FCC Now Down to Three Commissioners
With the departure of Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell this past weekend, the FCC now only has three of its full complement of five Commissioners. Pending the Senate confirmation hearings for Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s pick to head the FCC, Obama has named Mignon Clyburn, the FCC’s ranking Democrat, to serve as Acting Chairwoman. The three remaining Commissioners -- Clyburn, fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Pai -- have almost six years of combined experience on the FCC.
Genachowski, a Democrat, and McDowell, a Republican, both announced in March that they would be leaving the FCC. Genachowski -- whose resignation from the FCC was effective Saturday, May 18 -- will become a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute; he follows in the footsteps of former FCC Chairmen Reed Hundt, William E. Kennard, Michael Powell and Kevin Martin, all of whom who joined the Aspen Institute upon resigning from the FCC. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization whose mission is to “foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.”
McDowell will join the Hudson Institute’s Center for Economics of the Internet as a visiting fellow; his resignation was effective Friday, May 17. According to its mission statement, the Hudson Institute is a “nonpartisan policy organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis that promotes global security, prosperity, and freedom.”
The Senate confirmation hearings for Tom Wheeler as the new FCC Chairman have yet to be scheduled. President Obama has not announced his nomination of a candidate to replace McDowell.