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Obama Names Nominee to Head FCC, Appoints Acting Chair

Nominee Tom Wheeler heads an investment firm and the FCC panel that advises on technology issues

President Obama has nominated the director of a Washington investment firm to lead the Federal Communications Commission as its chairman, and has appointed a sitting FCC commissioner to lead the agency as acting chair until a permanent chair assumes the post.
On May 1, Obama nominated Tom Wheeler, the managing director of Core Capital Partners and the head of the FCC panel that advises on technology issues, to lead the FCC as its chairman. If confirmed, Wheeler will replace current Chairman Julius Genachowski, who assumed the post in 2009 and who, in March, announced he was leaving.
In addition, Obama designated Mignon Clyburn, who has been serving as a commissioner since Aug. 3, 2009, to be the acting chairwoman of the FCC—the first woman to head the commission—when Genachowski leaves in mid-May.
Wheeler “has been at the forefront of some of the very dramatic changes that we’ve seen in the way we communicate and how we live our lives,” Obama said.
“He was one of the leaders of a company that helped create thousands of good, high-tech jobs,” Obama said. “He’s in charge of the group that advises the FCC on the latest technology issues. He’s helped give American consumers more choices and better products.”
As technology continues to shape the way that we do business and communicate and transform the world, Wheeler will help the FCC fulfill the very important mission of “giving businesses and workers the tools they need to compete in the 21st century economy,” the president said. Wheeler will also ensure “we’re staying at the cutting edge of an industry that again and again we’ve revolutionized here in America.”
Genachowski praised Obama for nominating Wheeler and appointing Clyburn. “These are excellent selections, and I commend the president,” he said.
Wheeler has been chairman of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council since 2010, and “under his leadership the TAC has made strong contributions to the FCC’s work, including on unleashing spectrum for mobile, removing barriers to private investment, and strengthening our cyber security,” Genachowski said.
“The FCC’s role has never been more essential, and with Tom’s deep policy expertise and his first-hand experience as a technology investor, he is a superb choice to advance the FCC’s mission of promoting innovation, investment, competition, and consumer protection,” Genachowski said.
In addition, Genachowski said Clyburn “is a strong, experienced and thoughtful leader” who has worked to modernize universal service and promote competition. Clyburn has been “a champion for closing America’s digital divide,” and she will “distinguish herself as the first woman to lead the FCC. I congratulate my friend and colleague on this honor.”