I am pleased to announce that Nicol Turner Lee has been named the new director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution, effective July 1, 2020. A specialist in equitable access to digital technology, she has undertaken research on telemedicine, broadband infrastructure, digital education, and racial bias in AI, among other topics. She is currently finishing a book on ways to improve digital access for all Americans.
Turner Lee is an innovative leader who has undertaken high-quality research and offered cutting-edge solutions to a number of technology-related problems. She is a high-energy person who brings a lot of passion to what often is a dry and technical field. In addition, she is incredibly creative in thinking about the future of technology and envisioning a world where all can gain the benefits of its current and emerging uses.
“An essential part of Brookings’s mission to develop innovative policy solutions for the most pressing challenges of the 21st century includes addressing the social, political, and economic impacts of rapidly evolving technology,” said Brookings President John R. Allen. “Nicol’s extensive work in advancing digital equity and inclusion for historically disadvantaged populations exemplifies her commitment in this space. Nicol is a true leader and I look forward to seeing her continue to drive real impact as director of the Center for Technology Innovation.”
I will continue to serve as a senior fellow in the Center for Technology Innovation, the Douglas Dillon Chair in Governance Studies, and vice president of the Governance Studies program at Brookings. The Center was founded in 2010 and addresses the policy, legal, regulatory, and ethical aspects of emerging technologies.
Turner Lee is excited to take on this new challenge. She said “technology is continuing to drive major facets of society and the policies that govern innovation matter. I am excited about this role to elevate the research of our scholars and serve as a resource to policymakers in search of guidance around legislative, regulatory, and civil society issues.”
Turner Lee graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. She has been cited in numerous newspaper articles and has appeared on a variety of television outlets. She is a widely sought-after speaker on technology and telecommunications issues in the United States and abroad. She is also an appointee on the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment. She chairs TPRC, one of the nation’s oldest convening of technology experts from academia, government, and industry. She has worked at Brookings as a fellow since 2016 and this year was promoted to senior fellow.