FCC Names Acting Dir. Of Legislative Affairs

Tom Wheeler is bringing Sara Morris from the Commerce Department to succeed Patrick Halley who’s moving to the commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau.

Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the appointment of Sara Morris as acting director of the FCC’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) effective Jan. 2, 2014.

Morris has had a long career working on legislative and communications policy issues, including experience in Congress, the private sector, and the Executive Branch. Acting Director Patrick Halley will become associate chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau where he will focus on policy and strategy for the Bureau’s high priority proceedings.

Wheeler said in a statement: “Sara Morris comes to us with a wide range of government and private sector experience, coupled with telecommunications policy expertise. She is extraordinarily well positioned to forge strong relationships across government that will serve the public interest by advancing effective communications policy.”

Wheeler also thanked Patrick Halley for his service as acting director of OLA.

Morris comes to the FCC from the Department of Commerce, where she is deputy chief of the Office of Congressional Affairs. Her major areas of legislative and policy focus have included federal spectrum reallocation, establishment and implementation of the First Responder Network Authority, Recovery Act broadband programs, and the digital TV transition. In addition to working with members of Congress and staff, she has coordinated with state government officials, other federal agencies and the White House.

Prior to joining NTIA, she was a government affairs policy analyst at Paul, Hastings, Janofksy & Walker, and a telecommunications policy analyst at Verner Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand. She also has broad experience on Capitol Hill, where she worked for the Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired by then-Rep. Ed Markey, as well as the Energy, Conservation & Power subcommittee and the House Select Committee on Aging.

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