Dr. Rob McMahon

University of Alberta, First Mile Consortium: Assoc. Professor

Dr. Rob McMahon is an Associate Professor in the Media & Technology Studies Unit and the Department of Political Science in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. He teaches in the Master of Arts in Communication and Technology (MACT) program. Rob’s research focuses on the development, adoption, and use of broadband and internet technologies by rural, remote, Northern, and Indigenous communities. His approach involves working with communities to ensure that their voices are heard in all stages of research. He and his partners are exploring ways to house project data and build research capacities in communities, and are involved in efforts to contribute to digital policy and regulation.

Rob’s PhD dissertation in Communication Studies from Simon Fraser University, “Digital Self-Determination: Indigenous Peoples and the Network Society in Canada”, was awarded the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. Rob worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the First Nations Innovation Project at the University of New Brunswick and co-founded the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, a national nonprofit association of Indigenous technology organizations. He is currently the co-director of the DigitalNWT project, which employs a co-creational approach to strengthen the foundation of community-based digital literacy in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

His research, teaching, and community engagement work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (Insight grant), the University of Alberta’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net program, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Community Investment program, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Digital Literacy Exchange Program.