FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein was getting props from his fellow commissioners Monday following the announcement that he is President Barack Obama's choice to head the Rural Utilities Service.
"I congratulate my friend and colleague Jonathan Adelstein on the announcement that President Obama intends to nominate him for the critically important post of Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service," said Acting Chairman Michael Copps. "Jonathan will, upon his confirmation, bring a depth of knowledge, experience and commitment to the job that will enable him to make a huge contribution to advancing the well-being of rural America. He knows the issues and challenges inside-out and will be able to hit the ground running, which is exactly what's needed since RUS has been given such extraordinary responsibilities by the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Simply put, Jonathan's years at the FCC have been dedicated to advancing the public interest across the wide gamut of telecommunications and media issues. He's been a true leader, an eloquent spokesman, and a delight to work with."
The profile of the RUS has been elevated with the economic stimulus package's $7.2 billion in broadband grants being divided between RUS and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.
Also weighing in was Republican colleague Robert McDowell. "I congratulate my friend and colleague, Jonathan Adelstein, on President Obama's announcement that he intends to nominate him to be administrator of the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service," said McDowell. "RUS will benefit greatly from his leadership and decades of experience in public service. Although I will miss having Jonathan as a colleague on the Commission, I wish him the best as he transitions into this new opportunity. I am confident that rural America will be well served by his commitment to service."
"NAB appreciated Commissioner Adelstein's South Dakota values during his tenure at the FCC. We will miss his good humor, his understanding of the lifeline role played by local broadcasters, and his harmonica playing at the NAB Radio Show," said NAB Executive VP Dennis Wharton in a statement Monday. "We wish him well as he takes his public service passion to the Rural Utilities Service."
Aledstein's eventual exit will leave two seats to fill including that of Republican Deborah Taylor Tate. There could then be a third of Copps decides to exit when the President's choice for chairman, Julius Genachowski is finally installed.
McDowell's term expires in June.