“The FCC should be a model for excellence in government,” the new chairman says as he unveils the names of key aides and advisors. Akin, Gump attorney Edward P. Lazarus will be chief of staff.
Julius Genachowski was sworn in as FCC chairman this afternoon by Supreme Court Justice David Souter and promptly announced members of his staff, noting their extensive experience in the public and private sectors, including service at the FCC, the office of the U.S. Attorney, the U.S. Congress, private legal practice, and in news, media and technology businesses.
“The FCC should be a model for excellence in government, and this extraordinarily accomplished team will help us achieve that,” Genachowski said. “The agency will benefit enormously from their leadership, from their private and public sector experience, and from their dedication to public service. I look forward to drawing on their diverse and strong talents to ensure that the FCC pursues policies that unlock opportunity, unleash innovation and job creation, protect consumers, and help address many of our nation’s most pressing challenges.”
The staffers are:
Edward P. Lazarus — chief of staff. He comes to the FCC from Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he was co-head of the firm-wide global litigation practice and a member of the firm’s management committee, overseeing more than 800 lawyers. He is a former prosecutor, having served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, and started his legal career as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Lazarus has also served as the chairman of the board of AbilityFirst, a provider of housing and vocational services to people with disabilities, and the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, a nonprofit legal services organization that represents roughly 25,000 dependent youth in Southern California.
Colin Crowell — senior counselor to the chairman. In this role, Crowell will serve as strategic adviser on a broad range of matters, and will also have particular responsibility for the communications, legislative, intergovernmental affairs, and public liaison functions of the agency. Crowell previously worked for more than 20 years on the staff of Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), serving on the staff of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet when Markey chaired the panel, and in the congressman’s personal office when Markey was the subcommittee’s ranking member.
Bruce Liang Gottlieb — chief counsel to the chairman and senior legal adviser. He will manage the commission’s overall agenda and have responsibility for policy coordination with the bureaus. In addition, he will have particular responsibility for wireless, engineering and technology, and public safety issues. Gottlieb was legal adviser to Commissioner Copps from 2006 to 2009. He also previously practiced communications law at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, and wrote for Slate. He began his legal career as a clerk to the Honorable David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Priya Aiyar — legal adviser, with particular responsibility for wireline competition and international issues. She was most recently a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, where she practiced in litigation and telecommunications. She began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Honorable Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prior to entering law school, Aiyar was a Rhodes Scholar.
Sherrese Smith — legal adviser, with particular responsibility for media, consumer and enforcement issues. She was most recently vice president and general counsel of Washington Post Digital. Prior to that, Smith was a member of the Intellectual Property group at Arnold & Porter. She currently serves on the board of the ABA’s Forum for Communications Law, has served on the board of the Media Law Resource Center Institute and was a co-chair of the Copyright Committee of the ABA. She is a frequent lecturer on media, publishing, internet and intellectual property issues and is a faculty member for the Practicing Law Institute.
Sherry Gelfand — confidential assistant to the chairman. Gelfand was executive assistant to the assistant attorney general, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, from 1993 to 1996. Since leaving the Department of Justice, she has been manager for business intake for a major Tampa law firm and has served as executive assistant to the chairman/CEO of Valor Telecom in Dallas. Most recently, she served as executive assistant to the chairman/CEO of Soundpath Legal Conferencing in Washington.
Daniel Ornstein — special assistant to the chairman. Ornstein comes to the FCC from CBS, where he managed several new media initiatives and helped run the network’s growing mobile business. Previously, Ornstein worked on a start-up company called Click.TV, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007.
Mary Beth Richards — special counsel to the chairman for FCC reform She will also head a comprehensive program to provide openness and transparency at the agency. Richards first joined the FCC in 1984 and held a variety of positions, including deputy chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs, Enforcement, and Common Carrier Bureaus, deputy managing director and special counsel to the chairman, before moving to the Federal Trade Commission in November 2006 as deputy director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. She recently returned to the FCC as deputy general counsel, and has been serving as acting managing director. In 1995, she received the Presidential Meritorious Executive Service Award.
Ruth Milkman will lead the transition effort in the chairman’s office. Milkman served at the FCC between 1986 and 1998 in a variety of positions, including deputy chief of the International and Common Carrier Bureaus, and senior legal adviser to Chairman Reed Hundt. Milkman also was a founding partner of Lawler, Metzger, Milkman & Keeney, LLC, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.