Rachelle Chong was appointed by President Clinton to the Federal Communications Commission in May 1994. She is a Republican, a telecommunications lawyer and a proud Californian. She is the first Asian American to serve on the FCC.
Commissioner Chong, has made her mark as an advocate of more competition and less government regulation, particularly in the content area. She has urged policymakers to think creatively to meet the challenges of the rapidly-changing communications world. She has represented the FCC on numerous foreign missions in the Pacific Rim area.
Commissioner Chong is known for her informal and "hands on" style. She visited the Alaskan Bush on a fact-finding mission to learn about the challenges Alaskans face obtaining basic phone and advanced Internet services to people, and then applied her knowledge to the universal service proceeding on telephones.
She is also known for her keen personal interest in advanced information and communications technology. She is a forward-looking, "computer literate" Commissioner who "surfs" the Internet regularly and often personally answers the public's Email questions. She has gone "on line" live with the Internet community to talk about issues of interest.
The Commissioner has actively opposed intrusive content regulation by government, while at the same time urging the broadcast and cable industries to be "responsible and responsive" to the public's concern about TV violence and children's educational television. She has visited various schools to educate children, parents and teachers about media literacy, children's educational television and TV violence. She appeared with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on a public television program entitled "A Smart Parent's Guide to Television Violence." She has gone to Hollywood and New York to talk to the TV and cable programmers TV violence, the transition to digital TV, and the need for more children's educational television.
Commissioner Chong was born and raised in Stockton, California. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, receiving dual degrees in Political Science and Journalism. She received her law degree from Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of COMM/ENT, Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal.
She launched her communications law career at a Washington D.C. law firm in 1984. Her early clients were broadcasters and cellular applicants whom she represented before the FCC. She returned to San Francisco and joined the international law firm of Graham & James in 1987. In 1992, she became a partner of the law firm and the head of its Regulatory Department. Her practice before the California Public Utilities Commission focused on state regulatory matters on behalf of telecommunications companies, especially cellular and paging companies.
Commissioner Chong is married to Kirk Del Prete, a lawyer, and they reside in Washington, D.C. In her spare time, she enjoys "surfing the Net," scuba diving, and reading. She is a self-avowed Trekkie.