President Obama Announces Nomination of Mignon Clyburn for New Term as FCC Commissioner
On June 6, President Barack Obama announced that he will nominate Mignon Clyburn for a new term as one of five FCC Commissioners. Clyburn, a Democrat, came to the Commission in August 2009, filling the unexpired term of Republican Deborah Taylor Tate, whose tenure as a Commissioner came to a close in January 2009 when the Senate failed to confirm her nomination. Clyburn’s current term expires June 30.
“In renominating Commissioner Clyburn, President Obama has made an outstanding choice for the Commission and for the American people,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a written statement. “As I know from working with her for the past several years, Commissioner Clyburn is a strong leader, focused on helping all Americans harness the benefits of broadband. I congratulate her.”
Prior to joining the FCC, Clyburn -- the daughter of Assistant Democratic Party Leader of the United States House of Representatives James Clyburn (D-SC) -- served on the Public Service Commission of South Carolina for 11 years. The Public Service Commission regulates South Carolina’s investor owned public utilities, including providers of telecommunications services. Before her election to that body, she spent 14 years as the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.
In 1998, Clyburn was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly as a Commissioner to represent the Sixth Congressional District; she was re-elected three times, chairing the Commission from 2002-2004. She is a past chair of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and served as the chair of the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Clyburn also served on NARUC’s Audit Committee and Utilities Market Access Partnership Board.
For much of this year, the FCC has been operating with just three commissioners: Robert McDowell, Genachowski and Clyburn. Both Genachowski and Clyburn are Democrats; McDowell is a Republican. Last month, two new Commissioners -- Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Pai -- were sworn in, bringing the Commission to full strength. Only three sitting Commissioners may be members of the same political party, and none can have a financial interest in any Commission-related business.