President Biden today named Jessica Rosenworcel Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – an agency she has run since January with the title of Acting Chair, and where she has served as one of five commissioners since 2012.

In addition to naming her the first-ever woman to head the FCC, the White House will also nominate Rosenworcel for another term as commissioner. The president has sole authority to name the FCC Chair, but the nominations of all FCC commissioners are subject to Senate confirmation.

During her nine years as an FCC commissioner, Rosenworcel has been a fierce advocate for expanding broadband availability to unserved and underserved areas of the U.S., often employing the argument that the country needs to close the “homework gap” that exists between students with access to functional broadband services, and those who don’t.  Rosenworcel also has deep experience in FCC spectrum policy, and plenty of political experience as a former senior communications counsel for the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Cyber Central: Defenders Unite

Explore increasingly hot button cyber issues that are top-of-mind. Learn more.

Also today, the White House announced that President Biden will nominate Gigi Sohn to a term as FCC Commissioner.  She has long been a fixture in Washington telecom policy circles, having served for three years as counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and from 2001 to 2013 as CEO of the Public Knowledge think tank. Most recently, Sohn has been Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Technology Law & Policy, and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate.

If confirmed by the Senate, Sohn would be the FCC’s first openly LGBTIQ+ Commissioner.

Communications services provider Lumen congratulated both Rosenworcel and Sohn today.

“Chairwoman Rosenworcel is a dedicated public servant and proven leader with unparalleled experience in shaping communications policies to help more people get connected and close ‘the homework gap,’” commented Randy Clarke, Lumen’s vice president of Federal regulatory affairs.

“We also congratulate Gigi Sohn on her nomination to be an FCC commissioner,” Clarke said. “Sohn’s expertise in communications law and her longstanding commitment to advancing the public interest make her highly qualified for the position. We know how important connectivity has been during the pandemic and look forward to working with the FCC to help close the digital divide.”

The Internet Innovation Alliance extended similar sentiments.

Read More About
More Topics
John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.