Washington sendoff for Robert McDowell


Robert McDowellAlthough he isn’t even gone yet, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell’s announcement of his imminent departure got the Washington PR machine cranked up to 5th gear. Here’s what people had to say:

* FCC Chairman Julius Genachoswki: Rob McDowell has been an extraordinary colleague – deeply knowledgeable about the vital and growing communications and tech sector, creative, wise, and a great partner on the Commission. Rob has been essential to major FCC achievements like the landmark reform of universal service and intercarrier compensation, and many steps to unleash spectrum. Rob’s thoughtful engagement in Commission policy has always improved the quality of our work. I’ve worked with Rob from the very first day of my tenure, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working together. I’m proud that Rob is both a colleague and a friend. And I have no doubt he’ll build on his tremendous experience and continue his long record of success.

* NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith: Robert McDowell has been a remarkably gifted public servant during his seven-year tenure at the FCC. His good humor and grace have been matched only by his ardent support for fair media ownership rules and full-throated support for a vibrant First Amendment. Commissioner McDowell will succeed in whatever path he chooses, and NAB wishes him well.

* FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: It is with profound sadness that I find myself coming to terms with the pending departure of my dear friend, Rob McDowell. Working with him has been an incredible learning experience, an increasingly rare exercise in effective collaboration, and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with a true southern gentleman. His background and ideals have been invaluable to the Commission, and his keen insights and deep intellect have helped me grow as a regulator. He is both a trusted ally and at times a worthy adversary, but to sum it all, Commissioner McDowell stands for America, her citizens, her entrepreneurs and her innovators. I will greatly miss his company, I wish him all the best, and thank him for being such a wonderful colleague and friend to me, the FCC, and our country.

* FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: I have worked with Commissioner McDowell in my current role for less than a year, but I have counted him as a friend for much longer than that. Rob is a smart, insightful, and deeply knowledgeable public servant. He is also a problem solver who cares deeply for this agency and its staff. We may not have always had the same perspective on every issue, but we were always able to work together—and our policies are better for it. But more important than being a terrific colleague, he has been a trusted and loyal friend. He will be missed.”

* FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: For over six years, Robert M. McDowell has served on the Federal Communications Commission with honor and distinction. He has championed innovation, promoted competition, and focused on boosting private investment in the communications industry. Rob was among the first to sound the alarm about international threats to Internet freedom, and his leadership has been critical to forging a broad, bipartisan consensus on this issue. On a personal level, I will always be grateful to Rob for the kindness he showed me during my first months in office. I am proud to call him a friend as well as a colleague. He has shown that it is possible to take the Commission’s work very seriously without taking ourselves too seriously. Whatever path Rob chooses to take next, I have no doubt that he will continue to achieve great success and to contribute positively to our country. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

* ACA President/CEO Matthew M. Polka: ACA salutes Commissioner McDowell of the Federal Communications Commission on his distinguished career at the agency, where he demonstrated an impressive mastery of the complicated regulatory framework that governs the communications industry, including independent cable operators. ACA always regarded Commissioner McDowell as an honest broker who searched for the right answer based on the law, the facts and the public interest. Commissioner McDowell was a model public servant noted for his sharp mind, quick wit, and generous spirit. We will miss working with Commissioner McDowell and his tireless dedication to reasoned decision-making within the bounds of authority delegated to the FCC by Congress, while at the same time understanding his desire to take his career in a new direction. ACA wishes Commissioner McDowell and his family a happy and prosperous future.

* CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro: During his nearly seven years at the FCC, Commissioner McDowell has approached issues with the legal and business savvy that are required in our increasingly complex technological world. We wish Commissioner McDowell the very best as he moves on to new adventures.