Biden nominates FCC, NTIA chiefs

 Mark Van Scyoc U.S. Federal Communications Commission Headquarters in Washington, DC  

Jessica Rosenworcel, who is currently acting as chair of the Federal Communications Commission, is the administration's pick to lead the five-member commission and the agency on a permanent basis. Rosenworcel, who has served on the FCC since 2012, is an advocate for closing the digital divide to create universal availability of high-speed broadband for the entire American population.

Additionally, Biden tapped Gigi Sohn, co-founder of the telecom policy advocacy group Public Knowledge and a former senior advisor to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler during the Obama administration, to serve as an FCC commissioner.

The nominations come as the expiration of Rosenworcel's second five-year term nears, which could leave the Biden administration with a 2-1 Republican majority on the FCC.

Biden also nominated Alan Davidson, formerly public policy lead for Google and Mozilla's vice president of global policy, trust and security, to serve as director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the Department of Commerce. Davidson's previous government service includes serving as director of digital economy at the Commerce Department during the Obama administration.

The NTIA is a relatively small agency with a large and diverse portfolio. In the federal technology world, NTIA is known as the manager of civilian spectrum holdings, and it is active in trying to compress the federal government's spectrum footprint in order to make more bandwidth available for consumer use. The agency is also exploring novel spectrum-sharing technologies.

Additionally, NTIA is working with the software industry to come up with a way to secure the software supply chain by identifying the source and origin of different components of commercial software, known as a software bill of materials.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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