He is joining Wiley Rein, which boasts the nation's largest communications law practice, as a consulting counsel, focusing on tech issues. The Wiley in Wiley Rein is Dick Wiley, former FCC chairman, whose firm is famous for cultivating future commissioners and top FCC staffers, then grabbing them back when they leave.
At the FCC's public meeting Oct. 23, the current chairman, Ajit Pai, announced Romano's retirement, calling it an "unfortunate subtraction."
Romano started in the FCC's Media Bureau but for the past two decades has been the associate chief for legal at the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET).
Romano has overseen the legal aspects of technical rulemakings, coordinating with the general counsel's office and explained things to the folks who aren't engineers, said Pai. "But Bruce is very much more than that as I learned when I was in the Office of General Counsel and had a chance to work with him on some fundamental amendments to our procedures." Pai said Romano was a point person on some of the FCC's toughest issues, which was why he was glad Romano had left his contact info. "We hope to reach you often."
But the chairman suggested his legacy was "all the things you did to help FCC processes and make people's lives a lot better," whether it was work to enable medical devices or streamline equipment authorizations or issues with unlicensed wireless devices. Romano nodded his assent to applause from the meeting audience.
"We are deeply grateful to your service with the commission," Pai added.