Susan Ness was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by President Clinton in 1994. She chaired the Federal-State Joint Board charged with addressing universal telephone service issues, and served as the FCC's senior representative at the 1995, 1997, and 2000 World Radiocommunication Conferences.
Commissioner Ness promoted measures to advance competition domestically and globally, spur new technologies and services, expand economic opportunities, eliminate unnecessary regulation, and reduce regulatory uncertainty. She played a key role in shaping policies for efficient management of the radio spectrum and was a lead member on international matters. She helped forge agreement on the digital television standard and on guidelines to improve the quality and quantity of children educational television programming. She worked to facilitate delivery of advanced telecommunications services to the classroom and community libraries, so that every child -- urban and rural, rich and poor -- can participate in the telecommunications and information revolution.
In recognition of her achievements, Commissioner Ness was chosen as one of four 1999 recipients of the International Radio and Television Society Foundation Award, received the Consumer Electronics Association 2000 Digital Television Leadership Award, and was selected as one of Electronic Media's "12 to Watch in 1997." She has also been honored by Women of Wireless and by the American Women in Radio and Television for her efforts on behalf of women. Rutgers University inducted her into its Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1998, and Douglass College selected her as a member of the Douglass Society.
Prior to her FCC appointment, Commissioner Ness was a senior lender to communications companies as a group head and vice president of a regional financial institution. She served as Assistant Counsel to the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing of the U.S. House of Representatives, and she founded and directed the Judicial Appointments Project of the National Women's Political Caucus.
Commissioner Ness is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Committee on Communications, the Federal Communications Bar Association, and Leadership Washington (Class of 1988). Before she joined the FCC, she served in many civic leadership roles, including chair of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Charter Review Commission; vice chair of the Montgomery County Task Force on Community Access Television; and president of the Montgomery County Commission for Women.
Commissioner Ness is a graduate of Douglass College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. There she served on the board of directors of WRSU Radio (Rutgers University). She received a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Boston College Law School, and a Masters in Business Administration from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Commissioner Ness is married and has two school-aged children.