As Digital Inclusion Programming Grows, Marconi Society Announces Three New Board Members, Major Gift from Irwin and Joan Jacobs

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Marconi Society, a nonprofit dedicated to digital inclusion, today announced three new Board members and a major gift from Marconi Fellow and Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan Jacobs. The new Board members, Francine Berman (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Arogyaswami Paulraj (Stanford University), and Dennis Roberson (Roberson and Associates), bring decades of experience in technology and policy to the Marconi Society’s Board.

"With this generous gift from Irwin and Joan Jacobs and the deep expertise of our new Board members, the Marconi Society will continue accelerating our work and our impact," said Vint Cerf, Chair of the Marconi Society and 1998 Marconi Fellow. "We believe that connectivity is a basic human right and we aspire to the day when we have true digital inclusion."

Through programming like The Decade of Digital Inclusion, a virtual event series with a Symposium scheduled for October 22, the Marconi Society collaborates with changemakers from technology, policy, and digital inclusion to address digital inequity.

"We are grateful to welcome our new Board members and for this significant contribution," said Samantha Schartman-Cycyk, Executive Director of the Marconi Society. "We believe an interdisciplinary approach is essential in the fight to address digital equity. As we expand our community of leaders, we are invigorated by these important additions to our network and resources."

Investing in Digital Inclusion

Irwin and Joan Jacobs recently gave $500,000 to support the Marconi Society’s work to end the digital divide.

"Joan and I are deeply committed to improving access to quality education," says Jacobs. "In order to ensure the next generation is able to participate in the incredible opportunities offered by connected technology, we need to ensure they have access to tools, devices, education, and connectivity. The Marconi Society’s mission of digital inclusion is essential to our vision of a globally connected, educated society."

New Board Members

Berman, a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts, was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities in recognition of her leadership within data science. Paulraj, 2014 Marconi Fellow, is professor emeritus at Stanford University and is revered for his groundbreaking research in MIMO technology. Roberson, CEO of Roberson and Associates, is a nationally recognized expert in technology and serves as Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission Technological Advisory Committee.

"I’m delighted to join the Board of the Marconi Society," says Berman. "Their mission to connect people via technology and promote digital inclusion is a strong complement to my own work as a Public Interest Technologist to promote the benefits and reduce the risks of digital technologies. I look forward to this opportunity to contribute."

"I am very honored to join the Marconi Society Board," says Paulraj. "It has been a privilege to be a part of the Marconi family as a Fellow since 2014, with so many distinguished colleagues and promising Young Scholars. The organization has launched new initiatives from digital inclusion to big ideas. It will be a pleasure to advance these important efforts."

"I am greatly honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of the Marconi Society," says Roberson. "This is an amazing organization composed of many of the most illustrious names in the modern communications world. It has enormous potential to serve the world in narrowing the broadband digital divide. This in turn should improve the well-being of people around the world in incredible ways that in many cases are only dreams today."

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SOURCE Marconi Society