A Former Media Bureau Deputy Chief Returns To The Role


It is possible to miss the FCC so much following a 16-year tenure that culminated in the role of Media Bureau Deputy Chief that you’d want to return, and assume your old role?

That seems to be the case, as the newest appointment at the Commission involves an individual who is returning to the role after two years at a non-profit devoted to improving legal representation for domestic violence survivors.

Coming back as Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau is Sarah Whitesell. 

From 2005-2015, she provided consultative and advisory services to the Commission and staff on a variety of matters including major media transactions, media ownership, broadband, and broadcast and multichannel video programmer (MVPD) related rulemakings as Deputy Chief and, prior to that, Associate Chief.

Whitesell’s return came with big accolades from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He said, “Sarah has a tremendous reputation for her vast knowledge of communications and media issues—a reputation that is well-earned, as I know from having worked with her at the Justice Department in the late 1990s and the FCC more recently.  I’m grateful she is returning to the Media Bureau. She will play a key leadership role as the Bureau modernizes our media rules for the digital age and addresses other Commission priorities.”

From December 2015 through January 2018, Whitesell served as co-Executive Director of the Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women.

Her many capacities at the Commission include those as Legal Advisor to then-Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn for media issues, Acting Legal Advisor to former Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on media issues, Legal Advisor to former Commissioner Gloria Tristani for common carrier issues, as well as management roles in the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis and the International Bureau.

Whitesell has also served as a member of the Telecommunications Task Force for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and as an associate at the law firm that is now WilmerHale.