Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel: click for press photo

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel believes that the future belongs to the connected. She works to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success. She believes strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life.

From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, Jessica has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things. She also is responsible for developing policies to help expand the reach of broadband to schools, libraries, hospitals, and households across the country.

Named as one of POLITICO's 50 Politicos to Watch and profiled by InStyle Magazine in a series celebrating "women who show up, speak up and get things done," Jessica brings over two decades of communications policy experience and public service to the FCC. Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Jessica practiced communications law in Washington, DC.

She is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

 

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Narda Jones

Chief of Staff

Narda serves as FCC Chief of Staff having joined the Chairwoman’s leadership team from the White House where she was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to that, she was the Senior Technology Policy Advisor for the Democratic staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Science. Narda started working in the U.S. Senate for Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington in 2014, after spending over a decade in senior roles in the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline and International Bureaus. She also previously worked at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. In addition, she was part of the inaugural class of the AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship program and spent her fellowship time aiding homeless families secure housing and public benefits in St. Paul, Minnesota. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jones is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Brooklyn Law School.

Kate Black

Kate Black

Chief Policy Advisor

Kate has served as Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Policy Advisor since 2017. She joined the office from EMILY's List, where she served as Chief of Staff. Previously, Kate served as the Vice President of Research for EMILY's List, where she was responsible for policies regarding key issues facing American families. While in this role, she also served as Executive Director of American Women. Kate has held a variety of other policy and research positions at a diverse group of organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, the Service Employees International Union, and Hillary Clinton for President. She is the co-author, with June Diane Raphael, of "Represent: The Woman's Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World," published by Workman Publishing in 2019. She is a graduate of Miami University and holds a Master of Arts from George Washington University.

Umair Javed

Umair Javed

Chief Counsel

Umair serves as Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Chief Counsel. From October 2017 through January 2021, he served as then-Commissioner Rosenworcel's legal advisor for wireless and international issues. Umair joined the FCC from Wiley Rein LLP, where he was an attorney in the firm's Telecom, Media, and Technology practice group. Umair also has served on U.S. delegations to treaty-writing conferences and meetings of the International Telecommunication Union and as Commissioner of the Consumer Protection Commission of Fairfax County. He graduated from the University of Virginia and received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Priscilla Delgado Argeris

Chief Legal Advisor

Priscilla serves as Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Chief Legal Advisor. She joined the Chairwoman’s office from Meta Platforms, Inc. where she has focused on spectrum policy issues for the company across the globe. From 2012-2015, she previously served as then-Commissioner Rosenworcel’s Legal Advisor and Senior Legal Advisor covering wireline and wireless issues for the office during her tenure. Prior to joining the FCC, Priscilla worked at the law firm Wiley Rein, where she focused regulatory and litigation matters involving federal and state communications law. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from New York University School of Law.

D’wana Terry

D’wana Terry

Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity

D’wana will advise the Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and redress inequities in its policies and programs while also continuing to serve as the Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity. The Office of Workplace Diversity ensures that the provides employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual preference. D’wana has served in numerous senior positions at the FCC since joining the agency from private practice in 1994. Most recently, she was associate bureau chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. She has also served as an associate bureau chief and chief of staff in both the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and as acting deputy bureau chief of CGB. In addition, she previously served as chief of the Wireless Bureau’s Public Safety & Critical Infrastructure Division. She graduated from Lafayette College and received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Sanford Williams

Sanford Williams

Special Advisor to the Chairwoman

Sanford will advise the Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and expand opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved. Sanford has worked in various roles at the FCC since 1999. He also worked as an attorney for Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice and taught at Augusta State University in Georgia. Mr. Williams graduated from Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in operations research and industrial engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review.

Holly Saurer

Holly Saurer

Chief of the Media Bureau, Legal Advisor to the Chairwoman

Holly joins the office from the Media Bureau, where she has held several positions, including Deputy Bureau Chief, Associate Bureau Chief, Senior Legal Advisor and Attorney-Advisor with the Media Bureau’s Policy Division. Holly has previously served as an Acting Media Advisor for Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn, and an International and Consumer Affairs Legal Advisor for Chairman Wheeler. Prior to joining the Commission, Holly worked at the Washington, DC offices of Drinker Biddle & Reath and Miller & Van Eaton. Holly received her JD from American University and graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication.

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David Strickland

Legal Advisor, Consumer, Enforcement, and International

David joins the office from the Enforcement Bureau, where he most recently served as Assistant Bureau Chief, managing consumer protection, privacy, and media enforcement matters. David also served as Assistant Division Chief in the International Bureau, where he worked on a variety of satellite, telecommunications policy, and spectrum-related issues. Before joining the FCC, he was an attorney in private practice, specializing in litigation and antitrust issues. David is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School.

