Senate Confirms Connected Nation Board Member Martinez for Obama Administration Role

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Connected Nation Board Member, Kathleen Martinez, Confirmed by Senate to Lead Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy

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Kathleen has left an impressive mark on Connected Nation, and now she will directly impact the lives of millions of Americans in her role at the Department of Labor. I know of no better person in the country to advocate for the needs of Americans with disabilities.

Recently, the United States Senate confirmed Kathleen Martinez, a Connected Nation board member and executive director of the World Institute on Disability, as the Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy for the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The agency develops and implements policies and practices for the hiring of people with disabilities in both the public and private sectors.

Ms. Martinez joins ODEP following her very successful tenure as executive director of the World Institute on Disability (WID). During her time with WID, Ms. Martinez was invited to join the Connected Nation Board of Directors where she impacted broadband policy development by representing the needs of people with disabilities.

"It has been an honor to serve beside Kathleen Martinez and the Connected Nation board wishes her nothing but the best as she takes on this important new role," Brian Mefford, Connected Nation's CEO said. "Kathleen has left an impressive mark on Connected Nation, and now she will directly impact the lives of millions of Americans in her role at the Department of Labor. I know of no better person in the country to advocate for the needs of Americans with disabilities."

Blind since birth, Martinez is an internationally recognized disability rights leader specializing in employment, asset building, independent living, international development, diversity and gender issues.

In her capacity as executive director of WID, Ms. Martinez has supervised World Institute on Disability's technical assistance, international, employment, poverty reduction and training projects. The World Institute on Disability is an internationally recognized public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities. She has also led development activities with disabled women in Ethiopia for the International Labour Organization, and has collaborated on projects in Brazil, China, Indonesia, Honduras, Hungary, Korea, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Spain.

To learn more about Connected Nation, visit http://www.connectednation.org.

About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when individuals and communities have the opportunity and desire to connect. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for technology deployment and adoption. Connected Nation works with community stakeholders, states and technology providers to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered around a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information about Connected Nation, Inc., visit http://www.connectednation.org.

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