Who Will Be The Next FCC Chair?
Now that it looks like President Obama will have two seats to fill at the Federal Communications Commission, the speculation has begun about who his two choices will be. Two openings gives the President a chance to make a nomination from both parties thus, in theory, an easier path through confirmation on the Hill. Much of the guessing has centered around venture capitalist Tom Wheeler (pictured), considered the favorite.
Wheeler was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Project's Agency Review Working Group responsible for the science, technology, space and arts agencies. He took a leave of absence from Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm working with early stage technology companies, where he is a Managing Director. He had been an influential lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries earlier in his career. He was president of the National Cable Television Association and later became the CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association giving him experience and connections.
Other possible candidates include Larry Strickling, another former FCC official. Strickling is Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the executive branch agency that advises the president on telecom policy.
Last month, TIME published the short-list of possible successors, based on a dozen interviews with D.C. policy experts and insiders. The front-runner is currently Tom Wheeler, a veteran telecom policy expert and entrepreneur who He has been an influential lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries earlier in his career.
Other names being thrown around include, Karen Kornbluh, a former FCC official who is currently President Obama’s Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Cathy Sandoval, a lawyer and professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and Susan Crawford, a professor at Cardozo School of Law. Crawford, the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Guilded Age.
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