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Ramesh Nagarajan

Legal Advisor, Wireline

Ramesh joins the office from the Wireline Competition Bureau, where he was most recently Deputy Division Chief of the Competition Policy Division. He also served as a law clerk to United States District Judge James D. Whittemore in the Middle District of Florida. Ramesh began his legal career practicing antitrust and competition law at O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Before attending law school, he served as a Legislative Assistant to Representative Lois Capps. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

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Ethan Lucarelli

Legal Advisor, Wireless and Public Safety

Ethan joins the office from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, where he served as legal and policy advisor to the Bureau Chief. Previously, Ethan was Director of Regulatory & Public Policy at Inmarsat, a global satellite communications company, and an attorney in the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology group at law firm Wiley Rein LLP. Ethan also is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, teaching courses in Telecommunications Law and Scholarly Writing. Ethan earned his JD with highest honors from George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Illinois.

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Aurelle Porter

Staff Assistant

Aurelle has worked in then-Commissioner Rosenworcel’s office since 2018 and has been at the Federal Communications Commission since 2006. During her time at the agency, she has served as Special Assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs and as a Staff Assistant to former FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin.

Andi Roane-Wiley

Andi Roane

Confidential Assistant

Andi joins the office after serving in the offices of former Chairman Pai, former Chairman Wheeler, and Commissioner Simington. In prior FCC service, Andi served as the special assistant to the chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Previously, she worked as an executive assistant for more than two decades in the private sector.

June 29, 2021

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is Live!

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Today, we are starting the most significant single campaign ever to tackle the Homework Gap and make sure American students have access to the broadband and devices they need for school—the Emergency Connectivity Fund. Effective immediately, schools and libraries can apply for support to purchase laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections to facilitate off-campus remote learning.

As we open the window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, there are three numbers that every eligible school and library needs to know.

The first number is 16.9 million. That’s how many students do not have the high-speed internet access at home they need to fully participate in online learning. This problem, that I’ve labeled the Homework Gap, has been exacerbated during the pandemic and locked too many children out of the virtual classroom. We’ve seen the effects of Homework Gap during this crisis. Parking lots are full of cars with students using a free WiFi signal to get into class. Parents struggling to find safe spaces for their children to get online. These families have grit, but it shouldn’t be this hard. But help is here.

The second number is $7.17 billion. That is how many dollars are available from the Emergency Connectivity Fund from Congress. That means it’s time to think big and submit proposals that will dramatically narrow the Homework Gap in every community.

The third number is 45. That is how many days schools and libraries have to file an application for support. That is not a lot of time. It is imperative that stakeholders approach this unprecedented opportunity with a sense of urgency. Here are some things you should be doing already to get started.

I would encourage everyone reading this to spread the word where you can about the Emergency Connectivity Fund. You can learn more about the program and what tools we’ve made available to help make outreach a little easier from our Emergency Connectivity Fund website. It’s going to take a huge push over the next several weeks. With your help, I know that we can maximize the impact of this historic investment. Our kids and neighbors across the country are counting it.

—Jessica

June 21, 2021

July Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Summer has finally arrived, but the Commission is unusually busy. Since going live with our Emergency Broadband Benefit last month, we’ve enrolled millions of households in this unprecedented effort to give Americans substantial discounts on home broadband service, and that number continues to grow by the day. Next week, we will open the application filing window for the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund—our nation’s largest single effort ever to make sure students have access to the broadband and devices they need for homework and remote school. At the same time, we continue to move forward on work that is central to the Commission’s core responsibilities and work that helps make the agency more accessible to the public. Here are the items we have lined up for our July open meeting.

  • We’re putting the finishing touches on a program to remove and replace insecure equipment from our wireless networks. In 2020, the Commission adopted rules and established a program to reimburse telecommunications providers for costs to remove, replace, and dispose of communications equipment and services in their networks that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. Late last year, Congress appropriated $1.895 billion to implement this program, while also calling for modifications. The Commission will be voting on a Report and Order to incorporate these Congressionally mandated changes, such as expanding eligibility for the program to allow more carriers to participate and expanding the types of services and equipment that are eligible for reimbursement funding.
  • We’re enabling the use of state-of-the-art radar sensing technologies. The radar market has never been so dynamic. State-of-the-art radar sensing technology is enabling a new era of technological innovation that is shaping the future of the cars we drive and the phones in our pockets. With the right policies in place, we can help spur the use of these radars for vital sign monitoring in car seats that will enhance in-vehicle safety, for touchless control of device functions or features that can benefit users with mobility or speech impairments, and for much, much more. So the Commission will consider a proposal to expand the permissible uses for short-range radars in the 57-64 GHz band and ensure that all these new uses can coexist with each other.
  • We’re cleaning up our broadcast radio rules. The Commission’s current rules for full-power and translator radio stations contain a number of provisions that are redundant, outdated, or in conflict with other rules. We will vote on a proposal to update and clean up these rules to reduce any potential confusion, alleviate unnecessary burdens, and make sure they reflect the latest technical requirements.
  • We’re updating our filing requirements for the digital age. While the overwhelming majority of applications to the Commission must be filed electronically, we still have paper filing requirements. The Commission will be voting on a proposal to mandate electronic filings for certain applications to our International Bureau and to remove certain duplicate paper filing requirements. This common-sense move would reduce costs and administrative burdens, facilitate faster and more efficient communications, and improve transparency to the public.
  • We will also consider an item from our Enforcement Bureau.
June 15, 2021

