The Senate Thursday approved by unanimous consent the nomination of Larry Strickling as assistant secretary of Commerce for communications and information, which is the title for the top executive at Commerce's National Telecommunications & Information Administration.
NTIA is the White House's communications policy advisor. It's current agenda includes coming up with guidelines for dispensing $4.5 billion in broadband stimulus money and administering the DTV-to-analog converter box coupon program.
Strickling was a telecom and technology advisor to the Obama campaign--as was FCC Chairman nominee Julius Genachowski--and is a former top FCC staffer.
Strickling's resume includes Ameritech, Allegiance Telecom, CoreExpress, Network Plus, and he was a partner in the firm of Kirkland and Ellis. Also like Genachowski, with whom he will undoubtedly be working on the congressionally-mandated grand broadband rollout strategy, and Presdient Obama, Strickling is a Harvard grad.
Before joining the Obama campaign as policy coordinator, he was a top executive with Broadwing Communications
Strickling is the first official head of NTIA since the fall of 2007, when John Kneuer exited. For most of the intervening time, NTIA was headed by Meredith Attwell Baker in an acting capacity.
While the converter box program has come under fire, Attwell Baker's stewardship has gotten generally high marks. She is widely thought to be the Republican's choice for a vacant seat on the FCC.
Since Baker's departure in January with the exit of the previous administration, NTIA has been headed by acting administrator Anna Gomez.