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Genachowski takes over FCC

Julius Genachowski, a Washington lawyer with an extensive resume both inside government and private enterprise, was sworn in June 29 as the new chairman of the FCC.

Addressing FCC staff June 30, Genachowski laid out some of the goals the agency will pursue under his stewardship, including:

  • promoting robust, affordable and open universal broadband;
  • pursuing policies that promote job creation, competition, innovation and investment;
  • protecting and empowering consumers and families;
  • helping deliver public safety communications networks with the best technology;
  • advancing a “vibrant media landscape” that serves the public interest in the 21st century;
  • seizing the opportunity for the United States to lead the world in mobile communications.

Genachowski takes the place of acting-chairman Michael Copps, who shepherded the commission on an interim basis since former chairman Kevin Martin left the agency through the final months of the DTV transition. Copps will resume his duties as a commissioner with the agency. During his remarks, Genachowski thanked Copps for his “extraordinary service” during the five months leading up to the DTV transition as well as his eight years at the commission.

The incoming chairman praised the efforts of the commission in making the DTV transition a success. The June 12 transition “succeeded far beyond expectations,” he told the staff. “You pulled it off by working collaboratively with each other across the agency, and with the Commerce Department and other parts of government, and by thinking creatively to leverage all available resources,” he said.

Genachowski, who was confirmed by the Senate last week, takes the reins of the commission after an extensive career in and out of government. In the 1990s, he served as general counsel at the FCC under chairman Reed Hundt. Prior to that he worked on the staff of Senator Charles Shumer (NY-D) where among other things he investigated Iran-Contra. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Genachowski chaired candidate Obama’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications policy working group.

In the private sector, Genachowski co-founded Rockcreek Ventures, which funds, advises and launches companies in the digital media and commerce business.