Kathleen Q. Abernathy was nominated by President George W. Bush on May 1, 2001. She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on May 25 and sworn in as FCC Commissioner on May 31, 2001 and served until December 9, 2005. As Commissioner, she was responsible for representing the public interest in each of the policy areas under the FCC's jurisdiction. These responsibilities included regulation of broadcast television, cable, satellite, domestic and international telecommunications, wireless telephony, consumer protection and education and general enforcement of Commission rules. In addition to her other responsibilities at the FCC, she also chaired the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and participated in numerous international bilateral and multilateral negotiations, including the 2002 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference and the 2003 ITU World Radiocommunications Conference. Commissioner Abernathy also was appointed and served as Chair of the 2004 ITU Global Symposium for Regulators. Commissioner Abernathy has been honored by several organizations for her professional achievements, including receiving the Forerunner Accolade from Women in Cable and Telecommunications, the Milestone Award from Catholic University's Columbus School of Law, and being named one of the most powerful women in television by Electronic Media magazine.
Prior to her FCC appointment, Commissioner Abernathy was Vice President of Public Policy at BroadBand Office Communications, Inc. Before that, she was a partner at the law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer. Commissioner Abernathyç´ experience also includes serving as Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at U.S. West, Inc. and as Vice President for Federal Regulatory at AirTouch Communications, Inc.
In addition to her experience in the private sector, Commissioner Abernathy held several positions at the FCC. She was a Telecommunications Legal Advisor to FCC Chairman James H. Quello, Legal Advisor to Commissioner Sherrie P. Marshall, and Special Assistant to the FCCç´ General Counsel.
Commissioner Abernathy has been very active in various bar activities and academia. She is a member and former President of the Federal Communications Bar Association and a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and The Catholic University of Americaç´ Columbus School of Law.
Commissioner Abernathy is a graduate of Marquette University, where she received a Bachelor of Sciences degree, magna cum laude. She received a Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of Americaç´ Columbus School of Law.
Commissioner Abernathy is married and has one daughter.