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Matt Dunne

Center on Rural Innovation
Founder, Executive Director
Matt Dunne is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center on Rural Innovation, a non-profit "action-tank" dedicated to fostering digital economies in rural Americathrough research, thought leadership, and on-the-ground programming. His recent op-ed in WIRED explains how small town ingenuity has enabled the proliferation of fiber broadband across rural areas.
Previously, Matt served 11 years in the Vermont House and Senate, enacting the state’s first broadband grants, brownfields revitalization funding, and downtown redevelopment program. He helped grow a VT-based software company to over 100 people and was Associate Director of the Rockefeller Center on Public Policy at Dartmouth College.
In 1999 Matt was appointed Director of AmeriCorps*VISTA under President Clinton, where he led PowerUp, one of the first national efforts to bridge the digital divide, and launched an Entrepreneur Corps to focus on micro-finance in high-need communities.
In 2007, he started Google’s Community Affairs division out of a former bread factory in White River Jct, VT, where he led all local US philanthropy and engagement, including the Google Fiber rollout and orchestrating educational and development initiatives in Google’s data center communities across rural America.
Matt has a BA from Brown University, and also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab. He is a lifelong Vermonter who lives on the 100-acre farm where he was raised.