Robin Colwell, who has been chief of staff and senior legal advisor to FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly, has been named chief counsel on the House Communications Subcommittee. Current chief counsel David Redl has been nominated by President Donald Trump to head the National Telecommunications & Information Administration but remains on staff until he is confirmed in the post.
The subcommittee is also down a deputy chief counsel, Grace Koh, who exited earlier this year to become special assistant to the President for technology, telecom and cybersecurity.
Colwell is formerly legislative counsel to Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and counsel for the Senate Subcommittee on Tourism, Competitiveness and Innovation.
In addition, the subcommittee announced that Tim Kurth has been named senior professional staff for the subcommittee. Kurth, who has been with lobbying firm Heartland Strategies, is former assistant to then-speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who at Heartland dealt with, among other things, mergers and acquisitions—specifically telecommunications issues related to Charter's proposed deal with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
"I will truly miss Robin because her professionalism and mastery of communications policy is only exceeded by her sound judgment, political acumen and ability to work well with everyone she meets," said O'Rielly of the departure. "While she maintains sound conservative principles, she is able and willing to reach a deal when appropriate. There is no doubt in my mind that Robin will do very well in the new role."
"I'm thrilled to be joining the incredibly talented team that Chairman Walden and Chairman Blackburn have already put together," said Colwell, who starts in July. "Two and a half eventful and exciting years working for my brilliant friend Commissioner O'Rielly and with his incomparable legal advisors, Amy Bender and Erin McGrath, have prepared me well for this return engagement on the Hill. I look forward to working with my new Democratic colleagues, and I'm hopeful for the prospects of building strong coalitions and lasting policy gains on the communications and technology issues so important to all Americans."