Russ Elliott named to head Washington State Broadband Office
Broadband infrastructure expansion will support education, health care and economic development in state’s rural and underserved communities
OLYMPIA, WA – Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Russ Elliott Director of the State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce. The State Broadband Office was established by the Legislature this year to develop and improve affordable, quality broadband throughout Washington state in order to drive job creation, promote innovation, improve economic vitality and expand markets for Washington businesses. Elliott will lead the Broadband Office’s work to achieve goals including serving the growing needs of Washington’s education, health care and public safety systems; industries and business; governmental operations and residents, and to improve broadband access for unserved communities and populations.
Elliot finalized Wyoming’s Broadband Plan, facilitated a new broadband mapping project, implemented a broadband infrastructure grant program and helped guide legislation aimed at expanding coverage throughout Wyoming.
Before his work in the public sector, Elliott spent 11 years working to connect rural communities to quality, affordable internet while serving as President of Brainstorm Internet. Concurrently, he served on the Colorado Innovation Council and Colorado’s Public Utility Commission Telecom Advisory Group, and chaired the telecommunications committee for Club 20 of Western Colorado for seven years. Elliott holds a master’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University.
“Russ is the right person to lead our state’s broadband office,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “His extensive experience navigating federal broadband funding programs, organizing and managing varied stakeholder interests will ensure that this work will benefit all Washingtonians.
“Broadband is the single most important economic development tool we have and that’s why I put forth legislation to create the Broadband Office. I am glad that the legislature agreed, and now with Russ at the helm we can starting ensuring more equitable access to education, jobs and health care throughout the state.”
“We are delighted to welcome Russ to our team,” Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown said. “Broadband is a key piece of infrastructure that strengthens communities and facilitates equity in economic opportunity across the state.”
“I like to say that when the mission, vision and moonshot are the loudest voices in the room, the people win,” Elliott said. “I’m excited by the momentum here in Washington and the commitment that the state has made to achieving affordable and quality service for all residents of the state. I plan to hit the ground running.”
Elliott joins Commerce on Oct. 16. He can be reached at Russ.Elliott@commerce.wa.gov.