About Us

Board of Directors & Advisers

Ben Hecht Board Member

Living Cities harnesses the knowledge of its member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low-income people and the cities where they live. Living Cities deploys a blend of more than $140 million in grants, loans and influence to re-engineer obsolete public systems and connect low-income people and underinvested places to opportunity. Prior to joining Living Cities, Mr. Hecht co-founded One Economy Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting low-income people to the economic mainstream through innovative, online content and increased broadband access. Mr. Hecht received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jed Katz Board Member

Jed has spent his 20-year career developing, advising and investing in early stage technology ventures. Prior to joining Javelin Venture Partners, Jed was a Managing Director of DFJ Gotham Ventures, a venture capital firm based in New York. Jed also served on the Technology, Telecom & Media advisory group for President Barack Obama’s campaign. Jed holds a B.A. in Business Economics from UCLA and an M.B.A. from The Haas School of Business at the University of California – Berkeley.

Jorge Martinez Board Member

Jorge (George) Martinez is the vice president/chief technology officer at the Knight Foundation. He has 25 years of experience in the IT field. Before joining the foundation, Martinez worked in the advanced systems department of The Miami Herald Publishing Company. Prior to that, he was a systems engineer for MicroAge, whose clients included Dade-Baxter, Baptist Health Systems, Knight-Ridder and Ryder Systems. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in information technology from Barry University and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

Carlos Slim Helú Board Member

Born in Mexico in 1940, Mr. Slim has been an investor and entrepreneur, leading a portfolio of successful companies including; Inversora Bursátil, Casa de Bolsa Inmobiliaria Carso, Minera Frisco, Telefonos de Mexico, America Movil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa, Inc. Mr. Slim is Co-Chairman of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Broadband Commission for Digital Development 2011. Mr. Slim holds a degree in civil engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Josh Gottheimer Board Member

Josh Gottheimer is the founder and CEO of Asbury Advisors, a strategic communications and policy firm. Most recently, Mr. Gottheimer served as Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission where he was a strategic adviser to the Chairman on a wide range of policy, legal and external matters. He was also the first Director of Public-Private Initiatives. Mr. Gottheimer has degrees from University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.

Zach Leverenz Board Member

Zach served as the founding CEO of EveryoneOn until January 2016. He led the growth of EveryoneOn into a national force for social impact and inclusion. After six months of prototypes, Zach launched EveryoneOn nationally in March 2013 with a new ZIP-based eligibility algorithm that expanded EveryoneOn's reach to 36 million Americans who are in-coverage and pre-qualified for home Internet. With a singular focus on providing access to opportunity for all, the organization has adopted a broad, integrative agenda that harnesses the collective expertise and scale of more than 250 cross-sector partners to accelerate meaningful technology adoption for all segments of the unconnected population, including students, families, adults, and seniors.

Through the work of EveryoneOn, Zach has became a recognized voice for delivering immediate and practical solutions to the digital divide with unprecedented scale. His work has been mentioned in the New York Times, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal, among other national media outlets, and he has been a featured speaker at technology leadership forums, including SXSW EDU, CES, Washington Post Live, and Discovery Education. Previously, Zach served as the CEO of Middle East Education through Technology (MEET), a MIT-based technology and social justice organization. He received a B.A. from Dickinson College and an Ed.M from Harvard University, where he was selected as a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship by Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership.

Jordan Usdan Adviser

Jordan Usdan is a Principal Strategist for the Chief Strategy Officer for Microsoft. Formerly, Jordan held several senior roles at the Federal Communications Commission, including Director of Public-Private Initiatives. In this role, Mr. Usdan helped coordinate the FCC's efforts on broadband adoption, digital textbooks, cybersecurity, online safety, and wireless health technology. In this role, he helped launch Connect2Compete and EveryoneOn as a public-private partnership. He joined the Commission in 2009 from Howrey LLP in Washington, D.C., where he practiced after receiving his law degree from Georgetown University. He also served as an a attorney on President Obama's 2008 campaign.

Marco A. López, Jr. Adviser

Marco A. López, Jr. serves as President and CEO of Intermestic Partners, a business advisory firm dedicated to serving international and domestic organizations with strategic guidance and policy direction. He guides U.S. outreach efforts The Carlos Slim Foundation, and that of its affiliate member corporate companies. Before founding Intermestic Partners, Marco served as Chief of Staff at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Before joining DHS, Marco served for then-Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce. At the age of 22, he became one of the youngest mayors in the United States when he was elected into office at Nogales, Arizona’s largest border community, after graduating from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Paula Ellis Adviser

Paula Ellis is the former vice president for strategic initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. She was a member of the executive committee over national programs and new initiatives, responsible for developing and gauging the impact of the foundation’s overall strategy. She previously was vice president for operations at Knight Ridder, where she oversaw 15 newspapers and was a member of the Management Committee. Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, where she was editor of the student daily. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in journalism.