May 11, 2020 — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced Monday that Anne Veigle will be joining the agency as director of public affairs, amid other staff changes in the Office of Media Relations.
Veigle formerly served as the director of public affairs at the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.
Katie Gorscak, who was formerly director of communications for the Connect2Health Task Force, will perform a similar function in her new role as senior communications advisor.
Wil Wiquist, former deputy press secretary, will oversee communications efforts and offer policy council as associate director of communications and policy advisor.
Former press secretary Tina Pelkey is departing for a position as senior manager of government affairs communication at Jeff Bezos-owned aerospace company Blue Origin.
Pai had kind words for Pelkey, who had been with the agency since 2017.
“She has been incredibly responsive both internally and externally, has shown outstanding strategic thinking and leadership and has been an excellent writer and speaking coach,” he said.
Those exiting also include media relations spokesmen Mark Wigfield and Neil Grace. Grace will join McKinsey & Company as Head of Media Relations.
The FCC has been under the microscope in recent months as it responds to drastically increased internet usage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It has rolled out millions of dollars in subsidies for rural and underserved areas to stimulate broadband infrastructure development in recent weeks.
Still, the problem of the digital divide is not easily solved, and the agency’s proposed solutions are not always accepted.
In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Wednesday, Department of Defense officials expressed concerns at the FCCs support for Ligado, a satellite broadband infrastructure company, the technology of whom critics say will interfere with existing military GPS technology.
“[We cannot] allow the proposed Ligado system to proceed in light of the operational impact to GPS,” said the Pentagon's chief information officer Dana Deasy.
An FCC spokesman dismissed the claims, saying, “The Department of Defense and every executive branch agency that is part of the Inter-department Radio Advisory Committee was given our draft decision last autumn, so the assertion that they were blindsided by it this April is preposterous.”
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