MCNC names Director of Innovation

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RTP nonprofit taps Phil Emer to grow the organization’s impact in emerging technologies and help drive investments in broadband and digital innovation throughout North Carolina

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (October 24, 2022) – MCNC has filled a new role aimed to drive the overall innovation strategy across the organization’s businesses, services, and operations. This senior position will be a key contributor to MCNC’s future, building on more than 40 years of technology leadership in North Carolina and defining a roadmap for growth and sustainability over the next decade.

Phil Emer, MCNC’s new senior director of innovation, has spent more than 30 years working at the intersections of network technology, research, academia, and business – splitting time between the public and private sectors throughout his career.

In the private sector, Emer has worked as a business development manager with Amazon Web Services (AWS), as an engineer with IBM, a technology executive with Carolina Broadband, and previously served in 2001 as Director of the Grid Technology Evaluation Center in MCNC’s Advanced Technologies Group, which led the development of one of the nation’s first scientific grid computing test beds, the N.C. Bioinformatics Grid. In the public sector, Emer directed voice, video, and data communications at NC State University and served as Senior Director of Technology Planning and Policy with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

“When we bring someone like Phil into MCNC it gives us an opportunity to see things in new and exciting ways,” said MCNC President and CEO Tracy Doaks. “Phil is a well-known, experienced professional deeply committed to the overall mission of MCNC. His approach to building collaborative relationships will showcase MCNC as a vibrant hub for innovation, growing access to advanced technology across North Carolina.

MCNC serves North Carolina by providing a statewide fiber-optic backbone, high-speed connectivity, consulting, cybersecurity, data center, network engineering, and other services to community anchor institutions, non-profit organizations, and commercial providers. Clients include education, non-profit health care, libraries, state and local government, research, public safety organizations, and more. MCNC will continue to build broadband infrastructure to ensure everyone in North Carolina – including communities of color, rural communities, and older citizens – have the access and skills they need to fully participate in today’s society.

“It’s an exciting time to join the MCNC team and to help build the organization’s innovation ecosystem,” said Emer. “There is a growing opportunity for emerging broadband, computing, cloud, cryptography and related technologies to play a significant and positive role in many communities, and I look forward to supporting the work to deploy technology solutions and expand opportunity throughout the state.”


About MCNC

MCNC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit client-focused technology organization. Founded in 1980, MCNC owns and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), one of America’s longest-running regional research and education networks. With over 40 years of innovation, MCNC provides high-performance services for education, research, libraries, healthcare, public safety, and other community anchor institutions throughout North Carolina. NCREN is the fundamental broadband infrastructure for over 850 of these institutions including all public K-20 education in North Carolina. As one of the nation’s premier middle-mile fiber backbone networks, MCNC leverages NCREN to customize protected Internet, cybersecurity services, and related applications for each client while supporting private service providers in bringing cost-efficient connectivity to rural and underserved communities in North Carolina.

Visit www.mcnc.org. MCNC Social: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn.

Editorial Contact

Jim Nester, MCNC Senior Director of Client Engagement & Marketing: (304) 552.6282 or jnester@mcnc.org

Noah Garrett, NGC Communications, on behalf of MCNC: (252) 423.1277 or press@mcnc.org

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