Milkman to Head Wireless Bureau

Replaces Kaplan who will exit in mid-June

Ruth Milkman is returning as chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, according to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The bureau has been headed by Rick Kaplan since last June, when Milkman left the post to join the chairman's office as special counsel for innovation in government.

Kaplan will be exiting the bureau chief post mid-June, said the chairman. "For the past three years, Rick Kaplan has been critical in helping us navigate some of the most challenging, complex, and important initiatives at the agency  -- starting with the DTV transition to all things wireless to complex merger and acquisition reviews," Genachowski said in a statement. "As my Chief Counsel and then Chief of the Wireless Bureau, Rick worked tirelessly to develop sound policy and to unleash innovation, economic growth, and broad opportunity."

Kaplan joined the commission in 2009, serving as chief counsel to the chairman, and chief of staff to Commissioner Mignon Clyburn as well as Wireless Bureau Chief and a point person for information on the switch to digital.

Kaplan's announced departure follows by a day that of General Counsel Austin Schlick, who is leaving at the end of the month. An FCC spokesman had no comment on the changes, which follow the exits earlier this year of a number of bureau chiefs and others. Kaplan was not available for comment at press time on his future plans.

Reasons given for the FCC departures have included family moves and "other opportunities," but it is also not unusual for government officials to return to the usually more lucrative private sector after a stint in the sometimes-frustrating bureaucracy of public service. Also, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski could decide to exit early next year, and would have to give up his chairmanship at any rate if a Republican were elected.