Illinois Broadband Advisory Council: Chair
Matt Schmit chairs the Illinois Broadband Advisory Council and oversees the Illinois Broadband Lab, a collaboration between the State of Illinois and the University of Illinois System. In 2019, Matt was appointed to serve as the first director of the Illinois Office of Broadband within the State’s Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. In these roles, Matt has established and administered the Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program, as well as related programming in digital equity, regional engagement, and local planning and capacity building.
Prior to his service in Illinois, Matt engaged public policy from various perspectives and wearing different hats: as former Minnesota state legislator, leading on such issues as infrastructure and economic competitiveness; as University of Minnesota researcher, published author, and graduate school instructor; and as independent consultant.
While in the Minnesota State Senate, Matt drove the push for universal broadband access through creation of the State’s Office of Broadband Development and related Border to Border Broadband grant program.
Throughout his career, Matt has enjoyed consulting, collaboration, and research primarily in the areas of technology deployment, infrastructure investment, and economic development. Integration of 21st century infrastructure is a primary focus of his work – and his research. For over a decade, Matt maintained active committee membership with the Transportation Research Board, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences.