63 minutes | May 23rd 2019

Jess George | Hope and Optimism - Ep. 98

Jess George is Government and Community Affairs Manager for Google Fiber in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jess works with government officials, community leaders, organizations and neighborhoods to advance innovation and address issues of access, opportunity and digital inclusion. Prior to joining Google Fiber, Jess worked for 15 years in the nonprofit field. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Latin American Coalition, North Carolina’s largest Latino immigrant integration and advocacy organization. She has served as director of the United Way of Central Carolinas. Jess earned a B.A. in International Politics from Penn State University.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in deploying new technologies, being an ally to immigrants, whether the personal is political, and living with hope and optimism.


  • Jess explains her role at Google Fiber and updates the roll-out of fiber optic deployment in the Charlotte market.
  • She addresses why high speed internet access is important and whether the internet is overrated.
  • She discusses bridging the digital divide, the negative impacts of device addiction, and where we are going with the advent of new internet-based technologies.
  • Jess shares what she is obsessed with, the town she grew up in, and how her parents’ values and career choices influenced her.
  • She reveals wanting to be Nancy Drew, Mata Hari, an intrepid reporter and a spy, recites a poem her godfather wrote about her, and tells a defining story about interacting with bullies.
  • Jess talks about moving from Tully, NY to Uniontown, PA during her senior year of high school, attending Penn State University, and a pivotal internship in Paris.
  • She discusses wanting to become an ally of immigrants, serving as executive director of the Latin American Coalition, the challenges and rewards of leading the organization, and whether ‘the personal is political.’
  • Jess shares her feelings about joining Google Fiber, what hope and optimism mean to her, and a poem by Hafiz about dropping keys to beautiful rowdy prisoners.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: Systems Intelligence

To learn more, visit On Life and Meaning