Tony Wilhelm, Ph.D.

Tony Wilhelm, Ph.D.


Chief of Staff (Acting), National Telecommunications & Information Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Over the past two decade, both inside and outside of government, Tony Wilhelm has spearheaded some of our Nation’s most important initiatives to expand the benefits of broadband and digital technology to all Americans.

Dr. Wilhelm is currently Chief of Staff (Acting) at NTIA, focusing on maximizing the Internet as a tool for innovation and economic growth globally, assisting communities expand broadband availability and adoption, and meeting consumer demand for wireless broadband through spectrum sharing and effective management of federal spectrum.

Formerly, Dr. Wilhelm was the senior executive in charge of NTIA’s broadband grant programs, a key component of President Obama’s broadband agenda. His stewardship of over $4 billion in investments across the country is transforming communities and institutions with grant recipients already deploying over 100,000 miles of new or upgraded broadband infrastructure, connecting around 7,000 K–12 schools to high-speed broadband and adding over 620,000 new broadband subscribers.

Prior to running these grant programs, Dr. Wilhelm led the successful conversion of America’s television sets from analog to digital as one of the directors of the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. This program has been acknowledged as one of the most successful public education campaigns, and notable public-private partnerships, in recent memory.

Dr. Wilhelm has been an executive in private philanthropy, including as vice president for programs at the Benton Foundation, where he launched several signature initiatives, partnering with a variety of foundations and technology companies globally, to enhance educational and economic opportunity using technology.

He has written and spoken extensively and earned his Ph.D. in public policy from the Claremont Graduate University’s School for Politics and Economics in Claremont, California.

April 8-11, 2019

Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas

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