in East Cleveland’s department of community and economic development. She was also instrumental in growing the customer base of EmpowerCLE and DigitalC, helping over 1,500 individuals benefit from affordable digital access. “Angela is an advocate and ambassador for equity and inclusion, using her network and voice to elicit social change,” according to her bio.
Founded in 2015, DigitalC has invested $12 million in technology infrastructure to establish a reliable, affordable wireless internet service provider, EmpowerCLE+, which currently has the capacity to serve 4,000 households in six of Cleveland’s least connected neighborhoods.