Commissioner Michael O'Rielly

Michael O’Rielly was nominated for a seat on the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama on August 1, 2013 and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on October 29, 2013. He was sworn into office on November 4, 2013. On January 29, 2015, he was sworn into office for a new term, following his re-nomination by the President and confirmation by the United States Senate.

Prior to joining the agency Commissioner O’Rielly served as a Policy Advisor in the Office of the Senate Republican Whip, led by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, since January 2013. He worked in the Republican Whip’s Office since 2010, as an Advisor from 2010 to 2012 and Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director from 2012 to 2013 for U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

He previously worked for the Republican Policy Committee in the U.S. Senate as a Policy Analyst for Banking, Technology, Transportation, Trade, and Commerce issues from 2009 to 2010. Prior to this, Commissioner O’Rielly worked in the Office of U.S. Senator John Sununu, as Legislative Director from 2007 to 2009, and Senior Legislative Assistant from 2003 to 2007. Before his tenure as a Senate staffer, he served as a Professional Staff Member on the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the United States House of Representatives from 1998 to 2003, and Telecommunications Policy Analyst from 1995 to 1998.

He began his career as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman Tom Bliley from 1994 to 1995.

Commissioner O’Rielly received his B.A. from the University of Rochester.

Robin Colwell

Robin Colwell

Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Advisor, Media

Ms. Colwell's background in communications policy includes extensive legislative branch experience, most recently as Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Tim Scott, and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation's Subcommittee on Tourism, Competitiveness, and Innovation, of which Senator Scott was the Ranking Member. She has served in the past as Counsel to former Senators Jim DeMint and Peter G. Fitzgerald, as well as former Representative Connie Mack. Before her time on the Hill, Ms. Colwell was an associate at Wiley Rein & Fielding, focused on telecommunications and technology transactions. A Florida native, Ms. Colwell first came to Washington, DC as a law clerk to Chief Judge H. Robert Mayer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She received her J.D. from the College of William and Mary School of Law and her B.S. from Florida State University

Erin McGrath

Erin McGrath

Legal Advisor, Wireless, Public Safety and International

Ms. McGrath has worked at the Commission since March 2000. Most recently, she was Legal Advisor to Commissioner Robert M. McDowell focusing primarily on media issues. Prior to joining Commissioner McDowell’s staff, she was an Assistant Division Chief in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division. During this time, she engaged in numerous rulemaking proceedings, reviewed several major wireless and media transactions, and managed post-auction licensing matters. She also served as interim Legal Advisor to Commissioner Meredith A. Baker for wireless, international, and public safety issues. Ms. McGrath received her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Amy Bender

Amy Bender

Legal Advisor, Wireline

Ms. Bender served as a Deputy Chief in the Telecommunications Access Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau, where she managed the high-cost universal service program, including the Connect America Fund. Prior to that, Ms. Bender was detailed to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Before her detail, Ms. Bender was a Legal Advisor to Chairman Kevin J. Martin. Ms. Bender also served as a Legal Counsel to two Chiefs of the Wireline Competition Bureau. Ms. Bender entered the Commission as an Honors Attorney in the Wireline Competition Bureau, where she worked on a range of universal service, competition policy, and pricing policy issues. Before joining the Commission, Ms. Bender was a telecommunications associate at Wiley Rein & Fielding. Ms. Bender received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. summa cum laude from Rice University, where she majored in history and policy studies.

Susan Fisenne

Susan Fisenne

Confidential Assistant

Ms. Fisenne has worked at the Federal Communications Commission since 2005. Most recently, she served as a Consumer Education and Outreach Specialist in the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau. She also previously worked as a Confidential Assistant to former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate.

Ovonda Walker

Ovonda Walker

Staff Assistant

Mrs. Walker has over 10 years of federal government service. She served as an Executive Secretary to the Deputy Inspector General for Policy and Oversight at the Department of Defense; and as a Secretary in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Mrs. Walker has also worked as a federal government contractor at the Federal Aviation Administration.

October 4, 2016 - 12:33 pm

Set Top Box Endgame

Michael O'Rielly | Commissioner

Last Thursday’s FCC Open Meeting presented an interesting turn of events for the Commission’s...

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