Tom Wheeler became the 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 4, 2013. Chairman Wheeler was appointed by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

For over three decades, Chairman Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services, experiencing the revolution in telecommunications as a policy expert, an advocate, and a businessman. As an entrepreneur, he started or helped start multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless, and video communications services. He is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and The Wireless Hall of Fame, a fact President Obama joked made him “The Bo Jackson of Telecom.”

Prior to joining the FCC, Chairman Wheeler was Managing Director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies. He served as President and CEO of Shiloh Group, LLC, a strategy development and private investment company specializing in telecommunications services and co-founded SmartBrief, the internet’s largest electronic information service for vertical markets. From 1976 to 1984, Chairman Wheeler was associated with the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), where he was President and CEO from 1979 to 1984. Following NCTA, Chairman Wheeler was CEO of several high tech companies, including the first company to offer high speed delivery of data to home computers and the first digital video satellite service. From 1992 to 2004, Chairman Wheeler served as President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).

Chairman Wheeler wrote Take Command: Leadership Lessons of the Civil War (Doubleday, 2000) and Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (HarperCollins, 2006). His commentaries on current events have been published in the Washington PostUSA TodayLos Angeles TimesNewsday, and other leading publications.Presidents Clinton and Bush each appointed Chairman Wheeler a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he served for 12 years. He is also the former Chairman and President of the Foundation for the National Archives, the non-profit organization dedicated to telling the American Story through its documents, and a former board member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Chairman Wheeler is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal. He resides in Washington, D.C.

Ruth Milkman

Chief of Staff

Ruth Milkman serves as Chief of Staff. Ms. Milkman previously served as Chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau from August 2009 to June 2011, and from June 2012 until November 2013. From June 2011 to June 2012, Ms. Milkman was Special Counsel to the Chairman for Innovation in Government. Previous experience at the Commission between 1986 and 1998 included serving as Deputy Chief of the International and Common Carrier Bureaus, and as Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Reed Hundt. Ms. Milkman also was a founding partner of Lawler, Metzger, Milkman & Keeney, LLC and served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Thumbnail picture of Philip Verveer, Senior Counselor, Chairman Wheeler

Philip Verveer

Senior Counselor

Ambassador Verveer served from 2009-2013 as U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the U.S. Department of State and, before that practiced communications and antitrust law in the government and in private law firms for more than 35 years. Ambassador Verveer’s previous service at the Commission includes tenure as the Chief of the Cable Television Bureau, the Broadcast Bureau, and the Common Carrier Bureau, where he participated in a series of decisions that enabled increased competition in video and telephone services and limited regulation of information services.

Thumbnail picture of Louisa Terrell, Advisor, Chairman Wheeler

Louisa Terrell

Advisor to the Chairman

Ms. Terrell has served as Chief of Staff to New Jersey Senator Cory A. Booker. Prior to her role with Senator Booker, Ms. Terrell was the Director of Public Policy at Facebook. She has previously served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs under President Barack Obama, on the Obama 2008 transition team, and as Deputy Chief of Staff and Judiciary Committee Counsel to then-Senator Joe Biden.

Thumbnail picture of Gigi B. Sohn, Counselor, Chairman Wheeler

Gigi B. Sohn

Counselor to the Chairman

Ms. Sohn served from 2001-2013 as the President and CEO of Public Knowledge and, from 2011-2013 as the Co-Chair of the board of directors of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG). She has served on the board of the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Copyright Information. In October 1997, President Clinton appointed Ms. Sohn to serve as a member of his Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.

Thumbnail picture of Diane Cornell, Special Counsel, Chairman Wheeler

Diane Cornell

Special Counsel

Ms. Cornell has served as Vice President for Government Affairs at Inmarsat and Vice President, Regulatory Policy at CTIA, The Wireless Association. Ms. Cornell previously worked at the FCC, where she served as a Legal Advisor to three Commissioners, Chief of Staff of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and Division Chief in the International and Common Carrier Bureaus. Ms. Cornell is a former President of the Federal Communications Bar Association and was previously a director of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Ms. Cornell will have responsibility for issues in the International Bureau, as well as for FCC process reform.

Stephanie Weiner

Stephanie Weiner

Senior Legal Advisor, Wireline

Ms. Weiner served as FCC Associate General Counsel and Special Advisor to the Chairman on Internet Law and Policy from 2013 to 2015. Prior to joining the FCC, Ms. Weiner was the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Contracts at Neustar, Inc and, before that, served as the Senior Legal Advisor to the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Energy. Ms. Weiner also previously worked in the Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau and as an associate at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP. She began her legal career as a law clerk to Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit and Judge Milton Shadur of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Thumbnail picture of Jessica Almond, Acting Legal Advisor, Chairman Wheeler

Jessica Almond

Legal Advisor, Media, Public Safety, and Enforcement

Ms. Almond held numerous positions at the Commission between 2007 and 2014, including legal advisor to the Chief of the Media Bureau and Chief of Staff of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Before returning to the Commission in 2015, she was corporate counsel at HTC America, Inc.

Edward Smith

Edward "Smitty" Smith

Legal Advisor, Wireless, Engineering and Technology, Consumer Affairs, and Incentive Auction

Mr. Smith served as senior counsel and chief of staff for the FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force from 2012 to 2014. Mr. Smith has also served as special counsel in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, served as special advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and worked at the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Before returning to the Commission in 2015, he served in the cabinet of the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

Thumbnail picture of Emmaka Porchea-Veneszee, Special & Confidential Assistant, Chairman Wheeler

Emmaka Porchea-Veneszee

Special & Confidential Assistant

Mrs. Porchea-Veneszee is the Special and Confidential Assistant to Chairman Tom Wheeler. Previously, she served as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. She also served as Resource Manager for the National SIGINT Committee at the National Security Agency. In addition, she has been Confidential Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 (Army Intelligence), headquartered at the U.S. Pentagon. Ms. Porchea-Veneszee began her career on active duty with the U.S. Navy.

January 7, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Kickstarting the New Year

Tom Wheeler | FCC Chairman

It’s the first week in January, and that means it’s time for the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas...