Leadership

Rick Boucher

Honorary Chairman

Former Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) served for 28 years in the United States House of Representatives representing Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District. Prior to his service in Congress, he was a member of the Virginia State Senate for seven years.

During his Congressional tenure he served on the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees and chaired the subcommittees on Communications, Technology and the Internet; and Energy and Air Quality. He carved out a role as a trusted bipartisan leader on telecommunications, energy and environmental issues.

He was a leading participant in every major telecommunications policy debate over the past 25 years. A subcommittee that he chaired oversaw the commercialization of the Internet and its transition from a government-owned R&D project, and he authored the 1992 law that permitted the first commercial use of the Internet. He was one of two co-founders of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and served as co-chairman of the 170 member group for 15 years. His proposals to promote competition among telecommunications service providers across industry lines were at the core of the Communications Act of 1996. He authored the first Satellite Home Viewer Act and was the author of its most recent renewal, known as STELA, which contains his provision that is bringing satellite delivered local television signals to all 210 local television markets nationwide.

Congressman Boucher drafted bipartisan comprehensive universal service fund reform legislation and a bipartisan bill to provide baseline privacy rights for Internet users.

Mr. Boucher is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Sidley Austin and head of the firm’s government strategies practice group. Congressman Boucher is a graduate of Roanoke College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to his election to Congress, he practiced law in New York and in Virginia. He is married to the former Amy Hauslohner, and they reside in Abingdon, Virginia.

Bruce P. Mehlman

Co-Chairman

Bruce Mehlman is a leader in Washington DC, helping Fortune 500 companies and innovative start-ups understand, anticipate and navigate the public policy environment and trends likely to impact the global marketplace.

Currently Co-Chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, Mehlman previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy. At Commerce Mehlman worked closely with leaders from industry, federal labs, universities and governments on issues impacting technology creators and users including innovation policy, broadband, biotechnology, tech-led economic growth, technology transfer, nanotechnology and workforce policy.

Mehlman worked as telecommunications policy counsel for Cisco Systems, policy director and general counsel to the House Republican Conference under Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK), general counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and as a commercial litigation attorney in a major Washington law firm.

Kim Keenan

Co-Chairwoman

Kim Keenan is Co-Chairwoman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. She joined Odyssey Media as the Executive Vice President for Marketing and Research on January 1, 2018. Odyssey Media is an international media and marketing company that connects influential multicultural women to world-class business programs and high-impact networking events.

She formerly served as the President and CEO of Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council (MMTC). At MMTC, Keenan created the Capital Pitch Competition to provide seed money to multicultural entrepreneurs in technology, as well as a College Tech Prep Summit that provides college students with career preparation for digital and technical careers, in addition to an introduction to industry internships. Keenan also launched a “Net Equality Tour” to educate the public on telecommunications issues impacting daily life. Finally, she was instrumental in creating a partnership with the National Urban League and the Wireless Infrastructure Association to develop a telecommunications apprenticeship program for the Department of Labor.

Prior to taking the helm at MMTC, Keenan served as General Counsel and Secretary of the NAACP, the oldest, the largest, and most recognized grassroots civil rights organization in the world. She is the longest-serving female General Counsel in the 100+ year history of the NAACP. She solicited over $1M in pro bono legal services for the NAACP during her tenure. She was responsible for the national litigation strategy of the organization including numerous voting rights cases, a First Amendment case (NAACP v. Philadelphia), and a national redistricting program for which she secured funding from the Ford Foundation. During her tenure, Keenan also served as the NAACP executive in charge of the Hollywood Bureau and executive who produced the Image Awards.

Keenan has also served as principal of her own law firm and in the litigation practices of two nationally recognized law firms. She is a Senior Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School. She is a past president of the 100,000+ member District of Columbia Bar where she instituted the Leadership Committee that is responsible for creating the John Payton Leadership Academy to train the next generation of bar leaders. She also served as President of the National Bar Association, the largest coalition of African-American lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students in the United States where she led the largest coalition of African-American lawyers engaged in election protection throughout the nation and created the Cora T. Walker Corporate Partnership Award. She is a nationally recognized speaker and the recipient of numerous awards including the Media Executive of the Year from Vote It Loud, the NAACP Medgar Evers Award for Excellence, the Charging Buffalo Award from the New York Society, and the Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.