WASHINGTON--It was perhaps the shortest Open Meeting held by the Federal Communications Commission to date when the FCC convened on Wednesday Jan 30 to welcome its employees back after the government shut down and to formally welcome new FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.
Starks is a Democratic addition to the commission, who said he will continue to focus on protecting the most vulnerable and holding wrongdoers accountable, something he has strived to do throughout his career, he said in his first published comments after being sworn in as commissioner on Jan. 30.
“All communities have a right to be heard on communications policy, regardless of their resources,” he said. “Every community has a stake in the future of communications in this country and all have the right to be heard. I will always be listening.”
He fills the seat left by Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who stepped down after eight years at the commission.
He also announced the staff that will be working in his office, including Daudeline Meme, who will serve as acting chief of staff. Meme has served in the International Bureau’s Telecommunications & Analysis Division as well as legal advisor for former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. She also previously served as chief of staff of the Enforcement Bureau.
Starks was confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 2, 2019. His career includes public and private sector experience, including serving as assistant bureau chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau, where he focused on consumer protection, network security and supporting the commission's Universal Service Fund program.
Previously, the 38-year-old Starks served as senior counsel in the office of the deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice where he provided advice on domestic and international law enforcement issues. Prior to his entry into federal public service, Commissioner Starks was an attorney at the law firm Williams and Connolly, clerked for the Honorable Judge Duane Benton on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, served as a legislative staffer in the Illinois State Senate and worked as a financial analyst.
Like FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Starks is a native of Kansas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and a law degree from Yale Law School. He resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Lauren, and their two children.