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Internet Association To Honor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi And Advisor To The President Ivanka Trump At Sixth Annual Charity Gala

Washington, DC – Internet Association (IA) today announced that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump will be honored at Internet Association’s Sixth Annual Charity Gala on May 22, 2019. Speaker Pelosi will be presented a Lifetime Achievement Award and Ms. Trump will receive the 2019 Internet Freedom Award. The gala will also feature a fireside chat with Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg. Proceeds from the event will benefit Computer Science and STEM programs at After-School All-Stars (ASAS), a renowned, national after-school program dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping kids succeed in school and life. 

Speaker Pelosi has been an unwavering champion for investments and opportunities in STEM education initiatives for America’s students, workers, and families. She has led key initiatives including the Innovation Agenda, which deployed $31 billion to create an educated, skilled workforce in science, math, engineering, and information technology and A Better Deal: Tools to Succeed in the 21st Century, Democrats’ bold agenda to create and empower the next generation of innovators and workers. Speaker Pelosi has been a leading force for progress to modernize America’s pre-K to 12th grade education system so that every child can thrive in the modern economy, making history by passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, which expands the footprint of STEM education and ensuring that the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was finally signed into law after years of partisan gridlock. 

For decades, Speaker Pelosi has been a champion of efforts to bring inclusion and opportunity to STEM initiatives, advancing efforts to expand STEM to include the arts and helping increase access to STEM-career pathways for underrepresented students, including girls and students of color, by strengthening investments and bolstering pipelines from Minority Serving Institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to in-demand industries. She secured key priorities for inclusion and access to STEM in the recent passage and overhaul of career technical education, including aligning curricula with industry needs, re-engaging disconnected youth into CTE opportunities, expanding the integration of technology in the classroom, and targeting funding towards vulnerable student populations. The Speaker has also long supported expanding the reach of community colleges and followed through on that promise in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act by securing groundbreaking policy and funding to help workers and employers, particularly in the internet and technology community, close the skills gap. 

It is her strong and steady leadership that has secured historic funding levels over the last 30 years in education, from STEAM to work-based learning initiatives. As Congress rewrites our nation’s higher education policies, Speaker Pelosi will continue to advance her storied legacy of fighting to better align higher education with workforce needs, without undermining quality, by expanding Pell Grants to short term and quality credential programs and bolstering community colleges to make lifelong learning a reality. 

She has long been a powerful force for innovation, job creation, and growth, and made history as she spearheaded the America COMPETES Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007 as well as its reauthorization in 2010. This transformative legislation invested billions into scientific research and created the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). Speaker Pelosi is a steadfast defender of a free and open internet who led passage of strong, enforceable net neutrality legislation in the House this year.

“As the first female Speaker of the House and a representative of the Innovation Capital of the World, we are thrilled that Speaker Pelosi graciously agreed to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award for her sustained leadership on STEM education for the next generation of American tech leaders,” said IA President and CEO Michael Beckerman. “The internet industry admires Speaker Pelosi’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that STEM education opportunities are available to underserved communities all across the country.” 
Over the past two years, Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump has focused on closing the skills gap so that all Americans are prepared to compete for the jobs of today and tomorrow. She spearheaded efforts to direct the Department of Education to devote at least $200 million in grants annually to the promotion of high-quality STEM education, in particular computer science, and galvanized the private sector to commit an additional $300 million to Computer Science education programs. She championed the modernization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, making more than $1 billion available for in-demand career and technical education programs and reaching more than 11 million students in high schools and community colleges. Ms. Trump helped launch the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative and steer the bipartisan National Quantum Initiative Act into law, both aimed at increasing our nation’s prosperity, enhancing our national and economic security, and improving quality of life for the American people. She co-chairs the White House’s National Council for the American Worker, consisting of 14 federal agencies tasked with developing a national workforce strategy to ensure that America’s students and workers have access to affordable education and job training that will prepare them for the industries of the future and changing nature of work. She is also leading the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, made up of bipartisan leaders from industry, education, and government to rethink education delivery, promote multiple pathways to good paying jobs, and improve data to better match Americans with in-demand and growing industries. 

“Expanding computer science education opportunities to all Americans is a top priority for the Trump Administration and the internet industry alike. Thanks to Ms. Trump’s leadership, we have seen bipartisan support for increased opportunities and we are excited to present her with an Internet Freedom Award at this year’s gala,” said Beckerman. “The Internet Freedom Award recognizes Ms. Trump’s extraordinary contributions to public policy and the internet economy. We look forward to working together with Ms. Trump on our shared goal of expanding the computer science education pipeline and closing the skills gap for computing jobs in today’s economy.” 

As the internet and tech sectors continue to innovate and add jobs to the workforce, in every sector, the internet industry is committed to ensuring all young Americans have the opportunity to succeed in a digital economy. Over the last six years, IA has raised over half a million dollars for STEM education programs at After-School All-Stars, which provides free after-school programs to over 90,000 students at 460 Title I schools in 19 U.S. markets. ASAS equips students in under-resourced schools with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. In addition to standards-aligned academic support, ASAS provides enrichment classes in areas such as coding, robotics, audio and video production, drone engineering, and creative circuitry.