BOSTON, April 29, 2009 – Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced Wednesday his appointment of former MIT researcher and state regulator Sharon Gillett as director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute. The institute was chartered by Patrick in 2008 with the goal of bringing universal broadband service to state residents by 2011.
Gillett’s appointment was unanimously approved by the institute’s nine-member governing board. She has previously served as a Director of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable and has over a decade of experience with state telecommunications regulatory issues.
Governor Patrick’s choice was met with praise from Gillett’s colleagues in the state telecommunications community. “Commissioner Gillett is the perfect choice to lead the MBI at this critical juncture,” said California Public Utility Commissioner Rachelle Chong. Chong, a former member of the Federal Communications Commission, called Gillett “one of the leading telecommunications experts in the nation.”
“Commissioner Gillett has been an invaluable member of the NARUC Telecommunications Committee,” said Oregon Public Utility Commissioner Roy Baum, who chairs the telecommunications committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. “Her keen intellect and in-depth knowledge of broadband issues will be sorely missed.”
Before her previous appointment, Gillett was a Principal Research Associate at MIT’s School of Engineering, where she specialized in broadband-related public policy. She served as chair of the Broadband Working Group for the industry-sponsored Communications Futures Program at MIT and was a member of the Boston Wireless Task Force established by Mayor Thomas Menino.
Gillett begins work at the MBI this Friday, May 1.