Abernathy replaces Ness as FCC commissioner
(MRT) Kathleen Q. Abernathy was sworn in today as a member of the Federal Communications Commission for the three years remaining in a term expiring on June 30, 2004.
A Republican, Abernathy replaces Democrat Susan Ness. Abernathy has previous FCC experience in serving as a legal advisor to two former commissioners, Sherrie Marshall and Chairman James Quello.
In joining the FCC, Abernathy leaves a position as director for government affairs at BroadBand Office. She previously was a partner in the Washington law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer. Under Qwest Communications’ former name of U.S. West, she was vice president for regulatory affairs, and she was once vice president for federal regulatory at AirTouch Communications.
“I am humbled and honored that the president and Congress have selected me to serve the American people as an FCC commissioner,” Abernathy said. “Having worked at the FCC as a legal advisor to two commissioners, I feel a particular sense of pride and responsibility in following in the footsteps of such fine public servants. I look forward to working with Chairman Powell, my fellow commissioners, and the talented and dedicated commission staff to make the best, most prompt decisions possible for the American people.”
Ness, speaking at a commission meeting on May 10, said: “While I do not know what the future will bring, I am confident that those who have been nominated to serve at the FCC will do a terrific job. I wish the new members of the commission all the best under Chairman Powell’s able leadership.”
Ness began her service on the commission on May 23, 1994, serving for a little more than seven years. She served the last few days of a term ending June 30, 1994 and for a full five-year term that expired June 30, 1999. She continued in office and was renominated by President Clinton on July 19, 1999. The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on her renomination on March 22, 2000, but never voted to send the renomination for a full Senate vote. Ness left office briefly when Congress recessed on Dec. 15, 2000. President Clinton gave her a recess appointment on Dec. 18, 2000, and Ness continued in office until Abernathy was sworn in.