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Awardee Profiles - 2009

Rep. Rick Boucher, Freedom of Speech Award
Gary Shapiro, American Horizon Award

Rep. Rick Boucher, Recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award

Congressman Rick Boucher is serving his 14th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Ninth Congressional District of Virginia.

Rep. Boucher is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and chairs its Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.  He also serves on its Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.  In addition, Rep. Boucher is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.  He has been a leader in the effort to pass a federal “shield law” for reporters.   

Rep. Boucher originated the House Internet Caucus in 1996 and currently serves as one of two House co-chairmen of this group, numbering more than 180 members.  In this position he is a leading architect of federal policy for information technology and the Internet.  In 1992, Rep. Boucher authored the law that allowed the first commercial traffic on the Internet.  His proposals to promote competition in the cable and local telephone industries are at the core of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Rep. Boucher’s “Showcasing Southwest Virginia” program has brought more than 4,800 technology-related jobs to his congressional district in recent years.

A native of Abingdon, Va., Rep. Boucher earned his bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College and his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School.  He has practiced law on Wall Street and in Virginia.  Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Boucher served for seven years as a member of the Virginia State Senate. 

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Gary Shapiro, Recipient of the American Horizon Award

Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association representing 2,000 consumer electronics companies.  The association owns and produces the continent’s largest annual trade show, the International CES.
 
Mr. Shapiro led the industry’s successful transition to high-definition television (HDTV).  He co-founded and chaired the HDTV Model Station and served as a leader of the Advanced Television Test Center.  He is a charter inductee of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers, and received its highest award as the industry leader most influential in advancing HDTV. 
 
Mr. Shapiro has led industry policy setting for more than 20 years.  He is passionate about innovation and now leads the CEA Innovation Movement focusing on free trade, immigration reform, a flexible workforce, and reduced federal deficits.  Mr. Shapiro is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy. 

For the past three years, The Hill named Mr. Shapiro one of the top advocates in Washington.  In 2007 and 2008, Washington Life magazine named him one of the 100 most influential persons in Washington. 
 
Previously, Mr. Shapiro was an associate at the law firm of Squire Sanders and also worked on Capitol Hill.  He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton.

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