FCC Chairman to Join Aspen Institute; White House Could Name Successor Soon

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By Paul Barbagallo  

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will become a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute following his resignation from the agency, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank said April 15.

With the announcement, the White House is expected to soon make a final decision about Genachowski's replacement.

The leading candidate appears to be Tom Wheeler, managing director of the venture-capital firm Core Capital Partners, who late last week picked up support from 11 individuals well known in telecom policy circles.

In an April 11 letter to the White House, Wheeler garnered the backing of Susan Crawford, former special assistant to the president-science, technology, and innovation policy and current Benjamin Cardozo Law School professor, whom some have suggested could be a candidate for FCC chairman; Phil Weiser, former senior adviser-technology and innovation, former deputy assistant attorney general-antitrust, and current dean of the University of Colorado at Boulder Law School; Phil Verveer, former U.S. coordinator-international communications and information policy in the State Department and a former FCC official; Larry Irving, a consultant and former administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; Decker Anstrom, head of the U.S. delegation to the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference; Terry Kramer, who headed the U.S. delegation to the World Conference on International Telecommunications; Sonal Shah, former director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation; Andy Schwartzman, former president of the Media Access Project; Kevin Werbach, former co-leader of the Obama transition team on the FCC, former counsel-new technology policy at the FCC, and current associate professor-legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School; David Aylward, founder of the Comcare Emergency Response Alliance and a former House aide; and Paul de Sa, former chief of the FCC Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

According to sources, Wheeler is currently being vetted for the position.

Genachowski is the fifth FCC chairman to join the Aspen Institute as a senior fellow. Blair Levin, the chief of architect of the agency's National Broadband Plan, also assumed a senior fellowship when he left the FCC in 2010.