The Internet Innovation Alliance (IAA) announced Tuesday that Kim Keenan has joined the organization as the new co-chairwoman to help advance the coalition’s goal of expanding broadband availability and access across the United States.

Keenan will replace Jamal Simmons who, following six years as co-chairman, stepped down from his role at the end of 2017 to pursue a new digital media opportunity, IIA said. Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher and IIA founding co-chairman Bruce Mehlman will continue in their respective roles.

Kim Keenan
IIA Co-Chairwoman

“Kim is a respected advocate for unserved and underserved communities and brings a deep understanding of the broadband policy issues that are shaping the future of the tech and telecom landscape,” commented Boucher, a 28-year congressman who chaired the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and the Internet. “I look forward to working alongside Kim to advance internet openness, consumer privacy, diversity and other leading policy goals.”

In 2018 Keenan joined Odyssey Media, where she is EVP for marketing and research. Prior to that she led the Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council (MMTC) as president and CEO from 2014 through 2017.

Keenan established a number of initiatives while at MMTC, including the Capital Pitch Competition, which offers seed money to multicultural entrepreneurs in technology, as well as the College Tech Prep Summit, which helps college students prepare for digital and technical careers. A strong proponent of ‘net equality,’ she also started a “Net Equality Tour” to educate Americans on telecom issues impacting daily life.

Before joining MMTC Keenan was the longest serving female general counsel of the NAACP. Keenan, who is well-versed in telecom law, also served as principal of her own law firm and in the litigation practices of two top law firms, IIA said. She is also a senior adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School.

“IIA is fortunate to have such an esteemed and experienced leader like Kim join our team,” shared Mehlman. “She will no doubt be a valuable partner in the mission to advance smart internet policies that protect consumers and help close the digital divide, while encouraging investment and innovation.”

Founded in 2004, the IIA is a coalition that seeks to promote public policies that leverage entrepreneurs and market power to ensure broadband availability and access for all Americans, including those in underserved areas and rural communities. Member companies include AT&T, Ciena, and Corning.