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Appointments to the Telecommunications Development Fund Board

Public Notice

Federal Communications Commission 1919 M St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554

October 1, 1996

FCC Chairman Hundt Appoints Private Sector Members to the Telecommunications Development Fund Board

Reed E. Hundt, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), today announced the appointment of Thomas A. Hart, Jr., Debra L. Lee, and Richard L. Fields to the board of directors of the Telecommunications Development Fund (TDF). They join Solomon D. Trujillo, President and Chief Executive Officer of US West Communications Group, who will continue to serve as interim chairman of the board of directors. With this announcement, the Commission completes appointment of all of the private sector members of the board of directors of the TDF. The board of directors will also include a representative from the FCC, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Treasury.

The TDF was created by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to promote access to capital for small businesses in the telecommunications industry, to stimulate the development of new technologies, and to support the delivery of universal service and telecommunications services to underserved rural and urban areas. The Act requires the Chairman of the FCC to appoint a seven-member board of directors to administer the Fund, four representatives from the private sector and three representatives from the public sector. The Act requires the Chairman to appoint directors who have experience in finance, investment banking, government banking, communications law and administrative practice, and public policy.

The board members appointed by Chairman Hundt represent these areas of expertise:

Thomas A. Hart, Jr. is a Partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Ginsburg, Feldman & Bress where he represents clients in the broadcast, cable, common carrier and satellite industries. Prior to this position, Mr. Hart served as Managing Partner of the Washington office of the New Jersey-based law firm of McManimon & Scotland. Earlier he served as a Partner with the law firm of Baker & Hostetler. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Economics from Brown University. Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Hart clerked for the Honorable Theodore McMillian of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. He also serves as Chairman of On the Potomac Productions, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based film, video and syndication company. He is a Co-Founder and Director of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. Mr. Hart assisted in the creation of the TDF provision as enacted in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Debra L. Lee is President and Chief Operating Officer of BET Holdings, Inc. (Black Entertainment Television). Prior to this position, Ms. Lee served as the network's Executive Vice President of Strategic Business Development. Earlier she served as Executive Vice President of BET's Legal Affairs Division, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and as President and Publisher of BET's Publishing Division. Prior to BET, Ms. Lee worked as an attorney for the Washington D.C. law firm of Steptoe and Johnson and as a law clerk for the late Honorable Barrington Parker in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, a master's degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Brown University. Her many activities include serving as trustee for Brown University, board member of the Legal Aid Society of D.C., and the U.S. State Department's Advisory Committee for International Communications and Information Policy.

Richard L. Fields is Managing Director of Allen & Company Incorporated, where he is active in mergers and acquisitions, venture investments, and private and public financings, primarily in the areas of media and telecommunications. Formerly, he served as President of Delma Studios, Inc. Mr. Fields also serves as a Director of Omnipoint Corporation and GeoWaste Incorporated. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"These experts bring a wealth of experience to the Telecommunications Development Fund. Their expertise will help provide funding for small businesses, create jobs and promote technological innovation in the telecommunications industry," said Hundt. "I am confident that with Sol's leadership the public and private sector partnership will successfully accomplish the goals that Congress has established for the Fund. I commend Congressional leadership, and in particular Congressman Edolphus Towns of New York, who sponsored the amendment which created the Fund, for their creativity and vision."

"I am pleased that the selection of board members for the Telecommunications Development Fund is now complete," said Congressman Towns. "The Fund was established to create a viable means for small telecommunications businesses to obtain much needed capital. With the board in place, the Fund can now proceed with its important work."

News Media contact: Rochelle Cohen at
(202) 418-0500
email: Office of General Counsel contact: Sheryl J. Wilkerson at
(202) 418-1700
Office of Communications Business Opportunities contact: Catherine J.K. Sandoval at

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Last updated: 19 December 1996 ha