US President Barack Obama has nominated Tom Wheeler (pictured with Obama) as the next chairman of the country’s national regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
When announcing the nomination, Obama said the FCC’s current Technological Advisory Council (TAC) chair “has been at the forefront of some of the very dramatic changes that we’ve seen in the way we communicate and how we live our lives”.
Outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski appointed Wheeler to his current role in 2010 and said the nominations were “excellent selections”.
“The FCC’s role has never been more essential, and with Tom’s deep policy expertise and his first-hand experience as a technology investor, he is a superb choice to advance the FCC’s mission of promoting innovation, investment, competition, and consumer protection,” Genachowski noted.
Wheeler’s work with the TAC has included releasing mobile spectrum, removing barriers for private investment and strengthening cyber security. He was previously president of the CTIA mobile industry association from 1992 until 2004.
Current CTIA president and CEO Steve Largent said Wheeler’s role with the TAC and his private sector experience “means he will hit the ground running”.
Largent added that the CTIA will look to work with Wheeler on “the breadth of spectrum and other wireless telecom matters which are pending at the Commission and critical to the maintenance of our position as global leader in mobile communications”.
Obama also designated FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn as acting chairwoman, making her the first woman to lead the organisation.
Mignon will lead the FCC between the departure of current chairman Julius Genachowksi in mid-May and pending Wheeler’s Senate confirmation.