Ready.net: Director of Community Outreach and Research
Shannan Williams-Mitchem is Director of Community Outreach and Research for Ready.net.
Prior, Williams-Mitchem was appointed as Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives in the NTIA’s Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OIGC).
While at NTIA, Williams-Mitchem helped lead the management of the Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) pilot program—a $265 million investment in expanding broadband access to minority serving institutions and their anchor communities.
She served a pivotal role in streamlining the CMC applicant review and selection processes, developing outreach plans to engage stakeholders, and supporting the development of research plans and recommendations.
In her leadership role at NTIA, Williams-Mitchem was a firm advocate for greater engagement within unserved and underserved communities of color in meeting NTIA’s goals for digital equity through engagement with trusted partners, local service providers and community anchor institutions.
At Ready, Williams-Mitchem is thrilled to join a highly skilled and innovative team that is building technological tools to address the critical issue of broadband access and digital equity.
“Ready.net’s tools are a game changer for communities in bridging the digital divide. I’m so excited to share these amazing tools and to be a part of a team innovating at warp speed to make real and tremendous change,” she said.
Williams-Mitchem will support Ready’s nationwide Broadband Audit mapping system and the Community Broadband Kit to states and localities.
She will also support Ready’s work with state broadband offices and local governments, and she’ll lead partnerships with institutions interested in using Ready’s data platform. She’ll be there to help them to obtain deep insights into underserved and unserved communities so that they can ensure equitable distribution of the historic federal funding opportunities.
Prior to her time at NTIA, Williams-Mitchem worked for nearly 10 years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a sister agency to NTIA within Commerce. At NIST, she led high profile research and standards reform initiatives in the Special Programs Office.
She gained invaluable change management and business development skills as an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, a management consulting firm. She also has experience working directly in state and local governments, having worked for the State of Maryland and serving as a Mayoral Fellow for the City of Chicago.
Williams-Mitchem is a graduate of the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She obtained her Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Urban Economic Development in 2009. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County graduating Magna Cum Laude and as a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar in 2007.