On November 9, 2015, the Secretary of Commerce unveiled the Department of Commerce's new Digital Economy Agenda, which will help businesses and consumers realize the potential of the digital economy to advance growth and opportunity. The Agenda focuses on four key objectives: promoting a free and open Internet worldwide; promoting trust online; ensuring access for workers, families, and companies; and promoting innovation. To support the Agenda, the Secretary of Commerce has directed the creation of a Digital Economy Board of Advisors to enable the Department to have a mechanism for receiving regular advice from leaders in industry, academia, and civil society.
The Board's primary duty will be to provide independent advice and recommendations to the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, on a broad range of policy issues impacting the digital economy. The Board will serve as a centralized forum for gathering consensus input from a wide range of stakeholders and experts. The Board's mission is to provide advice in furtherance of increasing domestic prosperity, improving education, and facilitating participation in political and cultural life through the application and expansion of digital technologies.
The Board's advice will focus on ensuring that the Internet continues to thrive as an engine of growth, innovation, and free expression. In carrying out its duties, the Board's activities may include, but are not limited to:
- Gathering information and providing an analysis of challenges related to the global free flow of information on the Internet, including policies that could restrict cross-border information flows;
- Providing advice on other policy matters that impact the digital economy, such as expanding broadband capacity, enhancing cybersecurity, protecting privacy, and examining the role of intermediaries;
- Promoting the development of new digital technologies; and
- Analyzing the impact of the Internet on job growth and the economy as a whole.
The Department will use the advice provided by the Board to inform its decision-making process and advance Administration goals.
The Assistant Secretary will review the nominations and make recommendations to the Secretary for appointments. Among other factors, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary will consider nominees' experience and knowledge of digital economy issues in addition to:
- Educational background (e.g., advanced degree in engineering, economics, law, business, or public policy);
- Professional experience and accomplishments (e.g., nature of work, job function, projects, or publications); and
- Current employment and membership in associations (e.g., technology developers, manufacturers, academia, civil society, service providers with customers in domestic and international markets).
A nominee will also need to certify that he or she is not:
- A registered federal lobbyist pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.); and
- An agent of a foreign principal required to register pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended (22 U.S.C. 611 et seq.).
Members of the Board will be appointed as Special Government Employees (SGEs). As SGEs, members must comply with certain federal conflict of interest statutes and ethics regulations, including some financial disclosure requirements. Nominations should state that the nominee has been consulted and is willing to serve as a Special Government Employee.
To permit evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest, selected candidates will be asked to provide information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations of the Board.
All appointments will be made without regard to political affiliation or discrimination on the basis of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status.
Applicants must submit nominations electronically using the online form. All nominations must provide the following information:
- A letter of nomination stating the full name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination, and the nominee's field(s) of expertise;
- A biographical sketch of the nominee and/or a copy of his/her curriculum vitae; and
- If applicable, the name, return address, email address, and daytime phone number at which the nominator can be contacted.
Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals. Professional associations and other organizations may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership on the Board.
Nominations must be submitted electronically using the online nomination formon or before midnight Eastern Standard Time on December 23, 2015.
For further information, please refer to the Federal Register Notice announcing the establishment of the Board and calling for nominations.
Questions may be directed to Evelyn Remaley, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), at (202) 482-3821 or DEBA@ntia.doc.gov.