Better Broadband Better Lives People Column: Nicole Silverman Joins Qorvis

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WASHINGTON, November 6, 2009 - The corporate communications firm Qorvis has brought Nicole Silverman on board to work on technology and telecom policy issues and reputation management for foreign governments. Silverman, whose title will be director, was most recently an account manager in Waggener Edstrom’s public affairs practice where she oversaw the development and implementation of international public affairs programs for Fortune 500 companies, foundations and trade associations. At Waggener Edstrom, Silverman developed an expertise in telecom policy.

Silverman spent five years as a management consultant in London with clients from U.K. government agencies and European Commission Directorates General. She began her career in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she developed public affairs campaigns on health issues.

Former HP CEO Running For Senate

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on Wednesday announced her candidacy for one of California's Senate seats. Fiorina was an advisor to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during his run for the White House last year and was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. She has also served as an executive vice president at AT&T. Fiorina received a lot of media attention in 2005 when [more...]

In the section of this article included as premium content, the People Column includes more about Carly Fiorina's tech ties - and those of another state-wide candidate in California, about the confirmation hearing of the new intellectual property czar, about Best Buy, and about a pioneering inventor who passed away this week.

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[private_Premium Content][private_Free Trial][continues...] Fiorina was ousted by HP's board.

Fiorina is currently serving as Chairman of the Board for The Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. TPI is a think tank that focuses on the economics of innovation and technological change. It’s headed by Thomas Lenard, who previously served as acting president, senior vice president for research and senior fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation. TPI’s Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow Scott Wallsten is currently on leave serving as the economics director for the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Task Force.

Fiorina isn’t the only tech top gun running for office in California. Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly is currently on leave to fundraise and campaign for his bid to be the state’s next attorney general. In addition to his work for Facebook, Kelly has practiced law in Silicon Valley and served as an aide to former President Bill Clinton.

While Fiorina lists health, small business, taxes and energy as her platform issues, Kelly has added a number of tech specific issues to his agenda including telemarketing fraud, Internet safety, and a “need to develop the methods and technology to track the activity and capture identity thieves.”

IP Czar Gets Confirmation Hearing

Former U.S. Assistant Trade Representative Victoria Espinel who was chosen by President Obama to serve as his intellectual property enforcement coordinator appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week for her confirmation hearing. Espinel taught at George Mason University School of Law after leaving the USTR. Though former President George Bush created the position of U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement and filled it with Chris Israel, the intellectual property czar has been elevated to a White House position under President Obama.

Broadcasting & Cable reported that during Espinel’s hearing she said that one of the first issues she will deal with is how to balance a free and open internet while protecting against online piracy. Her confirmation has been supported by the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Copyright Alliance, International Trademark Association, Public Knowledge, Motion Picture Association of America, National Music Publishers' Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others.

Best Buy Moves Into Washington

Best Buy is looking for a director of government relations to “help lead the company's first Washington D.C.- based operation.” The director will “guide the company's federal government affairs agenda and provide leadership on a broad range of legislative, regulatory and public policy issues affecting competitive positioning,” according to the job description. The company is hoping to find someone with an advanced degree and 12 or more years of direct experience in a corporate government relations, trade association, or government position.

Remembering A Great One

Robert Rines, a tech inventor, public policy shaper and patent lawyer, passed away this week. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology said in a release that the scanning systems used to locate the wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck were dependent on Rines’ inventions. He earned more than 100 patents in his lifetime including a number for electronic apparatuses used to improve the resolution of radar and sonar scanning.

“We've lost a tremendous advocate for those who have deep technical training as a first base, and go on to shape law and policy around the globe,” Dedric Carter, assistant dean of engineering at MIT, said in a statement.
Rines made his first contribution to the emerging technology of high-resolution image-scanning radar while earning his bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT. He served as a radar officer in World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters and latter earned a law degree from Georgetown University while serving as a patent examiner in the United States Patent Office.

Rines taught patent law at Harvard University, where he wrote “Create or Perish.” He latter rejoined MIT where he taught classes on using intellectual property to start new companies and encouraging innovation until the spring of 2008.

In 1963, Rines founded the Academy of Applied Science, nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of science and technology education. In 1973, Rines founded the Franklin Pierce Law Center, an institute focused on the study of intellectual property law. In his spare time, Rines wrote music for more than 10 Broadway and off-Broadway shows and shared an Emmy in 1987 for his composition for the television production of “Hizzoner The Mayor.”

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Winter covered technology policy issues for five-and-a-half years as a reporter for the National Journal Group. She has worked for USA Today, the Washington Times, the Magazine Group, the State Department’s International Visitor’s Program, and the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. She also taught English at a university in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

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