CETF Announces Four New Board Members

Entering its 15th year, CETF Names Top Leaders with Experience
in Government, Business and
Education to its Board

Los Angeles and Bay Area  —  The California Emerging Technology Fund, the only statewide non-profit foundation focused on achieving Digital Equity, announced today that it is adding four new members to the Board of Directors.  The appointments are being made as the experience of the pandemic underscores why access to affordable home Internet, computing devices and digital skills training is a 21st Century civil right necessary to provide equal opportunity for all.  CETF is entering its 15th year of operations.

“The new Directors bring decades of experience at the highest levels of government, corporate and academic leadership.  Their guidance will be instrumental in helping CETF accomplish its goals to advance visionary public-private partnerships and state and federal policies that promote broadband deployment and ensure underserved communities are no longer left behind in the Digital Age,” said CETF Board Chair Barbara O’Connor.

Barb Johnston Yellowlees, Chair of the Board Nominating Committee, said “these extraordinary leaders will wonderfully complement the current board at a time when the work of CETF is gaining national prominence for engaging with government, business and educational institutions to design and implement solutions that make California a model for the country.”

The new board members are listed below; the full list of board members can be found here.

Frances Marie Gipson, Ph.D
Clinical Associate Professor of Education and Director, Urban Leadership Program
Claremont Graduate University

A highly regarded educator, Frances M. Gipson is Clinical Associate Professor of Education and Urban Leadership Director at Claremont Graduate University.  Previously, she served as the Chief Academic Officer for Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the nation.  In that role, she oversaw the instructional plan and capacity building for over 600,000 students in preschool through adult school programs.  She has taught educational leadership at CSULA, UCLA’s Teacher Education Program, and the Principals Leadership Institute.  Gipson describes her experience as a proud principal and teacher as one shaped by a mission of success with an “all means all” strategy.

Kevin G. Harbour, Sr.
President, BizFed Institute

A Southern California business institute leader, Kevin Harbour is President of BizFed Institute, non-profit research and convening affiliate of the Los Angeles Business Federation.  BizFed represents more than 180 business organizations including 400,000 employers with 3.5 million employees throughout Los Angeles County.  He leads every aspect of BizFed Institute, focused on identifying strategic alliance partners to improve the economic landscape of Southern California.  He has over 30 years in IT, telecom and emerging technology industries, including working at Fortune 100 and 500 companies, and served as Director of Corporate Strategic Partnerships & Business Development with UCLA Alumni Association.  Harbour describes his purpose as one who improves the quality of life for the disadvantaged protecting everyone.

Lenny Mendonca
Former Chief Economic and Business Advisor for Governor Newsom
Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Co.

A respected public policy and corporate leader, Lenny Mendonca was the Chief Economic and Business Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and Chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority.  He is a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and a Lecturer on Inequality at the Stanford Business School.  He founded McKinsey’s U.S. state and local public sector consulting practice, chaired the McKinsey Global Institute and served for a decade on the McKinsey Shareholder Council (Board of Directors).  He retired from McKinsey in 2014.  He was formerly the chair of New America, Children Now, co-chair of California Forward, and Fuse Corps, and co-chair of California Forward.  He is chair emeritus of the Bay Area Council and its Economic Institute.  Mendonca describes his experience of growing up on a dairy farm in Turlock in the San Joaquin Valley as formative to his appreciation for hard-working rural Californians.

Carlos Ramos
Principal Consultant, Maestro Public Sector
Former California CIO

A California government technology leader for more than 25 years, Carlos Ramos served as State Chief Information Officer for five years and also as Director of Technology.  He has been directly involved in most of the government’s significant technology initiatives:  He developed California’s IT strategic plan and provided oversight over the entire IT portfolio.  Under his leadership, California government established itself as a leader in mobile computing, data analytics, cybersecurity, and in the adoption of cloud technologies in the public sector.  He also led the focus on digital literacy for the State and served as chair of the California Broadband Council.  After leaving government, he is Principal Consultant with Maestro Public Sector and works with leading-edge Silicon Valley innovators to bring transformative technologies to the public sector.  Ramos describes his experience as seeing first-hand the advantages of being able to compete on a level playing field and is driven to share that opportunity with others.

Contact: Nadine Hugg, nadine.hugg@cetfund.org

About California Emerging Technology Fund

CETF is a statewide non-profit foundation with the mission to close the Digital Divide in California.  CETF provides grants to non-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) to assist low-income households adopt broadband and become digitally proficient, leads and manages School2Home to successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning with deep parent engagement to close the Achievement Gap in middle schools in low-income neighborhoods, and promotes Digital Inclusion in public policy to achieve Digital Equity.

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