FCC Names Babette Boliek Chief Economist

She is a professor of law and the associate dean of faculty research at Pepperdine University School of Law.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today announced the appointment of Babette Boliek as chief economist for the commission. She currently serves as a professor of law and the associate dean of faculty research at Pepperdine University School of Law.

“Our work at the FCC often sits at the intersection between law and economics. It seems only fitting, then, that our new chief economist has deep experience in each of these fields,” said Pai. “Our current efforts to better integrate economic analysis factors into many aspects of the agency’s work, from closing the digital divide to merger review. Adding an extraordinarily talented, well-respected expert like Dr. Boliek to our team will help us continue to make well-informed decisions that reflect basic principles of economics as well as the rule of law. I’m grateful that Dr. Boliek has agreed to join our team.”

The FCC chief economist advises the chairman, commissioners, bureaus and offices on economic issues. The chief economist typically serves a one-year term and works within the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis — and will be a central figure in the FCC’s new Office of Economics and Analytics. Pai’s prioritization of efforts to better integrate economic analysis will extend to rulemakings, transaction reviews, auctions, and adjudications.

Boliek earned her doctorate in economics from the University of California, Davis, and her law degree from Columbia University School of Law. Currently, her research at Pepperdine focuses on applied economic and legal analysis in the areas of Internet regulation, competition and antitrust, privacy, and the mobile telecommunications industry. Her teaching responsibilities have included antitrust law and policy, communications law, corporations, and contract law.

Boliek has served as a fellow with the Information Economy Project at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and with the Center for Communications Law and Policy at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. She also has been a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She is expected to start her work at the FCC in August.

Pai also thanked Dr. Jerry Ellig for his work during his term as FCC chief economist: “I greatly appreciate Jerry’s outstanding work at the Commission. He brought a great deal of economic expertise to the agency, and we are all better for having worked with him. I wish him nothing but the best as he returns to academia.”

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