From Attorney To FCC Commissioner: All About Starks


In March, the rumors first surfaced. On Friday evening, June 1, the name of the next FCC Commissioner — if all goes according to plan — had been announced by the White House.

Accolades continue to roll out on Monday for Geoffrey Starks, an alumnus of one of D.C.’s most prolific law firms.

Starks would officially take the remainder of a five-year term ending June 30, 2022, and technically takes not Clyburn’s former post but that of former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. However, Starks is for all intents and purposes filling the slot left open by Clyburn, who departed the Commission ahead of the end of the current Congressional session. Clyburn’s term came to an end on July 31, 2017.

With the official word of Starks’ nomination coming Friday evening from the White House, the FCC’s leader was quick to respond. Chairman Ajit Pai praised Starks, congratulating him on his forthcoming nomination to serve as a Commissioner. “He has a distinguished record of public service, including in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, and I wish him all the best during the confirmation process.”

On Saturday afternoon, NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith chimed in. “NAB strongly supports President Trump’s selection of Geoffrey Starks to a seat on the Federal Communications Commission,” he said. “We endorse his swift confirmation.”

Monday morning saw American Cable Association (ACA) President/CEO Matthew M. Polka offer his congratulations.

“We look forward to working with Mr. Starks following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, which we hope will occur promptly,” Polka said.

So, who is Geoffrey Starks?

He presently serves as an assistant chief in the Enforcement Bureau and has also served as senior counsel at the U.S. Justice Department.

Starks is also known across Washington for his time as an attorney at Williams & Connolly LLP.

Capitol Hill publication Politico delved further into Starks’ background in a Monday report. He shifted from the DOJ to the FCC in 2015 to help tackle waste, fraud and abuse in Universal Service Fund programs. Earlier in his career Starks served as staff to the state Democrats — at a time when Barack Obama was a little-known Illinois state senator.

Former Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole told Politico that Starks is “somebody who does their homework and looks at problems from the standpoint not of politics, but of serving the public. This is a person who can deal with the novel issues and novel concepts that are going to come up.”