Scott Administration to Restructure Office of Broadband and Digital Equity
Thursday Jul 21st, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BCIT Director of Strategic Initiatives Kenya Asli to serve as the Interim Director
BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, July 20, 2022) - Today, the Scott Administration announced the departure of Broadband and Digital Equity Director Jason Hardebeck, effective immediately. Kenya Asli, Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Baltimore City Office of Information and Technology (BCIT), will serve as Interim Director while the City searches to permanently fill this critical position. Kenya will report to Baltimore City Chief Information Officer Todd Carter, who will work with her to continue to deliver on the Scott Administration’s Broadband and Digital Equity goals.
"Jason stepped in during the pandemic and developed the Broadband and Digital Equity Framework, laying the groundwork for broadband infrastructure investment for the City of Baltimore," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "He drove our decision to allocate $35 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds towards changing the digital landscape here in Baltimore. We are confident that our significant progress will continue through this transition. Kenya has played a key role in the city’s efforts to close the digital divide that has served as a barrier to economic mobility, wellbeing, and empowerment in our communities for far too long."
The Administration will transition the Broadband and Digital Equity Office’s function from the Mayor’s Office to BCIT, thereby leveraging BCIT’s expertise in operating a robust broadband network of over 300 miles of fiber and serving more than 200 city government locations.
BCIT will continue working with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and Baltimore Recreation and Parks (BCRP) to bring broadband connectivity to public housing and recreation/community centers and break through some of the bottlenecks impeding our collective progress.
"I’d like to thank Jason for his leadership and vision over the last year. The decision to restructure BDE under the purview of BCIT is a logical next step as the City continues to place a laser focus on digital equity and will allow us to streamline the City’s efforts around information and technology access into a single agency. We are committed to aligning our technology resources for better outcomes for the City and the people of Baltimore," said City Administrator Chris Shorter.