Gloria Tristani, a life-long Democrat, served as a Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Commissioner Tristani was nominated by President Clinton on September 15, 1997, confirmed by the Senate on October 28, 1997 and sworn in as Commissioner on November 3, 1997.
Commissioner Tristani is committed to ensuring that all Americans are able to share in the benefits of the telecommunications revolution. One of her primary goals is to preserve and enhance universal service in order to ensure that telecommunications services remain affordable and accessible. She is committed to accelerating broadband deployment to rural and other hard-to-serve areas, and to the goals of the “E-Rate” program which provides discounted Internet access to schools and libraries. Commissioner Tristani has been actively involved in other consumer issues, including slamming and cramming, children’s exposure to TV violence and to broadcast indecency, and competition in the cable industry. She serves as Chair of the FCC’s V-Chip Task Force.
In 1994, Tristani was the first woman elected to the New Mexico State Corporation Commission (SCC) and served as SCC Chairman in 1996. While at the SCC, Commissioner Tristani advanced the interests of consumers, particularly in the areas of telecommunications and health insurance. She played an active role in implementing the 1996 Telecommunications Act at the state level. In the health insurance area, she spearheaded the enactment of HMO and managed care rules and the New Mexico Mothers and Newly Born Children Rule. As a result of her SCC work, the Governor named Commissioner Tristani one of New Mexico’s outstanding women of 1996.
The granddaughter of the late U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez, who represented the people of New Mexico in the United States Congress from 1931 to 1962, Commissioner Tristani comes from a family committed to public service. She is proud of her Latino heritage – a combination of New Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Spanish as her first language. She was awarded the NALEO Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2000, and in 1998 and 1996 was named one of the nation’s 100 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine.
Commissioner Tristani received her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Barnard College at Columbia University. She is a member of the New Mexico and Colorado bars. A resident of New Mexico since 1982, Commissioner Tristani moved to Washington, D.C. at the time of her appointment to the FCC. She still considers New Mexico home. She is married to the Honorable Gerard W. Thomson and has two children, Vanesa and Jorge.