Profiles of Prospective Candidates to be FCC Chairman: Mignon Clyburn and Tom Wheeler

Congress, FCC, People, Wireless March 27th, 2013

, Reporter,

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2013 – This week will begin a series profiling many of the top prospective candidates that might be selected to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Julius Genachowski, the 29th chairman, on Friday announced that he would step down within a few weeks.

Mignon Clyburn joined Genachowski as one of five members of the commission in 2009. By law, the president selects one of five commissioners to serve as chairman. Clyburn might be selected due to her tenure at the commission and for her 11 years as a member of South Carolina’s Public Service Commission. Clyburn’s father, Representative Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is currently the third-Democrat in the House of Representatives, behind Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. The younger Clyburn has long been a champion of for competition across consumer markets.

Outside of the commission, many consider the front-runner for the position to be Tom Wheeler. Wheeler has deep ties to the Democratic Party and the Obama Administration. Wheeler campaigned for and raised funds for President Obama.In 2009, Wheeler led a division of the Obama-Biden Transition Project that dealt with science and technology. Beyond his party connections, Wheeler has served as the head of two prominent telecommunications trade associations. He was President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1981. After several years as CEO of various technology start-ups, he became the head of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, and which is now called CTIA – The Wireless Association, until 2004. Wheeler is the current Managing Director of Core Capitol Partners, a Washington based venture capitol firm with over 300 million dollars in capital under management.

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