The news of nomination of Tom Wheeler as FCC chair and the
naming of Mignon Clyburn as interim chair was welcomed by the current
commissioners on Wednesday.
"I've had the pleasure of knowing Tom personally and
professionally for almost 20 years," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski,
who announced he will be leaving in mid-May now that a successor has been
named. "I was pleased to appoint Tom as chairman of the FCC's
Technological Advisory Council in 2010, and under his leadership the TAC has
made strong contributions to the FCC's work, including on unleashing spectrum
for mobile, removing barriers to private investment, and strengthening our
cyber security. At this exciting time in this important sector, I can attest to
Tom's commitment to harness the power of communications technology to improve
people's lives, to drive our global competitiveness, and to advance the public
interest. The FCC's role has never been more essential, and with Tom's deep
policy expertise and his first-hand experience as a technology investor, he is
a superb choice to advance the FCC's mission of promoting innovation,
investment, competition, and consumer protection."
Mignon is a strong, experienced, and thoughtful
leader," Genachowski said. "She has distinguished herself through her
work to modernize universal service and promote competition, and as a champion
for closing America's digital divide. With this appointment, Mignon will also
distinguish herself as the first woman to lead the FCC. I congratulate my
friend and colleague on this honor."
"Given his wealth of private-sector experience and his
knowledge of the communications industry, Tom is superbly qualified to lead the
commission," said Republican Commissioner and soon-to-be senior Republican
commissioner Ajit Pai. "I look forward to working with him on creating a
regulatory environment in which innovation and competition will flourish for
the benefit of all Americans." Of his colleague Clyburn, he said: "I
know that she will lead the commission with skill and integrity. For the past
eleven months, I have appreciated the collegial approach she has brought to our
joint labors at the Commission. I look forward to continuing to work with her
on the important issues on our agenda."
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, herself a candidate for
the top FCC job, had nothing but good things to say about Wheeler.
"I am excited by the news that President Obama has decided
to nominate Tom Wheeler to be the next chairman of the Federal Communications
Commission," she said. I know he will bring a deep understanding of
communications policy to the role, which he has already demonstrated through
his leadership of the Commission's Technological Advisory Council. This agency
will face complex issues during the days ahead, but I am confident that he will
be a terrific leader and I look forward to working with him."
Of Clyburn, she said: "Mignon is a principled and
dedicated public servant and I have no doubt that she will be a thoughtful
leader of the agency during this critical time in its history."
"I have always known Tom to be thoughtful, insightful
and eager to listen," said departing commissioner Robert McDowell, who is
also exiting mid-month. "Furthermore, he is an accomplished scholar of
American history -- an unusual attribute which should give him a unique
perspective as he works to shape public policy as FCC chairman. Wheeler has
written two books, including one on leadership lessons from the Civil War.
But while Wheeler is steeped in history, Clyburn
will be making some herself. "As her friend, I am delighted that Mignon
has written a page in American history as the first woman to serve at the helm
of the Commission. While we do not always agree on policy, I have consistently
found Mignon to be thoughtful, highly perceptive, energetic and respectful of
opposing viewpoints....She is a consummate public servant who strives to make
the American communications marketplace better for consumers. I wish her
every success in her new role."