Consequences of Unequal Digital Access

with guest Juanita Budd, Executive Director, Austin Free-Net

Access to digital media is an essential tool for all seeking to compete and participate in today’s society. There are very real opportunity costs for those who do not have digital skill or access to digital technology. Our guest, Juanita Budd, CEO, Austin Free-Net explores these consequences and the efforts underway to make accessibility a reality for all in our community.

Juanita Budd

Juanita Budd

Executive Director, Austin Free-Net

Juanita Budd Bio:

Juanita Budd has more than 18 years of nonprofit experience in a plethora of roles including strategic planning, volunteer, board member, and staff. Ms. Budd serves as the Executive Director of Austin Free-Net and is responsible for the strategic vision of direct delivery of programs and services. She drives forward the organization’s mission to eradicate the digital divide. A sub-recipient of a 9.3Million federal grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunity (BTOP) grant program awarded by Department of Commerce under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, to create, enhance and improve public computer centers in Austin. Since her tenure, she has collaborated with over 30 organizations to educate and improve broadband adoption and digital literacy programs.

Previously, Ms. Budd served as a Human Resources Director, Administrative & Operations Director, Chief Operations Officer and Vice President of Programs for a large nonprofit organizations which served 46 Texas counties. She implemented the strategic vision and leadership for the direct delivery of services and programs to adults and volunteers through the region, managing staff across five locations.

In addition, Ms. Budd recently spoke at South by South West, SXSW, in Austin TX March 2014 on Digital Inclusion and Gigabit speed coming to Austin through Google. She also served as an Campus Advisory Council for National American University; Board Member for The Austin School for the Performing  & Visual Arts, Member One Voice Central Texas, panelist for Austin Human Resources Management Association (AHRMA) and has been invited to speak at the iConference 2014 in Berlin Germany.

Ms. Budd holds a BA in Political Science from Bucknell University; HR Management Certification from the University of Texas at Austin; is a certified Mediator through the Dispute Resolution Center; and received her Certificate in Texas Nonprofit Leadership & Management Program in 2008. She served as a member on the Texas Statewide Task Force on “Improving Relations with Nonprofits” recommended by the 83rd Texas Legislature. She served as one of the lead speaker in the Digital Inclusion Conference in Texas (“A Conference & Colloquium” at the University of Texas).

In 2014, she spoke at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C.  She has been featured in various media outlets, including radio, print, and television. Ms. Budd serves faithfully at her local congregation as a Stephen Minister Leader.

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