FCC Chief Genachowski Taps Rick Kaplan as Chief Counsel

WASHINGTON: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the appointment of Rick Kaplan as chief counsel and senior legal advisor. Kaplan will succeed Bruce Gottlieb, the chairman’s current chief counsel and senior legal advisor, who will be leaving the commission at the end of July after four-and-a-half years of service.

From the FCC: “Kaplan will manage the commission’s overall agenda and will be responsible for policy coordination among the bureaus and offices. In addition, he will have particular responsibility for wireless, engineering and technology, and public safety issues.

“’Rick brings a wealth of experience and achievement to the commission--as an attorney, public servant, and successful entrepreneur,’ Genachowski said. ‘He has a keen intellect, great judgment, deep insight into the challenges and opportunities of the modern communications landscape, and the ability to build consensus among a wide variety of stakeholders. I am delighted that he has agreed to join my senior leadership team.’

“Kaplan previously served as the chief of staff for Commissioner Mignon Clyburn since her appointment in August 2009. He first joined the commission in early 2009 as deputy coordinator of the DTV task force, where he oversaw a number of aspects of the commission’s role in the nation’s successful transition to digital television.

“Prior to his service at the commission, Kaplan worked as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where he focused on appellate litigation and regulatory matters. He also served in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was primarily responsible for litigating and advising members of Congress on separation of powers issues.

“Kaplan began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In addition to his legal work, from 1998-2005, Mr. Kaplan owned and operated a sports communications and management agency in New York. He represented and counseled professional athletes, sports leagues and sports-related businesses on contract negotiations, community efforts, and crisis communications.

“Kaplan received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar and editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review.”