FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Key Senior Staff Changes
Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:January 5, 2012
Neil Grace, 202-418-0506
FCC CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI
ANNOUNCES KEY SENIOR STAFF CHANGESWashington, D.C. – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the appointment of Zachary
Katz as Chief of Staff, as well as other senior staff changes. Mr. Katz will succeed Eddie Lazarus when he
departs at the end of January.
Chairman Genachowski said: “As I know from working closely with Zac on many important initiatives,
he has exceptionally good judgment, tremendous aptitude, and the strong leadership qualities to serve as
Chief of Staff. The agency is fortunate to have an extraordinarily accomplished senior team to lead an
ambitious policy agenda as we start the new year. Building on the successes of the past few years, this
team will be focused on unleashing the benefits of broadband, driving economic growth, and opportunity
for all Americans.”
Over the past three years, Mr. Katz has led a number of high-priority initiatives at the Commission,
including the creation of the Connect America Fund, which brought sweeping reforms to the Universal
Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation programs. Mr. Katz has worked with technology companies
at a strategy consulting and investment firm in Silicon Valley; developed an expertise on intellectual
property, technology and media issues at a leading Los Angeles law firm; and worked in the White
In addition, Chairman Genachowski announced new roles and responsibilities for senior staff and named
a new legal advisor:
Sherrese Smith, currently Senior Counsel and Legal Advisor, will become Chief Counsel and Senior
Legal Advisor. In this role, Ms. Smith will manage the Commission’s overall policy agenda, and will be
responsible for policy coordination among the Bureaus and Offices. The new role builds on her broad
experience leading major policy initiatives for the Commission, including her role driving the process that
resulted in historic new policies under which wireless companies will provide voice, text and data usage
alerts for over 97 percent of U.S mobile phone consumers. In addition, Ms. Smith was the FCC lead for
the Cumulus-Citadel merger reviewed in conjunction with the Department of Justice. Ms. Smith also led
the Commission's initiatives on cramming, which resulted in over $11 million in fines against companies
placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on telephone bills. Ms. Smith oversaw the
Commission's implementation of the CVAA (Communications and Video Accessibility Act), which was
signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. She also led the overhaul of the Video Relay Service
(VRS) system resulting in over $100 million in savings to the telecommunications fund. In her new role,
she will continue her advisory responsibilities on all media, consumer protection, and enforcement issues.
Josh Gottheimer will expand his responsibilities as Senior Counselor to the Chairman to focus on
directing a new team at the Commission on public-private initiatives. This new role builds on Mr.
Gottheimer’s leadership in the creation of several recent public-private partnerships, including Connect to
Compete, a first-of-its-kind broadband adoption initiative with national digital literacy and low-cost
broadband offerings; the FCC’s cybersecurity small business initiative, between government experts and
private IT and security companies; a partnership with mobile carriers on the Personal Localized Alerting
Network (PLAN), a new public safety emergency alerting system; and Jobs4America, an initiative that
will bring more than 100,000 new and repatriated call center jobs to the U.S. over the next two years.
Upcoming initiatives will harness the power of broadband to advance key national priorities such as jobs,
health care, energy, public safety, and education.
Amy Levine, currently Special Counsel and Legal Advisor, will become Senior Counsel and Legal
Advisor. Ms. Levine will continue to have particular responsibility for the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology. Her
work includes supervising the agency’s spectrum auction policy and providing technical advice to
Congress; managing wireless transaction reviews, including the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile and
AT&T/Qualcomm transactions; and promoting the creation of a nationwide, interoperable public safety
broadband network and deployment of E911 and NG911 technologies.
Michael Steffen will join the Chairman’s office as Legal Advisor to the Chairman with particular
responsibility for wireline, international, and Internet issues, including universal service, open Internet,
and satellite matters. Mr. Steffen currently serves as Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel,
where he has helped coordinate the Commission’s Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation
reforms and other priority projects.
Senior Staff Bios:
Mr. Katzcurrently serves as Chief Counsel to Chairman Genachowski after serving as Legal Advisor to
the Chairman and Deputy Chief of the Commission’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.
He joined the FCC in 2009 from the White House Counsel’s Office and previously practiced law at
Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles. Mr. Katz served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kim M.
Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after receiving his law degree from Yale,
where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal and active in the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services
Organization. Before law school he worked with technology companies at a strategy consulting and
investment firm in Silicon Valley.
Ms. Smithcurrently serves as Senior Counsel to Chairman Genachowski and Legal Advisor. Previously,
Ms. Smith was Vice President and General Counsel of Washington Post Digital. Before that, Ms. Smith
was a member of the Intellectual Property group at Arnold and 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. Ms. Smith is a frequent
lecturer on media, publishing, Internet and intellectual property issues and is a faculty member for the
Practicing Law Institute.
Mr. Gottheimer, Senior Counselor to the Chairman, is a strategic advisor to the Chairman on a wide
range of policy, legal and external matters. Mr. Gottheimer previously served as Executive Vice
President, Worldwide, at Burson-Marsteller, a global communications firm; Director of Strategic
Communications at Ford Motor Company, where he oversaw corporate advertising; Senior Advisor to the
United States Commission on Civil Rights; and Special Assistant to the President and Presidential
Speechwriter to President Bill Clinton. Mr. Gottheimer, a Harvard Law School graduate and a visiting
professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is also an author of two books: Ripples of Hope: Great
American Civil Rights Speeches and Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama's Speeches,
from the State House to the White House.
Ms. Levinecurrently serves as Special Counsel to the Chairman and Legal Advisor. Ms. Levine
previously served as principal communications policy advisor to Congressman Rick Boucher, former
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, and Congressman
John Dingell, former Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, in the U.S. House of
Representatives. Previously, she was Legislative Counsel to Senator Claire McCaskill and practiced law
at Covington & Burling in the firm’s communications and media law group. Ms. Levine clerked for Chief
Judge Jerry Buchmeyer in the Northern District of Texas.
Mr. Steffencurrently serves as Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel, where he has helped
coordinate the Commission’s Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation reforms and other
priority projects. Mr. Steffen clerked for the Honorable David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the D.C. Circuit after receiving his law degree from Yale. Before law school, he worked at the Center for
Democracy and Technology, focusing on copyright, Internet governance, and consumer privacy issues.
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