Our Leadership Team
Previously the Vice President of Policy and General Counsel for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Francella is a digital rights advocate who is committed to expanding access for unserved and underserved communities. Francella has worked on a variety of technology and telecommunications issues with a specific focus on assessing the impact of policy proposals on marginalized communities. Having worked for more than a decade with government and public interest organizations, she understands the challenges associated with getting various stakeholders to agree on connectivity solutions. Francella helps policymakers and lawmakers understand how broadband access can change socioeconomic outcomes and revitalize communities. It motivates her work to ensure that state and local leaders are given every opportunity to resolve their own connectivity issues and have a voice in shaping federal policies.
Francella is based in Washington, DC and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She earned a B.S. in Marketing from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and a J.D. from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.
Over the course of 12 years as a nonprofit professional, Abbie has proven success in fundraising, event management, financial planning, and database administration primarily for tech-focused nonprofits: from advocacy organizations to capacity builders to workforce development. She has overseen corporate and foundation giving, and launched and managed major donor programs, securing multiple five- and six-figure gifts from all three verticals. Abbie is a recipient of Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate, and has earned her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University, Master of Philosophy from American University, and Bachelor of Philosophy from Mount Saint Mary’s University. She is a lifelong resident of the Washington, DC area.
Lukas is a current Master of Public Policy student at Georgetown University where his work focuses on broadband policy, digital inclusion, and technology policy. He is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where he received a B.A. in Media Studies and completed work in local government solutions to the digital divide. As Membership Manger, Lukas works to ensure that every member of Next Century Cities is being provided with the most up-to-date resources and guidance in leading their communities towards a digital future.
Our Advisory Board
Our Advisory Board is comprised of policy leaders from member communities and organizations across the country. The Board offers valuable guidance on issues relating to Next Century Cities policies. Find our full Advisory Board here.