Becky Lentz is an accomplished scholar, educator and strategist with more than 30 years of combined experience in the public, private and third sectors. Her research and teaching at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service focuses on technology's impact on society, with an interest in technology's socioeconomic dimensions and implications as it relates to advancing digital rights, equity, justice and inclusion. Dr. Lentz is designing an initiative to highlight the role of philanthropic actors in agenda setting and policy advocacy to promote human-centered applications of digital technologies.
The Ford Foundation named her its first full-time program officer for media policy and technology in 2001. There she designed and implemented an initiative supporting public interest-oriented media and technology infrastructures and greater public participation in policy change, investing more than $32 million in national and international projects. As Faculty at McGill University between 2008–19, she developed a multidisciplinary concentration in media governance as part of the university's Communication Studies program before returning to Austin in 2020.
Dr. Lentz currently serves as a City Fellow with UT's Equitable and Regenerative Cities Flagship Project as part of Planet Texas 2050, which provides recommendations on Resilience Hubs in Austin. She also completed a preliminary review of the City of Austin’s Grant for Technology Opportunities Program (GTOPs), and was selected for UT's 2022-23 cohort of The OpEd Project's Public Voices Fellowship at UT Austin.
Selected publications include Civil Society in the Digital Age published by Oxford University Press; Media Infrastructure and Media Policy Activism in the Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media; a co-edited book published by the UT Press, Inequity in the Technopolis: Race, Class, Gender, and the Digital Divide in Austin, among other publications related to Tech & Society.