Veneeth Iyengar

Veneeth Iyengar

Executive Director, Connect LA

Veneeth is the first executive director for the state of Louisiana's broadband efforts (also known as ConnectLa). He is responsible for coordinating efforts among federal, state and local leaders to eliminate the digital divide in Louisiana by 2029.

He and his team are considered thought leaders in the broadband community for their rapid scale up and execution of federal dollars to impact the 1.5 million residents in Louisiana who lack high speed internet. Louisiana's efforts have been recognized and he is often asked to speak at local and national events by the Pew Charitable Trusts, National Governors Association, Former FCC officials, Fiber Broadband Association, National Conference of State Legislators, US Department of Commerce's SelectUSA Summit, National Digital Inclusion Alliance and other organizations.

ConnectLa's work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Advocate, USA Today's network of newspapers and other leading telecom publications.

Their office has also been recognized nationally and among other states in the following ways:

  • #1 - Received approval from US Treasury for then plan to spend $176 Million in American Rescue Plan Dollars
  • #1 - Recipients of the first dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-Broadband/National Telecommunications and Information Administration
  • #1 - Per a May 6th, 2022 Wall Street Journal Article on adoption of the Affordable Connectivity Program on a per capita basis

From 2018-2021, he was the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome. During, the parish saw the best year in history for economic development projects. His role included proactive outreach to executives from leading tech, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, articulating the case for Baton Rouge as an investment destination. In addition, he was involved in the lifecycle of Economic Development deals and he led the administration's response in helping small business owners during the pandemic.

Veneeth was asked by Governor John Bel Edwards to co-chair his Resilient Louisiana Healthcare Task Force, which included the CEOs of Ochsner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. The task force recommended approaches to create an innovative healthcare economy given the challenges posed by the pandemic. Prior to his time as a public servant, Veneeth helped build the Venture Capital/Private Equity healthcare practice for Sage Growth Partners and worked in the Office of the Honorable Robert Mosbacher Jr., former CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation under President George W. Bush.

Veneeth received the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service in 2022, 2020 Leadership Louisiana Recipient by the Council for a Better Louisiana and 2018 Forty under 40 in Baton Rouge by the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report.

He is on Ochsner's Health State Advisory Board with the focus of significantly improving the healthcare rankings in the state, Board of Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation and Chairman for Innovation Catalyst, a non-profit evergreen investment based in Baton Rouge that has made more than a dozen investments startups.

He received his Master of Science in finance from Johns Hopkins University and his Bachelor of Science in economics from Purdue University. Veneeth grew up in Baton Rouge and attended Baton Rouge High School.


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