Shubhika Agarwal started as a Visiting Coordinator for Broadband at the Office of Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation in June 2022. In this role, she is continuing her work in partnership with the Illinois Office of Broadband. She is focusing her efforts on positioning communities in Illinois to utilize upcoming federal funds for broadband planning and deployment. She plays an instrumental role in helping communities in Illinois identify their broadband needs, getting local leaders on board to use local funding for broadband developments, and identifying unserved and underserved areas through her assistance in various State Digital Equity Programs and broadband mapping efforts.
Before this, Shubhika was part of the Illini Science Policy Program operated by University of Illinois Extension. As part of the program, she worked with the Illinois Office of Broadband and the Office of Illinois Works at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. At Illinois Works, she addressed the concerns around an aging construction industry population in Illinois and the need for greater representation of minority communities and women in the construction industry. As part of this work, she collaborated with various state agencies to ensure they were compliant with the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act’s Apprenticeship Initiative.
Shubhika completed her Bachelor of Planning from the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, in her home country, India, and her Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Through the course of her academics and internships, Shubhika has worked on a variety of projects with a focus on planning for equitable housing, physical and social infrastructure, economic development, climate change, and sustainability. Shubhika has also completed an internship with the Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office in Urbana, Illinois.