Outgoing CEO Joe Kochan Joins the Board of Directors. Nancy Jemison Becomes Chief Financial Officer and Mari Silbey Steps Up as Program Director for the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Program

WASHINGTON, DC – May 26, 2021 – US Ignite’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Nick Maynard as the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Outgoing CEO Joe Kochan recently announced that he is stepping down as of the end of this month. Kochan, who helped launch US Ignite in 2012, has plans to establish a new wireless infrastructure business later this summer in partnership with cities across the country. As part of this transition, Kochan has been appointed to the Board of Directors, and Nancy Jemison has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

“Since the founding of US Ignite, Nick has helped to design and shape our growth strategy,” stated William Wallace, Executive Chairman of the Board. “Without a doubt, Nick’s long history with US Ignite, coupled with his technical expertise and visionary leadership, will ensure continued success in expanding broadband connectivity and smart city innovation.”


As CEO, Maynard will lead day-to-day operations at US Ignite, strengthening its public-private partnership programs to drive smarter community development and advance key network and sensor-based technologies. In addition to his early role building US Ignite’s smart community programs, Maynard has been instrumental more recently in establishing the organization’s expertise in technology testbeds at military bases and installations. These testbeds are designed both to improve safety and services on base and to help create a framework of best practices that will serve bases and smart communities across the country.

Prior to joining US Ignite, Maynard worked as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and as Assistant Director at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He was also a member of the National Broadband Taskforce while at the Federal Communications Commission.

US Ignite has also elevated Nancy Jemison to the position of CFO. Jemison brings over 30 years of private sector and federal program management expertise to the role, including her time as CFO and CIO at the Bureau of Indian Affairs where she managed IT, budget, accounting, procurement, and administrative operations for the $2.2 billion federal agency. Jemison will manage and oversee organizational finances and budgeting.

Mari Silbey takes over for Joe Kochan as Program Director for the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program, a $100 million program funded by the National Science Foundation and a consortium of 35 wireless companies and associations. Silbey has nearly two decades of experience in the telecom industry and will oversee PAWR programmatic operations as well as partnerships across the federal, academic, and commercial sectors.

“Over the past decade US Ignite has effectively united academic, government, and industry partners to advance the nation’s networking research and development capabilities,” Dr. Maynard stated. “I am confident that US Ignite will also continue on its important mission of aiding underserved communities in accelerating their economic development and local innovation.”


About US Ignite

US Ignite is a high-tech nonprofit with a mission to accelerate the smart community movement. We work to guide communities into the connected future, create a path for private sector growth, and advance technology research that’s at the heart of smarter development. For more information, visit www.us-ignite.org.