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is Coming! Are you ready?

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

As many Americans celebrate their first in-person get togethers in months and as more and more of us receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we can’t forget the lessons learned during the height of the pandemic. We all remember those viral photos of kids staking out fast food restaurant parking lots just to catch a W-Fi signal to join the virtual classroom. Despite declining infection rates, this situation persists for too many students and families without broadband at home.

To help provide relief for millions of Americans still struggling to connect and stay online, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules in May to set up a new Emergency Connectivity Fund. This is a big deal. It’s the largest single effort in our nation’s history to make sure students have access to the broadband and devices they need for school. Established by the American Rescue Plan, the ECF will help close the Homework Gap so that kids who have been locked out of remote learning can go online for class and do nightly schoolwork that requires internet access. Plus, it will make it possible for libraries nationwide to offer their patrons—including students—new ways to go online and bring connectivity home.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced that the Emergency Connectivity Fund application filing window will open on June 29, 2021—just two weeks away—and close on August 13. The opening of the filing window will start the process of awarding $7.17 billion in funds to support the purchase of connected devices (laptop and tablet computers), Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections for off-campus use to serve the unmet needs of students, school staff, and library patrons.

Interested schools and libraries are encouraged to start planning now, so that they can hit the ground running when the 45-day application filing window opens. Here are some things you can do to get started.

Closing the Homework Gap is a top priority of mine, even from my early days on the Commission. We are excited for the launch of the Emergency Connectivity Fund and look forward to working with schools and libraries to meet their critical connectivity needs during the COVID-19 emergency period and beyond. Now, that’s something worth celebrating.

Jessica

May 26, 2021

June Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. While school is letting out and long-postponed vacations are getting underway, the FCC is still hard at work, and I am pleased to announce a packed agenda for our June meeting. Here’s what you can expect.

  • We’re expanding the Commission’s efforts to secure the nation’s communications networks beyond the agency’s universal service programs. The FCC must do all it can within its legal authority to address national security threats. So we are starting a proceeding to explore how we can update our equipment authorization rules and competitive bidding procedures to help keep insecure devices off the market. We will be voting on a plan to prevent authorizations of equipment that pose a significant threat to national security or to the safety of U.S. persons and to require additional national security certifications from applications who wish to participate in FCC auctions. We are also asking questions about how to create incentives for device manufacturers to adopt better cybersecurity processes.
  • We’re speeding the development of new technologies. While we take action to limit the presence of insecure equipment in the market, we also are taking action to help speed the way for trustworthy innovation that will help advance U.S. leadership. The FCC’s equipment authorization program helps to make sure that the latest smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets work as intended and don’t create harmful interference. To help our review process keep pace with the rate of innovation, we will vote on rules to expand opportunities to import, market, and conditionally sell radiofrequency equipment, including mobile devices, prior to the equipment completing the equipment authorization process. The new rules would allow manufacturers to gauge consumer interest for new products and take advantage of new mechanisms for marketing devices, like crowdfunding, while still ensuring that the important goals of the equipment authorization system and security are not undermined.
  • We’re improving emergency alerting. During natural disasters and other emergencies, a few moments of advanced warning can make all the difference. The Commission will be voting on rules to expand FEMA’s ability to send Wireless Emergency Alerts that disseminate important information during national emergencies, to improve emergency communications organization and planning at the state level, and to enable new reporting for false alerts.
  • We’re cracking down again on unwanted robocalls. Our fight against robocalls continues with another step to help provide relief from unwanted robocalls. Consistent with the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act), we will vote to adopt a streamlined process that will allow private entities (e.g., hospitals and other institutions) to alert the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau about suspected unlawful robocalls and spoofed Caller ID attempts.
  • We’re expanding access to telehealth services in the home. The Commission has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the capacity of hospitals and community health centers to provide telehealth services. Our Connected Care Pilot Program supports telehealth services delivered directly to patients outside of traditional medical facilities—including the home. This June, we will vote on an order to provide guidance to selected applicants on eligible services, competitive bidding, invoicing, and data reporting.
  • We’re exploring spectrum options for the fishing industry. Ships and shore stations currently rely on a maritime navigation system called Automatic Identification System (AIS) to monitor and track ships and exchange safety-related information. Congress has asked the Commission to explore whether we can safely authorize devices used to mark fishing equipment for use on AIS channels while maintaining the core purpose of these channels to prevent maritime accidents. The Commission will answer Congress’s call by considering an item that seeks comment on this issue in addition to alternative spectrum options for devices used to mark fishing equipment.
  • We’re addressing diverse, local voices in the media. Last year, the Commission modified the low power FM (LPFM) engineering rules to improve LPFM reception and options for station relocation while maintaining core LPFM goals of simplicity, diversity, and localism. This June, we will address two petitions seeking reconsideration of those rule changes, which will provide clarity and finality to these rules, bringing us one step closer to opening an application window for new LPFM stations.
  • We will wrap up our June meeting with an item from our Enforcement Bureau.
May 13, 2021

