President Barack Obama announced Monday evening his Federal Communications Commissioner nominations: Ajit Varadaraj Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel. The candidates — a Republican and a Democrat, respectively — bring to the positions years of telecommunications and Capitol Hill experience.
Experts say that the nominees — rumored to be FCC candidates for some time now — are expected to be confirmed during a Senate Commerce hearing within weeks.
The FCC recently announced its Connect America Fund, a plan to help bring broadband Internet to rural areas. The agency is currently facing legal challenges from both Verizon and Free Press for its net neutrality rules. The rules are expected to take effect November 20. There is currently a petition floating around the Senate to overturn the rules. (RELATED: U.N. agenda tied to George Soros)
Pai is currently a partner in the litigation department of Jenner & Block LLP and spent several years in the Office of the General Counsel at the FCC, where he served as deputy general counsel, associate general counsel, and special advisor to the general counsel. Pai also spent several years in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Office of Legal Policy.
In addition to FCC and Department of Justice experience, Paj was counsel to Verizon. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Pai will be filling the vacated seat of former GOP FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker.
Rosenworcel, a former aide to current FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, will be filling his seat when he retires. Rosenworcel is the senior communications counsel for Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. She spent eight years with the FCC between 1999-2007 as a senior level staffer.
Rosenworcel was also senior legal counsel for the Wireline Bureau chief.