About USAC

Leadership

Executive Team

The USAC executive team brings experience from the regulatory and business sectors involved in universal service program activities.

Chris Henderson, CEO
Richard Belden, COO
Mel Blackwell, VP Schools and Libraries Program
David Case, VP and CFO
Craig Davis, VP Rural Health Care Program
Michelle Garber, VP Lifeline Program
Kate Hays, VP Stakeholder Engagement
Chera Poulin, VP People, Culture, and Change
Vickie Robinson, VP and General Counsel
Hemang Shah, VP Strategy and Change Management
Wayne Scott, VP Internal Audit
Mark Sweeney, VP High Cost Program
Peter Taylor, VP and CIO
Jessica Zufolo, Senior Advisor to the CEO

Chris Henderson, CEO

Chris Henderson was appointed by the USAC Board of Directors, with approval from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, as USAC's Chief Executive Officer on September 3, 2014. Mr. Henderson was previously the Chief Operating Officer of ASI Government, a leading provider of acquisition and program management-related consulting and information services to the federal government.

Mr. Henderson also served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, where he led the department's successful execution of its $3 billion Recovery Act program. Mr. Henderson also played a leading role in the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service following the Gulf Oil Spill, improving oversight of offshore energy development and collection of over $10 billion in energy royalties annually.

Prior to joining the Department of the Interior, Mr. Henderson served as the Chief Operating Officer for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, where he worked to improve the city's strategic planning and performance management efforts, as well as carried out a number of successful organizational initiatives to improve efficiency and service levels.

Mr. Henderson joined the Hickenlooper Administration following a 15-year career in investment banking and private equity investing. The last 13 years of that career were spent with Vestar Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm. At Vestar, he served as a managing director and member of the firm's investment committee. Prior to joining Vestar, he spent two years with the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group.

Mr. Henderson received a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado.

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Richard Belden, COO

Richard A. Belden joined USAC in May 2005 as Chief Operating Officer. He was general manager of Micron Technology in Manassas, VA. Before that, he was president and chief operating officer at Dominion Semiconductor also in Manassas.

Prior to moving to Northern Virginia, he worked for IBM as Manager of investment analysis, in New York and as Controller of the Software Solutions Division in North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Advisory Boards for the Engineering Departments of University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

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Mel Blackwell, VP Schools and Libraries Program

Mel Blackwell is the Vice President of the Schools and Libraries Program for USAC. Prior to joining USAC, he was Vice President of Federal Government Affairs for Lucent Technologies where he directed all of the federal legislative activities for the company. He has a wealth of experience in the telecommunications industry as he formerly held senior operations management positions with AT&T and the Bell system.

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David Case, VP and CFO

David Case is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer . Prior to joining USAC, he served as Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller of Simplexity, a leading on line retailer of wireless devices and plans. Prior to Simplexity, he served as Corporate Controller for MCI, as well as Senior Vice President of Business Operations, leading up to MCI's merger with Verizon. After that merger, he was responsible for developing the approach to consolidate the MCI and Verizon business unit functions, resulting in one streamlined organization. During this time, he also chaired the Finance Diversity Council, leading a group of volunteer professionals who partnered with Human Resources to establish targeted recruiting of diversity candidates, implemented a mentoring program, and sponsored diversity focus activities at all major field locations. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude in Finance, with an accounting concentration, from Monmouth College.

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Craig Davis, VP Rural Health Care Program

Craig Davis is the Vice President of the Rural Health Care Program for USAC. Most recently, he served as the Senior Director responsible for the High Cost Program. Prior to joining USAC in 2002, he worked for a variety of telecommunications companies including a dark fiber provider, a wireless competitive local exchange carrier, and an operator services provider. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law.

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Michelle Garber, VP Lifeline Program

Michelle Garber is the Vice President of the Lifeline Program. She most recently was the Senior Director of Financial Operations at USAC, which included managing all aspects of USF contributor activities. Prior to USAC, Michelle was a consultant in IBM's federal practice, formerly PwC Consulting.

