Former presidential telecom advisor Nancy Victory will serve as chairwoman of the FCC’s Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced this week.

A partner at the Washington law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding, Victory was President George W. Bush’s telecommunications policy advisor and manager of federal government spectrum as former assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, as well as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). She recently authored “Homeland Security and Communications: A Compendium of Federal Programs.”

In a press release, Martin said Victory “is particularly well qualified” to head the panel, which will recommend to the FCC methods to improve disaster preparedness, network reliability and communication among first responders.

“The destruction that Hurricane Katrina caused to communications facilities, and therefore the services upon which first responders and citizens rely, was extraordinary,” Martin said. “We must review the disaster’s effect on the infrastructure and determine ways to minimize such destruction in the future.”

Separately, Martin announced that Kevin Washington will serve as FCC director of the Office of Legislative Affairs. Mr. Washington comes to the Commission with a background in both the Legislative and Executive branches. Washington most recently served as deputy director of the Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind Office of Communications and Outreach.