Thomas M. Johnson Jr., the former deputy solicitor general for the West Virginia attorney general, will advise the commission chairman, commissioners, and staff on legal matters.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today named Thomas M. Johnson Jr. as FCC general counsel. When Johnson joins the commission next week, Acting General Counsel Nick Degani will move back to his role as senior counsel in the Office of Chairman Pai.
“Because we cannot stray beyond the authority granted to us by Congress, the general counsel is one of the most important positions at the FCC,” said Pai. “Having myself worked in the FCC’s Office of General Counsel, I know the hard work that goes on there. I am grateful that someone with Tom’s skill and experience is going to fill this vital role. Tom is an outstanding attorney and a strong leader.”
Johnson will join the commission from his position as deputy solicitor general for West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. He has also worked at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and as a law clerk for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Pai also thanked Degani for his work: “Nick once again stepped up when needed and did an outstanding job filling a temporary but fundamental need for the commission. I welcome him back to my office and thank him for his tireless work.”
The Office of General Counsel serves as the chief legal advisor to the commission and its various bureaus and offices. It also represents the FCC in litigation, recommends decisions in adjudicatory matters before the commission, assists the commission in its decision-making capacity, and performs a variety of legal functions regarding internal and other administrative matters.