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Amy Huffman

Policy Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Amy Huffman, Policy Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
The federal government is making a historic investment in broadband and digital equity, having allocated $65 billion for the former and $2.75 billion for the latter. The money is trickling down now, and states are tasked with ultimately directing it where it helps most. That means each state has work to do. A lot of work. So much work, in fact, they could use help.

Luckily, they have Amy Huffman. Huffman is the policy director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), a nonprofit that supports digital equity. In that capacity, Huffman was thinking about how to help states since before the ink on the new funding was dry, advising them, for example, to hire digital equity managers. And when she gives advice, she knows what states need to hear, having herself spent more than six years in North Carolina’s Broadband Infrastructure Office. In 2019, in fact, Huffman became the first full-time digital equity staffer within any state.

“I understand what it’s like to work in the state,” Huffman said. “When I talk to state offices, I’m not coming out of left field with advice that’s not relevant to them or grounded in the understanding of what it’s like to operationalize things in a state government.”

Huffman helped create NDIA’s free State Digital Equity Plan Toolkit and organized a cohort for states to support each other through the funding allocation. Started in 2022, that cohort includes members from 44 states and territories. It’s still meeting today, with on average 41 attendees meeting every two weeks. As the money flows, the group is the main way states are communicating best practices. Finally, Huffman also helped with NDIA’s State Digital Equity Planning Workshops, in-person events held throughout the country.

So as states make unprecedented progress toward improving digital equity and getting every American connected to high-speed Internet, Huffman has been and remains a key adviser, partner and friend. In a moment of great transformation, the public sector is lucky to have someone like Huffman pitching in for an important technological lift.
Associate editor for Government Technology magazine.