Not too many new names since the speculation on who might get appointed to a FCC under new administration started last March. But, speculation is fun and the FCC is unquestionably going to be a massively important body as convergence becomes quite real.
Olga Kharif of Businessweek writes about who is driving the process for the transition team and providing advice:
Heading up the selection process is Henry Rivera, partner at Washington law firm Wiley Rein. Headed by former FCC Chairman Richard Wiley, Wiley Rein has represented such companies as AT&T, Verizon Communications (VZ), Viacom (VIA), Motorola (MOT), and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI).
Rivera was the first Hispanic FCC commissioner, serving from 1981 to 1985, and is considered an advocate for local telcos, wireless companies, and cable TV providers. "Henry is a wise man, a bipartisan with lots of experience," says John Muleta, former head of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and now CEO of M2Z, an emerging wireless broadband provider...
...Obama's team is also weighing recommendations from former FCC Chairmen Bill Kennard and Reed Hundt, both of whom advised the Obama campaign on telecommunications-related issues.
Kharif also hits on the possible appointees who are being bandied about:
- Julia Johnson, a Florida consultant who chairs Video Access Alliance, an advocacy and advisory group for independent, emerging, and minority networks and Internet content providers.
- Mignon Clyburn, who has been a commissioner for the Public Service Commission of South Carolina since 1998.
- Blair Levin, who was Hundt's chief of staff from 1993 to 1997. Currently, Levin is managing director at brokerage and investment bank Stifel Nicolaus.
- Scott Blake Harris, who served as the first chief of the FCC's International Bureau, from 1994 to 1996, and was responsible for international and satellite communications policy and licensing. Currently, he is managing partner of influential law firm Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis
- Don Gips, who succeeded Harris as chief of the FCC's international bureau and spearheaded the drive to cut the prices of international calls. (He) is currently group vice-president for corporate strategy and development at fiber-optic network operator Level 3, where he's worked since 1998.
- Larry Strickling, who served as chief of the (FCC) division that regulates local and long-distance carriers before he resigned in 2000 to work for the policy think tank Aspen Institute.... Strickling helped pull together the campaign's Innovation & Technology Plan, which drew support from such companies as Google...
- Julius Genachowski, who used to be an executive at IAC/InterActive (IACI) (and is currently a managing director of venture capital firm Rock Creek Ventures and a special adviser to buyout firm General Atlantic.) He is a close Obama adviser and is on the transition advisory board
The Deal also ran a speculative story and only had one additional name to add to the mix: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
Skype, for one, thinks Blair Levin would be a good choice. Skype's senior director of government and regulatory affairs for North America Christopher Libertelli said last week that: "Levin would make an excellent FCC chairman."