In Conversation: ALA President Patricia “Patty” Wong and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel
Jessica Rosenworcel is chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a sought-after speaker, arguably one of the most powerful federal policymakers when it comes to information access, and an ally of America's libraries. Since joining the FCC in 2012, the Commission has made significant strides to bridge the digital divide and close the homework gap. ALA is particularly grateful for her staunch support of the federal E-rate program, which makes internet service affordable for thousands of libraries and schools across the nation.
Situated in the nation's locus of power, ALA President Patricia "Patty" Wong will host a lively, fireside conversation with Rosenworcel, as she puts a human face on policymaking and provides insight into current issues central to the core values of libraries, from the ongoing fight to preserve a free and open internet (net neutrality) to the challenges and solutions to close the digital divide.
Jessica Rosenworcel – FCC Chairwoman
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel works to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st-century success.
From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, Rosenworcel has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy and is responsible for developing policies to help expand the reach of broadband to schools, libraries, hospitals, and households across the country. As chairwoman, she has continued to be a fierce advocate on consumer protection issues, most notably taking swift action to improve the agency’s ability to combat unwanted robocalls.
Chairwoman Rosenworcel brings over two decades of communications policy experience and public service to the FCC. Prior to joining the agency, she served as senior communications counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye.
Patricia "Patty" Wong – ALA President
Patricia "Patty" Wong is the first Asian American to serve as president of the American Library Association (ALA). Her term began July 2021 and closes at the adjournment of the 2022 Annual Conference. Wong has been an active ALA member for 37 years. She is a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation and, as an ALA Executive Board member, has worked with the association's Intellectual Freedom Committee, Committee on Legislation, and the Conference Committee.
She is city librarian for the Santa Clara (Calif.) City Library. She has worked as a school librarian, children’s librarian, cataloger, and special librarian, as well as held leadership roles in public libraries. Her work in managing change, equity and diversity, youth development, developing joint ventures and collaborations between public libraries and community agencies, and fundraising has been published in a number of journals, conference proceedings, and edited collections. Wong also is the recipient of several awards, including the 2012 ALA Equality Award, CALA Distinguished Service Award (2014), and Member of the Year, California Library Association (2012).
She is also adjunct faculty for the iSchool at San Jose State University where she has taught hundreds of students to serve young people and write grants to benefit local and regional communities —and make the world a better place.