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Genachowski Officially Nominated for FCC Chairmanship

(March 3, 2009) WASHINGTON: Julius Genachowski is now the president’s official nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission. The 46-year-old was President Obama’s Harvard classmate and served on his transition team. He was also an aide to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt in the 1990s, before he moved on to work for Barry Diller’s online enterprise, and later founded a Washington, D.C. venture cap firm.

“I can think of no one better than Julius Genachowski to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission,” the president said in a statement. “He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the private sector and public service.”

Michael Copps, acting chairman of the FCC and a veteran on the commission, also issued a statement on Genachowski’s nomination. Copps was tapped to lead the commission through the first wave of the DTV transition.

“President Obama has made an excellent choice in announcing his intent to nominate Julius Genachowski to be the next chairman of the FCC,” Copps said. “Julius has the knowledge, experience and dedication to lead this agency forward as we tackle the many challenges confronting the country--and the commission. I look forward to the prospect of working with him on a communications agenda focused on serving consumers and the public interest. He will find here a talented and energized team of public servants committed to precisely this goal. I wish him a successful Senate confirmation.

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a D.C. think tank active in a host of communications issues.

“I have known Julius for over 15 years, both as a public servant and as a savvy and progressive businessman,” she said in a statement. “He worked with me to promote the public interest in communications in his role as chief counsel to then-FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and then as an aide to Barry Diller when Diller and I were members of the Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters,” part of the Gore Commission.