Last night, President Obama nominated Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to seats on the five-member Federal Communications Commission. Their nomination was expected to an FCC that will have a full complement of three Democrats and two Republicans if both are confirmed.
Jessica is an exceptional choice. She is a Democrat nominated to replace Michael Copps, who is a hero to many of us who have worked on Internet and media issues. Jessica once worked for the same Commissioner Copps and has spent the past several years as the top telecom staffer in Congress. That means everyone who works on telecom and Internet issues has probably worked with her at some point in the past decade. From all reports, everyone has had the same experience with her that I have had. Everyone says the same sort of thing and they’re right: she is in fact absolutely brilliant, imaginative yet practical, and has deep and broad knowledge of policy and politics.
Ajit, a Republican replacing Meredith Attwell Baker, also strikes me as an exceptional choice. He too has both senior Hill experience and senior FCC experience, and has held senior positions in the DOJ and at a leading DC law firm. I worked with him when he served as deputy general counsel at the FCC under Chairman Kevin Martin. From that experience alone, it was evident to me that Ajit is super smart, a master of complexity, and thoughtful. At the very least, among other things, he is a great lawyer.
Kudos to the President on these nominations. And best of luck to both Jessica and Ajit in the confirmation process.