In her public lectures, media interviews, and op-eds, Maya Wiley often speaks out against the “technological chasm” — the starkly uneven level of access to digital technology afforded to people of across the socio-economic spectrum — impacting the country.
She has spent her life and career fighting to narrow that divide.
As counsel to the Mayor of New York City, Maya Wiley led an effort to provide free high-speed wireless to the Queensbridge apartments, the largest public housing community in North America, and shepherded the launch of LinkNYC, an initiative transforming New York City’s old pay phones into Wi-Fi kiosks to create the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network.
As senior vice president for social justice at The New School, she founded the Digital Equity Laboratory, a project-based center that identifies and supports strategies to transform how technology is understood and used in order to drive racial, gender and economic equity.
It is for those reasons and more that Wiley was recently included in Apolitical‘s World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government in 2018. Wiley appears alongside other leaders such as Audrey Tang, Malcolm Turnbull, Martha Lane Fox and Tim Berners-Lee.
“The list is the first of its kind to show the full international spread of innovative work in the field, celebrating world-beating individuals from every continent,” according to the editors at Apolitical. “Public servants from all levels of government appear alongside representatives of the private and third sectors and academia. Everyone included has exerted outsize influence on the transition to digital governments, whether through policymaking, research, advocacy or other means. All of them work to ensure the services government provides make full use of the opportunities offered by digital technology — while avoiding the pitfalls.”
The 100 Most Influential People Working in Digital Government were curated from nominations from hundreds of digital government experts from leading organisations, including 14 national digital services, The Alan Turing Institute, the OECD, the UN, Future Cities Catapult, USAID, and the Open Government Partnership.
“People working in digital government often go unrecognized by the wider public, yet the work they do is vital as both the opportunities and risks of digital technologies increase,” said Apolitical CEO Robyn Scott. “It’s a been a joy to produce this list recognizing the most influential individuals in the field, including some incredible unsung heroes, from around the world.”