Assistant Vice President, Empire State Development Corporation
Scott Rasmussen focuses on telecommunications policy and strategy at the intersection of equity and access. He aims to build grassroots solutions to connectivity that begin with community oversight and self-determination. He passionately believes that a free and inclusive society requires a communications system that’s accessible and accountable to all people. Scott currently works at the Empire State Development Corporation where he oversees the day-to-day management of the Broadband Program Office and the New NY Broadband Program, a $500 million program to ensure that all New Yorkers can access high-speed, reliable broadband at their home or business. Scott is also a Board Member and organizer for NYC Mesh, an open, neutral, and resilient community network. NYC Mesh is building community-owned and-managed telecommunications infrastructure across New York City that can deliver high-speed, no-cost internet to all. NYC Mesh is the largest community network in North America and collaborates with similar efforts in Toronto, Italy, Southern Mexico and beyond. Scott has spoken at a number of telecommunications gatherings and conferences including the Internet Society’s Indigenous Connectivity Summit, the Rural Broadband Association’s annual conference, the 2019 School of Data, and more. He has also published articles or offered comment in a variety of online publications including TechDirt, MotherBoard, Vox and others advocating for a more equitable and inclusive approach to broadband deployment. Before moving to New York, Scott spent five years on Capitol Hill developing policy and legislation for Congressman Jared Huffman who represents California’s north coast. Many of his efforts in DC centered on the deployment of rural telecommunications infrastructure and means to support tribal sovereignty and self-determination, a learning experience that profoundly impacted his approach to community broadband in New York City. Scott was born in Oakland, California, and attended Brown University where he studied American History and Africana Studies. As a native Californian, he has very strong opinions about burritos. In the free time he has, he enjoys boxing, cross-wording, cooking, and just about any activity that can get him outside.