Next Century Cities Welcomes New Team Members and Announces New Staff Roles

View a pdf of this press release here.

Contact: Brittany-Rae Gregory

Next Century Cities Welcomes New Team Members and Announces New Staff Roles


Washington D.C. (April 20, 2020) – Next Century Cities (NCC) announced today the addition of two new staff members as well as an internal staff role transition.

“As the coronavirus pandemic highlights the importance and urgency of broadband access, Next Century Cities will continue to work towards connecting every resident in every community. We have asked officials at all three levels of government to join our movement and continue to develop new partnerships to help effectuate that goal. 

Today, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Brittany-Rae and Ryan to the Next Century Cities team. Aside from having outstanding credentials, they both come from communities that continue to struggle with connectivity solutions and are committed to elevating local voices. Lukas has always been an asset to our organization and will continue to shine in his new role,” said Francella Ochillo, NCC’s Executive Director.

Brittany-Rae Gregory joins the Next Century Cities staff as Communications Director. In this capacity she will be responsible for media relations and managing communication strategies. Prior to joining the NCC staff, Brittany-Rae served as a press secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives. Brittany-Rae has also held communications roles within the federal government, nonprofit sector, corporate communications arena, and higher education realm. She recently taught in the communications departments at the University of Maryland and Howard University. 

Brittany-Rae completed her Doctorate of Philosophy in Communications, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University where she studied the intersection of urban development and higher education. Gregory received her Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Creative Writing from Wellesley College. 

Ryan Johnston joins Next Century Cities in the role of Policy Counsel and will manage NCC’s policy portfolio. Before coming to Next Century Cities, Johnston completed a legal fellowship with the Computer and Communications Industry Association where he focused on a range of issues including telecommunications, intellectual property, and data privacy. Additionally, he has worked for the Competition and Infrastructure Division at the Federal Communications Commission and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Ryan, a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, received his Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law where he served on the editorial board of the National Security Law Brief. Ryan completed his undergraduate degree at Franklin & Marshall College where he studied Government and Business Management.

With Next Century Cities, Lukas Pietrzak previously served as Membership Manager and has assumed a new role as Policy Associate. As Policy Associate, Lukas will continue to work with our members, elevating their voices in national connectivity discussions while connecting them to resources and opportunities that help achieve local connectivity goals.

Lukas has helped address technology policy issues for the last three years as a student, research assistant, and policy fellow. A recent graduate of the University of Virginia, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies and conducted research on local government solutions to the digital divide. Lukas is a Master of Public Policy student at Georgetown University where his work focuses on broadband policy, digital inclusion, and technology policy.



Next Century Cities is a non-profit organization of over 200 communities, founded to support communities and their elected leaders. Our membership includes mayors and other officials who are working to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable internet access. For more information, visit .

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