To Little Surprise, Rosenworcel Is Now Acting FCC Chair


In June 2016, well before anyone in Washington, D.C., expected Donald Trump to become the 45th U.S. President, concerns over the re-nomination of a Democratic FCC Commissioner surfaced.

Then came the November election, and the transition of Commission leadership from Tom Wheeler to Ajit Pai. With Republicans in control, Jessica Rosenworcel became a political pawn. She left on Inauguration Day 2017, only to return six months later with her re-nomination from President Trump confirmed.

Now, he’s actually to thank for making Rosenworcel the interim FCC Chairman.

Well … sort of.

President Biden on Thursday (1/21) designated Rosenworcel as Acting FCC Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission.

“I am honored to be designated as the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden,” she said, thanking Biden for the opportunity to lead an agency “with such a vital mission and talented staff.”

Rosenworcel called it ” a privilege to serve the American people and work on their behalf to expand the reach of communications opportunity in the digital age.”

In her stints at the Commission, Rosenworcel has worked to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in the nation’s communications services and has been a consistent champion for connecting all.

Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV and Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Rosenworcel practiced communications law for Drinker Biddle Reath in Washington, D.C.

Her brother, Brian, is the drummer in the alternative rock band Guster.

Republican colleague Brendan Carr extended his congratulations to Rosenworcel, calling her “a talented and dedicated public servant, as evidenced by her eight years of distinguished service on the FCC.”

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith also applauded Rosenworcel on becoming acting FCC chair. “She is a dedicated and experienced public servant who has demonstrated great aptitude in leading communications policy during her tenure at the Commission,” he said. “We look forward to working with her and her fellow Commissioners on regulatory policies that help local radio and TV stations serve the public interest.”