Genachowski names new FCC public-safety bureau chief
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this week named retired Rear Adm. Jamie Barnett as the new permanent chief of the public safety and homeland security bureau (PSHSB), as the agency awaits word on the Senate confirmation for its final two commissioners.
A 32-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve who retired in 2008, Barnett has been a senior research fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a policy think tank focusing on science and technology issues, according to an FCC background release.
Barnett replaces acting PSHSB chief David Furth, who will return to his previous role as deputy chief of the bureau. In addition, Genachowski announced Jennifer Manner as a second deputy chief for the bureau. Manner was a principal at ZComm Strategies and previously was vice president of regulatory affairs at satellite provider Skyterra Communications. She also is a veteran of the FCC, having served as senior counsel to former FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy.
Meanwhile, the agency is expected to be led by a full commission soon, as Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Attwell Baker have both completed their confirmation hearings and are expected to receive confirmation votes from the full Senate as early as today.
Clyburn is a Democratic regulator from South Carolina and daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Baker is a Republican and a former official for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) official Meredith Attwell Baker to fill the final Republican slot on the commission. When they are confirmed, the FCC will have a full commission for the first time since former Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate’s term expired in January.
Harlin McEwen, technology committee chairman for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and chairman of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST), said he has not worked with Barnett in the past but is looking forward to the prospect of the FCC having a full commission in place next month.
“I think it’s very encouraging,” McEwen said. “Things are pretty quiet right now.”