Genachowski Announces Senior Broadband Development Staffers

Team includes Pew researcher and investment bank execs

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced senior staffers assembled from inside and outside the agency to work on the development of a national broadband plan, the latter including a Pew researcher and some former investment bank execs.

Genachowski called it a "brilliant team" willing to work under Congress' daunting deadline of Feb. 17, 2010 for the plan.

He said Tuesday that dozens of FCC staffers will be assigned to the task, and added his thanks to the outside additions who "set aside their successful ventures in the private sector to also join in serving the public interest."

Coming from private industry to help with the plan under the watchful eye of Ominbus Broadband Initiative (OBI) Executive Director Blair Levin:

Erik Garr, general manager. Garr is on leave from Diamond Management and Technology Consultants.

Brian David, adoption and usage director. David is a former media banker with Goldman Sachs and has had a variety of business development posts.

Kristen Kane, national purposes director (the broadband initiative implicates everything from health care and energy to education and government services). Kane has been chief operating officer of the New York City Department of Education. She also has a banking background as an analyst at JP Morgan and Salomon Smith Barney.

John Horrigan, consumer research director. Horrigan comes from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, where he was the author of its Measuring Broadband report, among many others.

Rob Curtis, deployment director. Curtis is a former CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) president and former member of the high-tech practice of McKinsey & Co.

The in-house talent being tapped for leadership roles: Julie Veach, acting chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, will be the policy team leader; John Leibovitz, deputy chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will be team lead on spectrum issues; Donald Stockdale, deputy chief, chief economist, Wireline Competition Bureau, will be a policy adviser; Krista Witanowski, attorney advisor, Media Bureau, will coordinate the broadband workshops (the first is being held Aug, 6); Christopher Lewis, legislative analyst in the Office of Legal Affairs, will liaison with legislators; Roger Goldblatt, outreach and policy advisor, Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau, will coordinate community outreach.

Mark Wigfield, spokesman for the Wireline Competition Bureau, will be the chief spokesman for the broadband effort.

The announcement of the execs came on the eve of an "all-hands" meeting between the chairman and staffers about the importance of the effort and the need for in put and participation from all those hands.

Wigfield said that about a dozen excutives have been hired from outside for the broadband effort, with another dozen or so expexted to be added, "depending on work flows and expertise needed."

But most of the heavy lifting will be done by FCC staffers, with some 250 being detailed to the project, he said.