TechNet Names Rey Ramsey CEO
TechNet, a bi-partisan political group of top Silicon Valley executives, named Rey Ramsey as its new chief executive.
Ramsey, chief executive of nonprofit One Economy, comes to the organization as the high-tech sector show greater interest in issues in Washington. TechNet's members include venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt. Ramsey will replace Lezlee Wistine, who left TechNet last may to join Personal Care Products Council.
"There is a growing importance of technology in our lives, an acknowledgement of what that means on the Hill in terms of legislation," Ramsey said in an interview. "I want to work with members of the organization to create bridges to other sectors --- the public sector, the nonprofit sector like the Urban League, and others who have a vested interest in jobs in their communities and a vested interest in education and the role of technology in education."
The Obama administration has pushed for new intitiaves in energy, healthcare and education that involve the use of broadband Internet and cloud computing. All these companies stand to gain business through such intitiatives -- from delivering the hardware to build new smart grids, to supplying the routers for new broadband networks and writing the software for cloud computing. At the same time, the administration is backing a net neutrality regulation proposed at the Federal Communications Commission that some of TechNet's members have criticized.
Ramsey co-founded One Economy, an organization that brings funding for technology solutions to bridge educational and social gaps in underserved communities. The group, which started out of a basement nine years ago now has an annual budget of more than $14 million with sponsorships from AT&T, Microsoft and other high-tech and telecom giants.
"Rey's spectacular work at One Economy has helped thousands of Americans gain greater economic opportunities through the power of technology," said Doerr, a co-founder of TechNet.
Ramsey will begin at TechNet, which is based in Washington at the start of 2010. He will continue to serve as chairman of One Economy.
The group is mixed on net neutrality, one of the most controversial issues debated in Washington. When asked if TechNet will support net neutrality rules being mulled at the FCC, he said the organization supports the overall spirit of an open-Internet but will wait to see the details in new rules before weighing in on the debate.
photo credit: One Economy
November 18, 2009; 3:28 PM ET
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