Former FCC Official Mignon Clyburn and David L. Cohen of Comcast To Be Honored

FOR RELEASE: September 8, 2020

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., September 8, 2020 – A life-long civil rights defender and an industry leader in building Spanish-language media will present awards at The Media Institute’s “Free Speech America” Virtual Gala on Oct. 14.

Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) will present the Freedom of Speech Award to Mignon Clyburn, former FCC commissioner and acting FCC chair.

Cesar Conde, chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, will present the American Horizon Award to David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corp.

Rep. Butterfield is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Technology and serves on its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.  He is the Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and a past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Cesar Conde oversees NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, including editorial and business operations.  Previously, Mr. Conde was Chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.  He joined NBCUniversal in 2013.

David Cohen served as Comcast’s chief diversity officer and has spearheaded Comcast’s Internet Essentials program for low-income Americans.  Mignon Clyburn was known at the FCC as a strong consumer advocate who pushed for broadband and technology access for everyone.  Closing the “digital divide” has been a top priority for both awardees.

The “Free Speech America” Gala will take place in virtual format for the first time on Oct. 14.  FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr will deliver keynote remarks.  The master of ceremonies will be communications attorney and former FCC chairman Richard E. Wiley.

The theme of the evening will be “A Voice for Everyone,” recognizing the efforts of Mr. Cohen and Ms. Clyburn to promote inclusion and bring broadband and telecom access to Americans in all their diversity throughout the country.

The American Horizon Award recognizes an individual for visionary leadership in the communications industry.  The Freedom of Speech Award recognizes an individual who has worked to advance free speech and the First Amendment.

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The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.  Visit the Institute online at

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