It's Official: Tom Wheeler Nominated To Chair FCC, Mignon Clyburn Named Interim Chair
May 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM (PT)
The WHITE HOUSE has made it official and has nominated venture capitalist and former NCTA and CTIA lobbyist TOM WHEELER to be the new Chairman of the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, replacing the outgoing JULIUS GENACHOWSKI (NET NEWS 4/30). Also as previously reported, Commissioner MIGNON CLYBURN will serve as Interim Chair until WHEELER is confirmed by the Senate.
GENACHOWSKI said, "I've had the pleasure of knowing TOM personally and professionally for almost 20 years. I was pleased to appoint TOM as Chairman of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council in 2010, and under his leadership the TAC has made strong contributions to the FCC’s work, including on unleashing spectrum for mobile, removing barriers to private investment, and strengthening our cyber security. At this exciting time in this important sector, I can attest to TOM’s commitment to harness the power of communications technology to improve people’s lives, to drive our global competitiveness, and to advance the public interest. The FCC’s role has never been more essential, and with Tom’s deep policy expertise and his first-hand experience as a technology investor, he is a superb choice to advance the FCC’s mission of promoting innovation, investment, competition, and consumer protection. TOM will be a great FCC Chairman, and I urge his swift confirmation.
“It has been a great honor and pleasure to serve with Commissioner CLYBURN for the past four years. MIGNON is a strong, experienced, and thoughtful leader. She has distinguished herself through her work to modernize universal service and promote competition, and as a champion for closing AMERICA’s digital divide. With this appointment, Mignon will also distinguish herself as the first woman to lead the FCC. I congratulate my friend and colleague on this honor.
"With this nomination and appointment, when I depart in mid-MAY, I'll be leaving a revitalized FCC in great hands."
CLYBURN issued a statement saying, "I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to lead the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION as interim chairwoman during this transition period, and I thank President OBAMA for this incredible and historic honor. Modern communications platforms are transforming every aspect of our lives, bringing about new opportunities and challenges. I am committed to continuing the FCC’s strong record of promoting competition, investment, and advancing the public interest. I am a firm believer that our government can be an effective problem-solver with an important role to play in opening doors of opportunity for all Americans.
"This agency, and the outstanding people who comprise it, are to be commended for their service to this nation, and I intend to work hand in hand with every Bureau and Office to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. I also look forward to collaborating with members of both houses of Congress to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission.
"I want to again express my gratitude to the President, my family, friends, and staff, as well all those who have offered their support and guidance prior to and during my service at the Commission. I will continue to work hard in confronting the crucial issues that come before the FCC, and will do so with the interests of the American consumer in front of mind.
"I join a host of others in congratulating TOM WHEELER on his nomination, and wish him well as the Senate considers his candidacy. Chairing this great agency brings with it the need to make myriad complex decisions each and every day. TOM’s depth of experience makes him well-suited to the job, and I have no doubt that his leadership will allow the FCC to smartly navigate the ever-changing communications landscape.
"I want to again thank Chairman GENACHOWSKI for his leadership and friendship over the past four years. I look forward to working with TOM and his team, and offer my hopes for a swift and successful confirmation."
The NAB's President and CEO GORDON SMITH said of CLYBURN's appointment, "NAB salutes President OBAMA's historic selection of MIGNON CLYBURN as acting chair of the FCC. Commissioner CLYBURN is a trailblazer and role model for millions of women, and her commitment to serving the public interest is unquestioned."