Help Has Arrived

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

This is a big week for the FCC. More important, this is a big week for the millions of Americans who want to get and stay connected.

During the pandemic, the entire world moved online. As a result, the digital divide became a growing chasm. Suddenly, Internet access was not just nice-to-have, it was a must-have for work, healthcare, school, and beyond. For millions of people, including 17 million school children, who lack Internet access at home, this shift put them in crisis. And nearly 1 in 3 Americans say they are worried about how they’re going to pay their broadband bill.

For the past few months, my message to these Americans has been that help is on the way. Today, I can say that help has arrived.

As part of the new Emergency Broadband Benefit, millions of Americans are now eligible to receive substantial discounts on broadband service and computers.

If you qualify for Medicaid, SNAP, free-and-reduced school lunches, Lifeline, Pell Grants, or other low-cost service offerings, you can go to a local broadband provider and get a discount of up to $50 a month for broadband service, or up to $75 a month if you live on Tribal lands. Participants can also receive a one-time, $100 discount on a computer or tablet.

To sign up, eligible participants can contact participating providers directly, or they can go to fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

People won’t receive the discount if they don’t sign up. So, the Commission is calling on all our stakeholders to help us get the word out about the Emergency Broadband Benefit and help get people connected.

But, wait! There’s more.

This week, the Commission also adopted rules to establish the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.2 billion program will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity.

Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. To put the scale of that investment in perspective, the Emergency Connectivity Fund is the largest single effort in our nation’s history to make sure students have access to the broadband and devices they need for school. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is by far the largest-ever broadband affordability program we’ve ever had. Adopting rules for an unprecedented program and going live with another is not a bad week’s work for the FCC. It’s an even better week for the millions of Americans who will benefit from these programs.

Broadband: With Jessica Rosenworcel

Broadband Conversations

Dedicated to amplifying the voices of women who are making a difference in our digital lives.

Broadband Conversations is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. Each episode, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will talk to women who are breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they're working on, what's on their minds, what they think is the next for the future. Because there are just too few, it's time to amplify these women's voices.

Episodes

#517 minutes

Justine Bateman, Writer, Producer, Director and Actress

In this episode of Broadband Conversations, Commissioner Rosenworcel chats with writer, producer, director and actress Justine Bateman. Justine also is a net neutrality activist and has been involved in the fight to preserve an open internet since the beginning. Commissioner Rosenworcel and Justine discuss net neutrality, Justine's new book, and the future of creative media.

In this episode of Broadband Conversations, Commissioner Rosenworcel chats with Iris Bohnet, Professor, Co-director of the Women and Public Policy Program, and Academic Dean of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Trained as a behavioral economist, Iris an award-winning author and co-directs Harvard’s Women and Public Policy Program. In addition, she is currently guiding a research project to better understand the intersection of gender and technology. The Commissioner and Professor Bohnet discuss her latest research and strategies she’s found that can help technology companies close the gender gap.

#321 minutes

Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code

Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, joined Commissioner Rosenworcel for a conversation about how we can encourage more girls, especially girls of color, to be interested in technology and how through that work we can help close the digital divide.

#216 minutes

Maya Wiley

New School Professor of Urban Policy and Management Maya Wiley joins Commissioner Rosenworcel to discuss the importance of broadband access in both rural and urban areas, digital equity and why connectivity is now critical for individual and community success.

#114 minutes

US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto talks to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel about how we can get more girls coding, how our cities can be smarter, and why getting connected and online is essential for everyone to have a fair shot at 21st century success.