Broadband initiative aimed to 'change people's lives'

Monday - 9/12/2011, 9:14am EDT

Many federal employees work to keep the machinery of government running smoothly — a noble task.

Some federal employees want to "change people's lives."

That's how Julius Knapp, chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology at the Federal Communications Commission, characterized the work of an FCC team that was tasked with setting broadband policy.

Knapp, along with FCC colleagues Ruth Milkman and Sharon Gillett, helped lead the FCC task force that created the National Broadband Plan, which aimed to give all Americans access to high-speed Internet service.

Knapp and the team's work — which they described as "connecting all corners of the nation" — have earned them a spot as a Service to America Medal finalist in the Citizen Services category.

Knapp, a 36-year FCC veteran, joined the Federal Drive to discuss the broadband initiative as well as advice for other federal employees who aspire to be leaders.

Hear all of our interviews with the 2011 SAMMIES finalists.