M.A., Western Kentucky University

B.S., Campbellsville College

Senior Executive Program, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Hilda serves as a consultant to Wiley Rein LLP. She is a former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and a prominent broadband advocate and champion. She specializes in strategy development and deployment, with emphasis on economic development in rural communities. Hilda has assisted firm clients in obtaining approximately $450 million in broadband stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Professional Experience

  • Consultant, Legg Strategies (2005-2009)
    • Served as a Rural Advocate for ubiquitous broadband deployment in the regulatory, financial, and public policy arenas. Served as a public relations advisor for telecommunications strategies toward Federal Communications Commission (FCC) compliance
    • Serves as Vice-Chair, Broadband Properties Magazine. Encouraging buildout of high-speed nationwide broadband connectivity
    • Advised on a national marketing effort for Connect Kentucky, a public/private partnership aimed at encouraging broadband development, ultimately at a national level. Promoted the need to identify/map broadband existence, launch local plans to drive Internet usage, and build alliances with telecommunications providers and others
  • Administrator, Rural Utilities Service (2001-2005). Headed $9 billion agency administering loans and grants for the infrastructure needs of rural America through telecommunications and other programs
    • Spearheaded new programs and developed rules/regulations
    • Managed electricity program including generation, transmission, and distribution projects
    • Initiated the first telecommunication/electricity alliance to develop non-traditional loan applications
    • Allocated first-time funding for renewable energy
  • Executive Director and CEO, The Center for Rural Development (1994-2001). Assisted in the development and implementation of a telecommunication program designed to maximize technology hardware in rural communities throughout Kentucky
  • Alternate Federal Co-Chairman, Appalachian Regional Commission (1990-1993). Promoted economic policies for the region; assisted in the management of a $190 million budget aimed at building infrastructure and other programs relative to rural economic development


  • U.S. Department of Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (2006-Present)