New” FCC Taking Shape

Six months after Obama took office, it seems that the FCC is almost, finally ready to get moving. The Mignon Clyburn (D) and Meredith Baker (R) nominations were approved by the Senate this week. With these confirmations, we will have the full five-member Commission in place for the August 27 open meeting.

In addition, Chairman Genachowski continues to designate his Bureau and senior staff. Yesterday, Genachowski announced two appointments relevant to the scope of this blog. First, in the Wireline Competition Bureau, Genachowski announced that Sharon Gillett will become Chief of the Bureau. Ms. Gillett is Director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and previously served as head of the Massachusetts equivalent to the FCC and worked as a professor at M.I.T. The announcement notes her academic work maintained a particular focus on broadband.” Clearly, at least in the short term, this Commission’s number 1 goal (and goals numbered 2, 3 and 4) is going to be broadband deployment. Ms. Gillett will take office on August 28.

In the Enforcement Bureau, Genachowski announced that Suzanne Tetreault will become Deputy Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. Ms. Tetreault has served in a variety of positions in the Wireline Competition Bureau, Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau and the Office of General Counsel. Kris Monteith, the current Bureau Chief, will become Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau, effective August 10. At that point, Ms. Tetreault will become Acting Chief of the Bureau. The designation of Ms. Tetreault as an Acting Chief signals that Genachowski intends to fill the Enforcement Bureau Chief slot with a person not currently employed by the Commission. I would expect that announcement fairly soon.