As seen in both the appointment by President Obama of Chairman Genachowski himself, and in many of the Chairman's staff, if today's FCC senior staff appointees have anything in common in their careers in government, law, and academia, it is the pursuit of policy agendas generally favoring increased competition in the American telecom industry.
William Lake will serve as Media Bureau Chief, while Sharon E. Gillett will become the new Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. Appointments were also announced for Media Bureau Deputy Chiefs Robert Ratcliffe and Kris Monteith, and Enforcement Bureau Deputy Chief Suzanne Tetreault.
“This extraordinarily talented senior staff has extensive experience in the private sector, the academy, and the public sector, including here at the FCC and in state government,” said Chairman Genachowski, in a press release (download .PDF) issued by FCC today.
“With their help, the agency will pursue policies that advance a vibrant media sector, unleash innovation and job creation, protect consumers, and promote competition," concluded the Commission Chairman.
In a separate press statement of today (download .PDF), Genachowski also announced appointments in the Commission's OCBO, and the OGC. These positions include: OCBO Director Thomas Reed, OCBO Senior Deputy Director Carolyn Fleming Williams, and Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd.
While each of the appointments announced today is to a senior staff position at the Commission, none require Senate confirmation.
Observers of state broadband programs and policies, and readers of StimulatingBroadband.com, will recognize that Ms. Sharon E. Gillett has been serving as Executive Director of the state broadband program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). As we reported at the time, she was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) to the position on April 29, having previously served as Patrick's chief communications industry regulator as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC).
The Governor and Director Gillett keynoted a press event in the broadband unserved / udnerserved area of Western Massachusetts yesterday, which announced the inter-agency launch of the State's middle mile network project developed by MBI and MassHighway, the Commonwealth's surface transportation agency.
Early this evening the Patrick Administration released a statement on the Gillett federal appointment by State Assistant Secretary for Housing and Economic Development C. Stanley McGee, “It is with a mix of sadness and pride that I am writing to let you know that Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) director Sharon Gillett has accepted an appointment from the White House as Bureau Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau. Sharon’s expertise in broadband and other telecommunications issues makes her a valuable asset for the FCC in this significant national leadership position; our loss is America’s gain.”
From the Commission's press releases of today, the professional biographies of the appointees announced, links and (text) added:
Deputy Chief, Enforcement Bureau, Suzanne Tetreault: Ms. Tetreault is currently serving as Acting Deputy Chief of the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, overseeing the work of the Disabilities Rights Office and Consumer Policy Division. Since 1991, Ms. Tetreault has held a variety of positions at the Commission, including Chief of Staff of the Enforcement Bureau, Acting Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, and Deputy Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Tetreault worked at the Federal Trade Commission, and practiced antitrust and communications law with Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. Ms. Tetreault will serve as Acting Chief beginning August 10, 2009.
Wireline Competition Bureau
Office of Communications Business Opportunities
Director, Office of Communications Business Opportunities, Thomas Reed: Mr. Reed most recently was Of Counsel at K&L Gates LLP in Washington, DC, where his practice focused on a broad range of issues including commercial litigation, corporate governance, investment management, and civil rights. At K&L, Mr. Reed specialized in regulatory issues affecting women and minority-owned businesses. He has worked extensively with some of the nation's largest organizations that advocate for women and minority-owned business and is a regular commentator on disadvantaged business enterprise certification procedures. He has also served as Legal Counsel to the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Before joining K&L, Mr. Reed was a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.