President Obama nominated two individuals late Monday to fill open slots on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With one vacant seat and another expected shortly, Obama nominated Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Varadaraj Pai to the Commission.
Filling Commissioner Michael J. Copps’ soon-to-be-empty seat, Rosenworcel brings with her experience on Capitol HIll as a Senior Communications Counsel for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and senior advisor to Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). While at the Commerce Committe, Rosenworcel championed a legislative proposal to bolster spectrum used by public safety networks. Before her time on the Hill, Rosenworcel worked at the FCC from 1999 to 2007 as a legal advisor to Copps, a long-term champion of the public interest whom FMC honored at this year’s FMC Policy Summit, as well as in the Wireline Competition and Common Carrier Bureaus.
To replace the still-vacant seat of Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker (who resigned from the Commission last spring to work for Comcast), Pai will leave his law firm Jenner & Block, where he is partner in the litigation practice. Pai has also previously served as general counsel for former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Pai’s Hill experience includes time as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights and property rights and time in the private sector as associate general counsel at Verizon.
Both nominees bring a more youthful perspective and experience on the Hill to the Commission. The Senate is expected to consider these nominations in the coming weeks, and FMC congratulates both nominess.