Report: Genachowski Close To Being Named FCC Chair
December 19, 2008 at 12:42 PM (PT)
Speculation is rife in the industry that President-elect BARACK OBAMA could name JULIUS GENACHOWSKI, a venture capitalist, chairman of the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, reports THE WASHINGTON POST. OBAMA, who famously used social networking and online fundraising to fuel his campaign success, is expected to begin announcing members of his team to lead his "Innovation Agenda." Those position would include Chief Technology Officer, chair of the FCC, chair of the FTC and head of the White House's telecom policy arm, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
GENACHOWSKI, who attended law school at HARVARD with OBAMA and spearheaded the president-elect's technology and innovation agenda, was widely seen a leading contender for the positions of CTO or FCC Chair. Many telecom industry leaders and regulators said they believed GENACHOWSKI had first pick on any of the roles in OBAMA's administration that would oversee technology policy.
Sources close to transition officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said GENACHOWSKI had been recently meeting with key Democratic lawmakers to see if the role of CTO would have policy-making authority and decided against taking the job when he realized the definition of CTO would not include a strong regulatory role. Instead, GENACHOWSKI expressed interest in the FCC post. He previously served as chief counsel to former FCC Chairman REED HUNDT.