FCC Chairman Appoints Head of Legislative Affairs

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the appointment of Sara Morris as acting director of the FCC’s Office of Legislative Affairs, effective on Jan. 2, 2014. Morris has had a long career working on legislative and communications policy issues, including experience in Congress, the private sector, and the Executive Branch. Acting Director Patrick Halley will become associate chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau where he will focus on policy and strategy for the Bureau’s high-priority proceedings.

Morris comes to the FCC from the Department of Commerce, where she is Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs for the department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Her major areas of legislative and policy focus have included federal spectrum reallocation, establishment and implementation of the First Responder Network Authority, Recovery Act broadband programs, and the digital TV transition. In addition to working with Members of Congress and staff, she has coordinated with state government officials, other federal agencies and the White House.

Prior to joining NTIA, she was a government affairs policy analyst at Paul, Hastings, Janofksy & Walker LLP, and a telecommunications policy analyst at Verner Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand. She also has broad experience on Capitol Hill, where she worked for the Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired by then-Rep. Ed Markey, as well as the Energy, Conservation & Power subcommittee and the House Select Committee on Aging.