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Connect Alaska Appoints Executive Director to Focus on Broadband Access, Adoption, and Use


Anchorage, AK – Connect Alaska announces the appointment of James Dunn as executive director. Dunn joins Project Coordinator Therese Dolan in the Anchorage office and will lead the nonprofit’s mission of creating jobs and new economic opportunities across the state through expanded telecommunications.  

“James Dunn brings a breadth of telecom experience to this position,” said Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell. “Connect Alaska’s mission is critical to our state’s economic future and the improved quality of life for our residents. James is a welcome and valuable addition to Alaska’s effort to expand broadband development throughout all corners of our state.”

In his role as executive director, Dunn will lead the initiative’s continuing statewide effort.

“Connect Alaska’s mission is to bring broadband access, adoption, and use to every corner of the state,” said Dunn. “High-speed Internet gives Alaskans a direct lifeline to quality jobs, information, and vital services like telemedicine and higher education. We face significant challenges to bringing these life-changing services to bush Alaska. Connect Alaska is committed to working with the state’s Broadband Task Force to begin to tackle those challenges and improve the Alaskan quality of life, one village at a time.”

Connect Alaska has been hard at work since 2009 to bring the economic and quality of life benefits of broadband to all Alaska residents.

“We know that expanding broadband has a significant economic impact on a state’s residents, and we know James’ experience, background, and passion for the state of Alaska and this mission will be a tremendous asset for the Connect Alaska program,” said Brian Mefford, CEO of national nonprofit Connected Nation, Connect Alaska’s parent organization.

Under the guidance of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Dunn will oversee the management and administrative aspects of the initiative, as well as support the design and implementation of a statewide broadband deployment strategy in cooperation with the Alaska Broadband Task Force. The plan will include partners from both the public and private sectors, all working together on local and regional technology planning, technical assistance, and ultimately, increased broadband adoption and digital literacy in all corners of the state. Connect Alaska will also continue taking the state’s broadband inventory on a semi-annual basis and mapping the results.

Dunn has been involved in telecommunications in rural Alaska for more than twenty-five years. In that time he has worked with tribal governments, rural local exchange carriers, Internet service providers, and retail customers throughout the state to secure broadband connectivity. Dunn has also served as the CEO and president of an Alaskan native village corporation in rural Alaska. He is licensed as an attorney and he holds an MBA degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

James Dunn can be contacted at (907) 280-9883 or jdunn@connectak.org.

About Connect Alaska: Connect Alaska is working with the Alaska Broadband Task Force to promote broadband access, adoption, and use across the state. Connect Alaska partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities to accelerate technology and develop of a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband. The initiative is made possible by support from the State of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. For more information about what Connect Alaska is doing to accelerate technology in Alaska’s communities, please visit: http://www.connectak.org.

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