Appointment of the new Director of Broadband Development

The Missouri Department of Economic Development appointed BJ Tanksley as director of the Office of Broadband Development, the state’s lead agency responsible for expanding high-speed Internet access.

“Building on his work at the Missouri Farm Bureau, BJ brings considerable experience and understanding of Missouri’s broadband needs,” Governor Mike Parson said. “I look forward to seeing what he and his team will accomplish as we strive to increase broadband access to every corner of the state for hundreds of thousands of Missourians.”

Tanksley will lead the state’s efforts to implement Parson’s plan to invest more than $400 million in broadband across the state. The funding plans are expected to impact hundreds of thousands of Missourians and will be considered by the Missouri General Assembly this year.

“We are thrilled to welcome BJ to the team at this pivotal time for the expansion of broadband in our state,” said Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “Broadband expansion is key to connecting thousands of Missourians to online health care, learning and business opportunities.”

Tanksley previously served as director of state and local legislative affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau. In this role, he spearheaded the organization’s legislative activities, advocated for Missouri farmers, and encouraged the expansion of broadband to ensure Missourians have access to education, health care, and economic opportunity. quality. Tanksley has also worked with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and holds a degree in political science and a minor in environmental studies from Southeast Missouri State University.

“I am honored to lead the state’s efforts to expand broadband access, which is a truly life-changing prospect for communities across our state,” Tanksley said. “Throughout my career, I have advocated on behalf of the people of Missouri to ensure their prosperity. Broadband access is a necessity for healthcare, agriculture, education and more, and I’m excited to start working in this new capacity to connect citizens and improve their quality of life.

The Office of Broadband Development was created in 2018 to strengthen partnerships among stakeholders and align statewide efforts to improve broadband access. Since then, the Office of Broadband Development has successfully administered the state’s first broadband grant program, which awarded more than $3 million in grants to increase Missourians’ access to broadband. High-speed Internet. The office has also led efforts alongside Parson throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to make emergency investments in broadband to keep citizens connected at a critical time.

For more information on the Broadband Development Office, including the latest updates on expansion efforts and future funding opportunities, visit the Department of Economic Development website website.

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