Profiles of the people who make or influence communications policy.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced additions to her leadership team. As of mid-April, Narda Jones will return to the FCC and assume the role of Chief of Staff. Priscilla Delgado Argeris will now serve as Chief Legal Advisor.
Senate Democrats used a parliamentary maneuver to advance President Biden’s nomination of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission, setting the stage for Democrats to gain a 3-2 majority on the panel.
Last week, I had the honor of hosting the Federal Communications Bar Association’s virtual Celebration—their first ever event headlined by a Chairwoman. For me, this was a big deal. Not only because it was an opportunity to have a laugh with colleagues, but as the first permanent female Chair of the FCC, having this event during Women’s History Month was an opportunity to highlight and mark the importance of women’s participation and representation across all of our work.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson met on March 29 to discuss spectrum policy efforts, the first monthly FCC/NTIA coordination meeting since the leaders launched their Spectrum Coordination Initiative. The leaders also announced that they have launched a joint task force which met this week to begin discussing the details of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agencies.
Under pressure from progressive activists, Democrats are considering employing a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to push through President Biden’s nominees for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee have so far blocked the nominations of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC and Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to the FCC, largely on grounds that they are too partisan.
Angela Thi Bennett is now serving as the first-ever digital equity director at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the US Department of Commerce. She will move from her current position as DigitalC’s director of advocacy, where she has been a strong champion for digital inclusion in Cleveland (OH). Angela has also been deeply engaged in national digital equity work for years with National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA).
President Biden has yet to announce his pick for inspector general for the Federal Communications Commission. That position, which is meant to audit FCC spending and investigate potential fraud and abuse, is set to assume new significance, with billions of dollars in pandemic relief and infrastructure cash now flowing into the agency.
Senate Democrats likely won’t be setting up floor votes this week on President Biden’s long-pending Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission nominees, according to Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “We’re missing a few people,” she said, citing the absence of Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) due to COVID-19, as well as a few other Democrats.
In a series of confirmation hearings starting March 21, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will question Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s pick to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court — and while tech policy is not expected to be a major area of focus for either party, two issues in particular could come up. Critics of the tech industry’s treasured liability shield often claim judges have interpreted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act too broadly.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson named staff representatives to participate on each other’s advisory committees. This is a critical component of the FCC and National Telecommunication and Information Administration’s Spectrum Coordination Initiative, under which they are taking actions to strengthen the processes for decision making and information sharing and to work cooperatively to resolve spectrum policy issues.