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Lori Adams

VP of Broadband Policy and Funding Strategy - Nokia



Nominee Questionnaire

Please provide a short bio for voters to get to know you. Lori Adams currently serves as Vice President of Broadband Policy & Funding Strategy for Nokia and is a key member of the Nokia Government Affairs Americas Team. Adams is a highly skilled telecommunications attorney and senior executive with more than twenty years’ experience and a successful track record in the government and private sector. This includes extensive experience with business development, federal, state, and local telecommunications issues, legal and regulatory matters, grant funding, municipal broadband, strategic planning, project management for large complex projects, public policy, government affairs, lobbying and public speaking. Adams has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the American University, is an honors graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and resides in Boulder Colorado with a blended family of 4 kids, 1 dog and 1 cat. Interests include the Boston Red Sox, fantasy football, all things Scotland and hiking as much as possible.
Please explain why you consider yourself an excellent candidate for the Board of Directors of the Fiber Broadband Association. I am running for the Board of the Fiber Broadband Association because I believe that every American can and should have affordable access to high-speed fiber broadband.

I am an attorney and have been in the broadband industry since 2002. I have built fiber networks. I have worked with the most rural communities to find fiber broadband solutions to close their digital divide and I understand the challenges we face in reaching every unserved location across our country. Fiber Broadband is my passion. At Nokia, I am part of the government affairs team but spend most of my time working with our business groups and sales teams to implement our broadband strategy. In my role, I was part of the core team that spent 18 months and thousands of hours to figure out a way to onshore fiber broadband access products to meet the Buy America requirements that are part of the BEAD program. Nokia’s Buy America announcement on August 3rd with the Vice President and Secretary of Commerce was the culmination of our efforts.

Over my twenty-plus years in the industry, I have established deep relationships across all sectors including federal and state policy makers. I actively participate as a speaker on panels at conferences and events including many FBA events. I have briefed the press, testified before legislative bodies, authored articles and contributed content to blogs and other publications. It is my job at Nokia to focus on all the federal broadband funding program, establish relationships with state broadband offices and federal agencies to advocate for fiber first policies and programs to close our digital divide with the best and most future-proof technology.

I also have 8 years of experience serving on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors or NATOA which is a national member-based organization that represents local government interests in telecommunications. In that capacity as a Board Member, I made significant contributions to the organization including co-chairing the broadband committee, serving on the annual conference committee for over a decade and participating in federal, state and local advocacy on behalf of the organization.

My extensive experience across all sectors in the industry mean that I will be able to hit the ground running for the Board of FBA and will be positioned to have an impact on day one.

How many years has your company been a Fiber Broadband Association Member? Alcatel, now Nokia was a founding member of the FTTH council more than twenty years ago.
How many years have you participated in Fiber Broadband Association activities? Over a decade
Please indicate any Fiber Broadband Association Committees or working groups you have participated on including position and years served. None officially. However, I have been actively engaged with FBA policy discussions and efforts surrounding the Buy America mandate.
Please list any Fiber Broadband Association Contributions (activities supported, assets developed, documents drafted, webinars presented, etc.) I have been attending FBA events for over a decade. Most recently this includes speaking on a keynote panel at the 2022 Fiber Connect, participating as an exhibitor at the FBA Lobby Day event on Capitol Hill in March of 2023, speaking as a panelist on 3 sessions at the 2023 Fiber Connect and speaking as a panelist at the Regional Workshop in Minneapolis on October 24, 2023.
As noted, I have been actively engaged with FBA policy discussions and efforts surrounding the Buy America mandate.
How many years have you been in your current position? 21 months
Describe your current job and functional responsibilities. Currently, I am the Vice President of Broadband Policy & Funding Strategy at Nokia. In my role I am responsible for developing strategies and tools to enable increased company participation in state, federal, and international funding programs supporting infrastructure deployment by Nokia’s business organizations. I work closely with the fixed network product team, the sales organization and partner organization in North America in supporting internal teams and customers. I prepare collateral documents and decks to support customer engagement and offer guidance on strategy surrounding federal funding programs. I was directly involved in Nokia’s 18-month effort and negotiations with the federal government to identify fiber-based products for onshoring in the United States to meet the Buy America mandate. I lead the public policy efforts for broadband including preparing comments to federal agencies on such topics as Buy America and NTIA’s Middle Mile and BEAD Programs. I lead our state advocacy efforts establishing relationships with all the state broadband offices and preparing and submitting comments to each states’ BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 2.
What was your previous position? Director of Commercial and Market Development for Render Networks
How many years did you hold your previous position for? 18 months
Do you have experience as a member of a Board of Directors? Yes
If you answered yes, please provide the entity, the number of years served, and the officer position held. The National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors or NATOA is a national member-based organization that represents local government interests in telecommunications. I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for 2 consecutive two-year terms, two different times from 2010-14 and 2016-2020.
The bylaws prohibit convicted felons from serving on the board. Is there any legal impediment that would prevent you from serving on the Board? No
Is there any legal issue personally of which the Association should be aware? No
Being a Fiber Broadband Association Board Member requires a considerable time commitment. Please confirm that you have the support of your company if you are elected. Yes
Please provide a short overview of your experience with telecommunications, fiber optics, and FTTH technologies. I started my career in the industry over twenty years ago working for the government affairs team at Comcast before being appointed to the position of Cable Administrator for Howard County, Maryland. In that role, I advised the County Executive and County Council on telecommunications and broadband issues, managed the cable franchises and represented the County before state and federal agencies. During my tenure with Howard County, I helped to create a consortium of 9 local government consortiums that banded together to apply for a $115M Middle Mile BTOP grant funded fiber network across the state of Maryland. I wrote the One-Maryland grant application on behalf of the consortium and then directed the initiative which completed on time and under budget.

Following the successful completion of the One-Maryland project, I spent almost a decade working as a consultant for Vantage Point Solutions and a few other companies, helping the most rural communities find fiber broadband solutions in unserved and underserved areas. Many of those communities like Taylor County Wisconsin, did in fact move forward to build fiber infrastructure with a service provider partner they desperately needed for their communities.

At Nokia, I work closely with our product teams in Fixed Networks on policies and initiatives to expand the deployment of fiber-based networks.

Please describe the goals you would like to accomplish during your term as Fiber Broadband Association Board Member. As a member of the Board of FBA, I would work closely with the Policy committee to leverage the deep relationships I have with state broadband offices and federal agencies to continue to advocate for fiber first policies and programs to close our digital divide with the best and most future-proof technology. Specifics short-term goals include advocating to the states for fiber as the choice of technology for BEAD and ensuring that ACP is continued to be funded by the federal government.

As someone who also has strong relationships across all sectors in industry, I will work to bring in more members to ensure that FBA is representative of the biggest and smallest providers. I understand the valuable role committees play in furthering the mission of the organization- and look forward to doing the hard work required to grow and strengthen the organization.

Have you reviewed the Board of Directors’ Responsibilities document, and do you understand what is required? Yes
Please describe the level of commitment (in terms of time and effort) that you intend to make to the Association during the three-year term. I would make the FBA Board a top priority including actively participating in all events and meetings and serving on committees. I also pledge to work closely with the organization to support the development of FBA comments, letters, and other collateral and documents needed for the FBA to continue to be a leading voice in the development and defense of fiber-first network policies.
Please inform us of any other information, issue, or concern of which the Association should be aware. None