The Wireless Foundation Staff Bios
Athena Polydorou, Executive Director
As the Executive Director of The Wireless Foundation, Athena Polydorou is responsible for its charitable programs that enhance America’s communities through wireless technology. In addition to implementing and managing strategic initiatives at the intersection of mobile with health, education, safety and the environment, Athena builds and maintains cross-industry relationships that support the Foundation’s mission.
Prior to joining The Wireless Foundation, Athena was the director of Wireless Internet Development at CTIA-The Wireless Association®, where she was responsible for its mobile privacy and mHealth initiatives. In addition, Athena also managed the development and launch of the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB , the wireless industry’s campaign to provide parents with content information, ratings and tools to better manage their kids’ mobile applications usage. She was previously the wireless industry analyst for the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, where she directed various initiatives designed to help rural carriers bridge the digital divide in underserved communities and provide health, education and other vital services via fixed and mobile wireless technologies.
Athena earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Master of Arts in Telecommunication Policy from the George Washington University.
Ben Burkhardt, Manager, Programs
Ben Burkhardt is The Wireless Foundation’s Manager of Programs. He joined the Foundation in 2007, after working as Program Coordinator for the Eye Bank Association of America where he managed education and training programs for ophthalmologists and tissue donation technicians. Before that, Ben worked as Information Analyst at Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ben has a Bachelor of Science from Guilford College and graduated from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Ben enjoys bicycling, camping, gardening, and being outdoors whenever possible. He is an active volunteer with Everybody Wins!, a literacy mentorship program as well as Miriam’s Kitchen, a homeless shelter in downtown DC.
Shanée Meeks, Manager, Programs
Shanée J. Meeks is the Manager of Programs for The Wireless Foundation. She is responsible for the day to day operations of the Foundation’s philanthropic programs. Shanée joined the Foundation in June of 2012, after working as Coordinator for Regulatory Affairs of CTIA – The Wireless Association® where she managed the day to day operations and event logistics for CTIA trade shows, educational seminars and symposiums. Prior to joining CTIA, Shanée worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs as a Congressional Correspondence Assistant at the Federal Communications Commission. Shanée earned a Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She resides in Maryland with her husband and son.