Obama nominates Genachowski to head FCC
President Barack Obama this week officially announced plans to nominate Julius Genachowski as the new permanent chairman of the FCC.
Described by many Beltway sources as the “worst-kept secret in Washington,” the nomination of Genachowski—a former Harvard law-school friend of Obama—to head the FCC was not a surprise, having been reported by multiple media outlets since December. If the nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Genachowski will replace Michael Copps, who has served as acting chairman of the FCC since Kevin Martin resigned in mid-January.
“Julius has the knowledge, experience and dedication to lead this agency forward as we tackle the many challenges confronting the country—and the commission,” Copps said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to the prospect of working with him on a communications agenda focused on serving consumers and the public interest.”
Genachowski was general counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt during the Clinton administration before entering the private sector in a variety of roles, including co-founding startup incubator Launchbox Digital. Overall, various industry sources said Genachowski’s background has been geared more toward commercial endeavors, so his positions on issues related to first-responder communications are largely unknown.
“I’m looking forward to working with him as he becomes the chairman,” Harlin McEwen, chairman of the technology committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and chairman of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST), said during an interview with Urgent Communications. “I think we’re excited that we’re going to have new thinking at the commission, and we’re hoping to have a good relationship.”
Robert Gurss, director of legal and government affairs for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), echoed this sentiment.
“We look forward to working with him,” Gurss said during an interview with Urgent Communications. “When he worked for Reed Hundt during the first Clinton administration, I always found him to be very responsive to public safety’s issues.”