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Spotlight on Commerce: Scott Woods, Senior Broadband Program Specialist, National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA)


Guest blog post by Scott Woods, Senior Broadband Program Specialist, National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA)

I am a Senior Broadband Program Specialist with the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) BroadbandUSA Program promoting the expansion of broadband access across America. In my role, I manage the BroadbandUSA Technical Assistance Program and serve as a principal liaison between BroadbandUSA and key strategic partners and external stakeholder groups.  This includes representatives from state and local governments, telecommunications companies, for-profit and non-profit corporations and colleges and universities. Prior to my BroadbandUSA management responsibilities, I also worked to increase broadband access and oversaw  numerous broadband  network  projects  within the  Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), including  projects  in  California, Arizona,  Virginia,  Georgia,  Florida,  Louisiana,  Texas,  West  Virginia,  Arkansas,  Hawaii,  Puerto  Rico  and the  U.S. Virgin Islands. 

I am originally from Detroit, Michigan where I learned the values of hard work, education, and civic responsibility. I grew up with a love of sports and played organized basketball, football, tennis, track and field and baseball. My affinity for team sports and the lessons they provide regarding competition, teamwork, hard work, and character has today transferred into coaching and mentoring. I currently serve as the Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receiver Coach for the varsity football team at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, VA. 

The people who influenced me the most would be my grandmother and my mother. Collectively, they taught me how to balance hard work and ambition with grace, love, and thoughtfulness. Additionally, I find the writings of James Baldwin and Dr. Cornell West as influential and thoughtful approaches to address our complicated history regarding race, racism, diversity, and inclusion.

I received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; a Master of Arts in Public Policy from American University in Washington, D.C.; and a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Prior to working in NTIA, I served as an Associate Attorney in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology Group at Swidler Berlin/Bingham McCutchen LLP in Washington, D.C. While at Morehouse, I had the opportunity to serve as a student intern for the late Maynard Jackson, then Mayor of the City of Atlanta, and served as a student employee on the community-based outreach team for Atlanta’s Committee for the Olympic Games in the years leading up to the 1996 Olympic Games. 

For me, Black History Month provides an opportunity to document the achievement of African Americans beyond slavery, civil rights, entertainment, and sports. But to also highlight their major contributions in science, technology, medicine, philosophy, and religion. More importantly, African American and Black history should be acknowledged and celebrated every day not only in America but around the world.

Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce African Americans during Black History Month.