FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker to Leave FCC in June
On Thursday, May 12, FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker announced she would be leaving her post on June 3 -- just 27 days before her term expires -- creating a Republican vacancy on the Commission. Chairman Julius Genachowski, along with Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn are Democrats, while Commissioner Robert McDowell is a Republican. Only three sitting Commissioners may be members of the same political party.
Baker was nominated by President Barack Obama on June 25, 2009 and sworn in five weeks later. She filled the unexpired term of fellow Republican and former Chairman Kevin J. Martin who resigned in January 2009; her term is set to expire June 30, 2011.
Baker will join Comcast as its Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, NBCUniversal. “I’ve been privileged to serve in government for the past seven years under President Obama at the FCC and President Bush at NTIA, I’m excited to embark on a new phase of my career with Comcast and NBCUniversal,” Baker said in a statement released by Comcast.
In a statement released by the FCC, Baker said that she was “privileged to have had the opportunity to serve the country at a time of critical transformation in the telecommunications industry. The continued deployment of our broadband infrastructures will meaningfully impact the lives of all Americans. I am happy to have played a small part in this success. I depart most proud of our collective efforts to focus on long-term comprehensive spectrum reform. It is the most important step we can take to ensure our nation’s competitiveness in an increasingly interconnected world.”
FCC Chairman Genachowski said in a statement that he had been “privilege[d] to serve with Meredith Baker as the FCC has navigated the communications challenges of the 21st century. Meredith’s wonderful spirit, broad experience and deep policy acumen have made the FCC a more effective agency. She’s made our decisions smarter and our policies better. I wish her well in her new role at NBC Universal.”
Prior to being nominated by President Obama to the FCC, Baker served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Acting Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) under President George W. Bush. At NTIA, Baker advised and represented the Executive Branch on domestic and international telecommunications and information policy and administered the key program which facilitated the nation’s historic transition to digital television.
Before joining NTIA in 2004, Baker was Vice President at the firm of Williams Mullen Strategies where she focused on telecommunications, intellectual property and international trade issues. She has also held senior positions with Covad Communications and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.
Baker holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington & Lee University and a law degree from the University of Houston. She is a member of the Texas State Bar and worked at the US Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit in Houston and with the law firm of DeLange and Hudspeth.