Michael J. Copps Named Acting FCC Chairman
On Thursday, January 22, President Barack Obama named current FCC Commissioner Michael Copps as Acting Chairman of the Commission. Last week, sources close to the President mentioned Julius Genachowski would be nominated as Chairman. Copps will serve as Acting Chairman until a new Commissioner/Chairman is confirmed.
"I am honored to be designated as Acting Chairman of the FCC," Copps said in a statement released by the FCC. "I thank President Obama for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve. I know that I have a truly gifted and terrific team to work with. I pledge every effort I am capable of to help steer the Commission through its current transition to new leadership."
ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, congratulated Copps on his appointment. "Whenever we have sought a meeting with him or his staff, his door has always been open to us," he said.
Currently serving a second term as FCC Commissioner, Copps began his first term with the Commission in 2001. Before his appointment to the FCC, he served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the US Department of Commerce, where he was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Basic Industries. Copps came to Washington in 1970, joining the staff of Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and served for more than a decade as his Chief of Staff. He has also held positions at a Fortune 500 company and at a major trade association. Before coming to Washington, Copps was a professor of American history at Loyola University of the South. He received a BA from Wofford College and earned a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Upon being sworn for his second term as FCC Commissioner in 2006, Copps said that "The last four and a half years have been tremendously transformative for the world of telecommunications and the media. The future holds even greater challenge. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the Commission, with the Congress and with all the other stakeholders to help bring the most advanced, accessible and cost-effective communications system in the world to all American consumers."