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Internet Association To Honor Three With The Internet Freedom Award At Annual Gala

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Internet Association announced Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen will be honored with the 2017 Internet Freedom Award, Internet Association’s highest recognition for excellence in public service. The gala will feature a fireside chat with Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos.

“These award recipients champion the internet’s vital role in today’s economy, pursuing and implementing policies that foster innovation, opportunity, and jobs across the sector and the nation,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman. “Their collective efforts drive the growth of the internet economy and empower millions of Americans through the preservation of a free and open internet. On behalf of the world’s leading internet companies, Internet Association is honored to present Speaker Ryan, Senator Warner, and acting Chairman Ohlhausen with the Internet Freedom Award.”

Speaker Ryan has demonstrated a strong commitment to the internet as a driver of economic success by supporting trade policies that put U.S. internet companies on equal footing in the competitive global digital economy. He has been a strong proponent of ensuring access to high-skilled workers critical to the tech sector’s continued success in America.

Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen has been a thought leader in tech policy for two decades, approaching her work at the FTC with regulatory humility and a deep understanding of the competitive dynamics that shape the internet economy. While at the FTC, she has focused her efforts on removing barriers to competition and creating opportunities for new businesses to thrive.

Senator Warner is a leading advocate for American startups, and has coauthored the Startup Act, which proposed the creation of a new entrepreneur’s visa program to promote business and job creation in the U.S. as well as separate legislation aimed at allowing startups to support and reward employees. He also supported a balanced approach to national security issues through his leadership of the McCaul – Warner Commission and has been a leading voice for the opportunities that exist in the gig economy.

The award recipients will be honored at the Internet Association’s Fourth Annual Charity Gala on May 2 in Washington, D.C. Proceeds from the event will benefit After-School All-Stars, a free after-school STEM education program that serves more than 72,000 low-income and at-risk youth in 17 cities nationwide.