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President Names Rosenworcel FCC Chair, Announces Planned Nominations to FCC, NTIA

10/27/2021

President Joe Biden this week designated FCC acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel as Chair and announced that he intends to re-nominate her and nominate another to fill the open seats on the Commission. Rosenworcel, a Democrat, is the first woman to head the Commission. She has served on the FCC since 2012.

Prior to joining the FCC, Chairwoman Rosenworcel served as Senior Communications Counsel for the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Before entering public service, she practiced communications law. She is a native of Hartford, Connecticut, and a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law.

The President also announced that he plans to appoint Democrat Gigi Sohn to fill the other Democratic slot on the Commission. If confirmed, Sohn would be the first openly LGBTIQ+ Commissioner in the history of the FCC. Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate.

She served from 2013 until 2016 as counsel to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Prior to that, she cofounded and served as CEO of Public Knowledge, a communications and technology policy advocacy organization. She has a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and film from Boston University and earned her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The other Commission members are Republican Brendan Carr, Democrat Geoffrey Starks, and Republican Nathan Simington. The political composition of the FCC typically favors the President’s party.

Biden also announced his intention to nominate Alan Davidson as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the US Department of Commerce. The NTIA oversees the management of spectrum allocated to the federal government.

Rosenworcel said she is “deeply humbled” to be designated as FCC chair. “It is an honor to work with my colleagues on the Commission and the agency’s talented staff to ensure that no matter who you are or where you live, everyone has the connections they need to live, work, and learn in the digital age,” she said. “I also want to congratulate Gigi Sohn on her nomination to serve as a Commissioner at the agency and Alan Davidson on his nomination to serve as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.”

 



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