Outgoing FCC Chair Genachowski Takes Think Tank Job
Outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will become a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute advising it on telecommunications policy, the group announced Monday.
Genachowski follows several previous FCC chairmen in his move to the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan research group dedicated to “fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues.”
“I’m enthusiastic about helping the Aspen Institute advance its important mission,” said Genachowski in a statement. “The Internet and mobile are having a transformative impact on our economy and society. The Institute has an unparalleled ability to convene business, government, and non-profit leaders to address the effect of digital technologies on many of the world’s most vexing problems, and I’m looking forward to being involved in that effort.”
Genachowski announced in March he was leaving the FCC “in the coming weeks.” He still has yet to say exactly when he would be stepping down, but the Aspen Institute’s announcement is a signal his departure is likely imminent. President Barack Obama has not yet named his choice for Genachowski’s successor at the FCC, though several names have been cycling through the rumor mill.
Chairman of the FCC since 2009, Genachowski oversaw the Commission during a period of rapid change for the telecommunications industry. His commission sided with consumer groups when blocking AT&T’s takeover attempt of T-Mobile, but angered them after allowing the Comcast-NBC merger.
Perhaps Genachowski’s signature achievement at the FCC is the commission’s handing down of net neutrality rules, which prohibit telecom companies from favoring certain kinds of Internet traffic over others. Net neutrality is typically championed by liberals as a protection against media consolidation and monopolization, while shunned by conservatives as undue government regulation that stifles innovation.
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