Michelle earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from James Madison University.

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Kate Hays, VP Stakeholder Engagement

Kate Hays is the Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement. She is responsible for managing the ways USAC interacts with its many stakeholders, including financial contributors, program beneficiaries, service providers, external partners, government regulators, and the American public. Prior to joining USAC, she was COO and Senior Digital Strategist at Ogilvy Washington, where she led operations on major digital and social media accounts of corporate, governmental, and non-profit entities. Kate received her Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University.

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Chera Poulin, VP People, Culture, and Change

Chera Poulin serves as the Vice President of People, Culture, and Change. This role is new to the organization as of 2016 and was created to ensure that USAC continues to evolve intentionally and has the capability, capacity, and culture to support the FCC in its Universal Service mission. Her experience in change management and integrated talent management spans nearly 20 years and provides a strong foundation for her role at USAC. Chera is responsible for leading all talent, performance, process, and organizational change management activities necessary for USAC to achieve its strategic goals.

Prior to joining USAC, Chera worked as an Organizational Effectiveness consultant to organizations in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was the Director of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness at a rapidly growing and changing health care data analytics company. Chera holds a B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from University of Akron.

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Vickie Robinson, VP and General Counsel

Vickie Robinson is Vice President and General Counsel. Vickie joins USAC from the FCC having most recently served as Special Counsel in the Competition Policy Division, providing leadership on matters relating to the availability and reporting of broadband progress in the United States. A respected expert on universal service policy and enforcement matters, she has held leadership roles dealing with all of the USF programs, as well as in the Enforcement Bureau. Vickie earned her Bachelor of Arts and J.D. from Howard University.

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Hemang Shah, VP Strategy and Change Management

Hemang Shah is Vice President of Strategy and Change Management. Hemang began his career at Deloitte Consulting working with Fortune 500 clients and was most recently a Senior Director for Eagle Hill Consulting where he led numerous risk management, operational improvement and organizational transformation engagements with public and not-for-profit sector clients, including Freddie Mac, TSA and the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Hemang received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

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Wayne Scott, VP Internal Audit

Wayne Scott is the Vice President of Internal Audit. He oversees the audit services for USAC including the High Cost, Lifeline, Schools and Libraries, and Rural Health Care programs as well as the internal operations of the administration of the universal service fund. He has over a decade of audit experience. Prior to joining USAC in 2001, he served as an audit manager for US Airways.

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Mark Sweeney, VP High Cost Program

Mark Sweeney is the Vice President of the High Cost Program. Mark has a 30 year track record of successful operational leadership and business transformation in the telecom industry. He joins us from Windstream Communications where he served as Senior Vice President for Service Delivery leading a 1,200 person team focused on improving both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction results. Prior to that, he was the Chief Process Officer at XO Communications bringing standardization and efficiency to business processes across the enterprise. Mark is a graduate of the University of Sussex in the UK.

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Peter Taylor, VP and CIO

Peter Taylor is Vice President and Chief Information Officer. He brings a track record of achievement in both the public and private sectors. He joins us from Henrico County Public Schools where he served as Director of Technology and CIO. While in that role, he led the world's first K-12 education 1:1 computer program, putting computer access in the hands of all students. Prior to that, Pete held senior technology positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Capitol One, where he developed expertise in e-commerce tools, business intelligence, and enterprise architecture.

Pete received a BS of Liberal Arts & Sciences in Geography from the University of Florida and an MS in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce.

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Jessica Zufolo, Senior Advisor to the CEO

Jessica Zufolo is the Senior Advisor to the CEO. She is responsible for establishing key partnerships between USAC and stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels.

Prior to joining USAC, she served as Deputy Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), and prior to that, as Director of Infrastructure strategy and Grant coordination for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Ms. Zufolo has also served as the Legislative Director for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and began her career on Capitol Hill handling telecommunications, technology, and energy policy in the House and Senate.

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