New FCC Chairman Makes Staff Moves


Freshly minted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday selected his Wireless, Public Safety, and International Legal Advisor to serve as Acting General Council of the Commission.

Brendan Carr

Brendan Carr takes the role as Howard Symons, who became FCC General Counsel in July 2016, has exited the Commission.

“I am very pleased that Brendan has agreed to return to the Office of General Counsel to lead it,” Pai said. “He is a lawyer’s lawyer, and I look forward to working with him and his team to ensure that as the agency seeks to deliver digital opportunity to every American, it does so consistent with the expressed will of Congress.”

Prior to 2014, Carr provided legal advice on a wide range of spectrum policy, competition, and public safety matters from the general counsel’s office. Prior to joining the Commission, Carr was an attorney at Wiley Rein LLP, where he worked in the firm’s appellate, litigation, and telecom practices.

In addition to Carr’s selection as Acting General Counsel, Pai named his personal Chief of Staff, Matthew Berry, the Commission’s Chief of Staff.

Berry previously served as the Commission’s General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel, and before joining the FCC served as a partner at Patton Boggs LLP.

Concurrently, Pai’s Wireline Legal Advisor, Nicholas Degani, has been elevated to the FCC’s Senior Counsel.  He joined the office four years ago from a detail to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he served as counsel under Chairman Fred Upton and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden.

Before his detail, Mr. Degani served as an Attorney Advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau’s Telecommunications Access Policy Division and Competition Policy Division, as well as the Commission’s Office of General Counsel.

Additionally, Jay Schwarz will serve as Acting Wireline Director, while Alison Nemeth will take over as Acting Media Director.


Bill Lake will depart as Chief of the FCC’s Media Bureau at the end of January, and Michelle Carey will serve as Acting Chief of the Media Bureau.  For the past six years, Carey has been Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau.  In this capacity, she assists in shaping the bureau’s policies designed to facilitate competition in the multichannel video programming marketplace.

Additionally, Michael Carowitz becomes Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, Lisa Fowlkes is tapped as Acting Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Nese Guendelsberger is tapped as Acting Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Timothy Strachan will serve as Acting Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.


Commercial real estate journal REBUSINESS ONLINE reports that Trammell Crow, along with joint venture partners Cottonwood Partners and a subsidiary of a private real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital-Real Estate, has signed a long-term lease for nearly 473,000 square feet with the FCC.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) signed the lease on behalf of the FCC at Sentinel Square III, an 11-story office building to stand at 45 L St. N.E. in Washington, D.C.’s up-and-coming NoMa District between Gallaudet University to the north and Union Station to the south.

The new building will provide easier access to the Russell and Hart Senate Office Buildings, and the Capitol Subway system that carries politicians to the Capitol and House office buildings.

The FCC will take all of floors three through 10 in the building, and a portion of the first two floors, by November 2019.