WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 27, 2009 – The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) today named David Sutphen Co-Chair of the broadband-focused organization. Sutphen has held significant leadership positions in Congress, the entertainment industry and trade associations.
Sutphen and co-chair and co-founder Bruce Mehlman will lead the IIA, a coalition of businesses, trade associations and non-profit groups. The organization is dedicated to promoting broadband availability and adoption to all Americans, especially those in unserved and underserved communities.
“Broadband Internet is the great enabler and the great equalizer,” said Sutphen. “Today, it delivers critical health care, education and employment opportunities as well as the compelling news and entertainment content we all demand. Our challenge is to ensure that all people, regardless of race, income or geography, are benefiting from this revolution. I’m excited to join the IIA during this important time in history when broadband is finally getting its due as a truly transformative and empowering technology.”
Sutphen is a partner at Brunswick Group LLC, a strategic communications firm. He previously served as senior vice president of Government Relations for Viacom, parent company of MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures. Prior to his time at Viacom, he was the senior vice president of Government and Industry Relations for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade association representing major record labels, and held positions at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. A former senior staff member in Congress, Sutphen also spent six years in politics as general counsel to the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, where he handled civil rights and telecom issues, and as chief of staff to former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford.
Sutphen began his career in Covington & Burling’s communications practice group and clerked on the Third Circuit. He is an honors graduate of Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Law Review. He serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Soccer Foundation and LAYC, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit serving more than 4,000 at-risk youth.
“We look forward to tapping David’s experience and insight as the IIA works to help policy makers and community leaders encourage investment so every American can connect to the benefits of broadband,” said Mehlman. “Internet access is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.”
Sutphen replaces former IIA Co-Chair and co-founder Larry Irving. After leading the IIA since its inception in 2004, Irving recently stepped down to become vice president of Global Government Affairs at Hewlett Packard.