President Obama today officially named his nominee to chair the Federal Communications Commission. Deadline.com reports that Obama named Tom Wheeler as his nominee. The nomination had been expected, as we reported earlier.
“There was laughter at the White House … when the president, who was also smiling, said he anticipates ‘a speedy confirmation process.’ That may be too much to expect,” Deadline reports. “But the FCC won’t be leaderless once Chairman Julius Genachowski steps down: President Obama designated Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to be Acting Chairwoman until Wheeler’s aboard.”
The piece adds: “Wheeler’s mandate is to make sure that the U.S. is ‘at the cutting edge’ of technological change, promoting ‘American ingenuity and American innovation.’”
Genachowski reportedly said he could “attest to Tom’s commitment to harness the power of communications technology to improve people’s lives, to drive our global competitiveness, and to advance the public interest.”
Wheeler is a longtime Obama ally who “ran the president’s transition effort for science, technology, space and arts agencies — and lobbied for the cable industry from 1979-1984 when he was president of the National Cable Television Association, and then represented wireless phone companies as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA),” the report notes.