Mario Acosta-Velez is Director of State Government Affairs for Verizon Mid –Atlantic Region. He manages relations with customers, employees, government, community partners, business organizations, and stakeholders with a focus on building alliances to promote public policies that are consistent with Verizon’s goals and objectives. In this capacity, Mario also manages Verizon’s foundation giving, corporate social responsibility, community involvement and government affairs initiatives in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and has implemented several Verizon’s strategic community outreach programs in diverse communities including high-visibility STEM education partnerships and consumer technology education initiatives that increased the company visibility as a good corporate citizen and technology leader in the region. Mario currently serves as the National President of GLOBE of Verizon, a company-wide LGBT employee resource group, and works closely with the company to advance LGBT diversity and inclusion, build community partnerships, and increase employee engagement. Mario currently serves in a mayoral appointment to the District of Columbia Mayor’s Age-Friendly DC Task Force, in which he leads an initiative to promote age-friendly businesses. He served as Chairman of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, served on the board of Leadership Greater Washington, and currently serves on the GALA Hispanic Theater board of directors. In 2014, Mario received the Washington Business Journal Minority Business Award and was featured as a Hispanic executive and leader in the national Hispanic Executive Magazine. He is also recipient of the 2009 Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers award by the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility. Mario previously served as Human Rights Commissioner with the District of Columbia’s Commission of Human Rights from 2002-2008 and on the Mayor’s Workforce Investment Council from 2000-2008. In 2008, the Council of the District of Columbia honored Mario with a ceremonial resolution in recognition of his contributions in public service and leadership. He is a graduate of the Harvard University’s 2005 Senior Executives in State and Local Government program, and holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and an MPA and a BA in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico.