- FCC, FTC and CIO Candidates Named
- March 25, 2009 | Authors: Jennifer L. Richter; Carly T. Didden; Jennifer A. Cetta
- Law Firm: Patton Boggs LLP - Washington Office
President Obama has finally named his next FCC Chairman, the next FTC Chairman and the nation’s Chief Information Officer. Last Tuesday, President Obama nominated Julius Genachowski as chairman of the FCC. The President also announced his pick for the next FTC Chairman, Jon Leibowitz. The Senate must confirm Genachowski’s nomination, but no confirmation is needed for Leibowitz. Vivek Kundra also was named the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO).
The White House also is considering a list of candidates for the other vacant FCC Commissioner slots. The front runner for the democratic spot is Mignon Clyburn, daughter of House Majority Whip Clyburn and who served on the Public Service Commission of South Carolina. She would replace Jonathan Adelstein, who is under serious consideration to head USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). According to press reports, contenders for the GOP spots include Meredith Atwell Baker, former Acting Assistant Secretary for NTIA; Lee Carosi Dunn, general counsel for Senator John McCain of Arizona; Hilda Legg, former RUS administrator; FCC Deputy General Counsel Ajit Pai; Bryan Tramont, former chief of staff to former FCC Chairman Michael Powell; A.B. Cruz III, executive vice president and chief legal officer at Scripps Networks Interactive; and Mike O'Reilly, policy analyst with Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Ensign from Nevada.
Leibowitz is expected to focus more on an active role for the FCC in protecting consumers, securing data, and ensuring consumer privacy. He will likely move away from the self-regulatory approach adopted by the current FTC administration.
Kundra, the nation’s first CIO, presently serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia under Mayor Adrian Fenty where he is responsible for technology operations and strategy for 86 agencies. The nation’s CIO will direct the policy and strategic planning of federal information technology investments, oversee federal technology spending, and ensure system interoperability and information sharing across the federal government.