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FCC Acting Chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn Makes Staff Announcements

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Released: May 30, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



May 30, 2013
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253



Washington, D.C. – FCC Acting Chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn today made staff announcements.
Acting Chairwoman Clyburn said, “I am delighted to welcome this group of outstanding professionals
and public servants to my office. Their roles and responsibilities are vital to the Commission’s work as
we serve the American people. This is a strong team, and I will rely on their steady counsel, depth of
knowledge, and valuable experience in my role as Acting Chairwoman.”
Acting Chairwoman Clyburn appointed P. Michele Ellison, currently chief of the Enforcement Bureau, as
Chief of Staff. Dave Grimaldi will serve as Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor. She also named
legal advisors, including Louis Peraertz for wireless, international, and public safety issues; Rebekah
Goodheart for wireline issues; and Sarah Whitesell, currently Deputy Bureau Chief of the Media Bureau,
for media issues. Drema Johnson will serve as Confidential Assistant. Dorothy Givens-Terry will serve as
Special Assistant. Carol Lott and DeeAnn Smith will serve as Staff Assistants.
P. Michele Ellison will serve as Chief of Staff. Ms. Ellison previously served as Chief of the FCC’s
Enforcement Bureau, which is responsible for effectively carrying out the agency’s rules and orders.
Previously, Ms. Ellison was Acting General Counsel of the agency, where she served as primary legal
counsel to the Commission and prior to that, she served as Deputy General Counsel for twelve years. She
has counseled the Commissioners and other senior staff on legal issues related to the regulation of the
various communications industries, including advising on litigation risks associated with rulemaking and
adjudicatory decisions.
Before joining the Commission in 1995, Ms. Ellison was a partner, and earlier an associate, at Williams
and Connolly. She clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for
the Sixth Circuit and for the Honorable Paul R. Webber, III of the Superior Court for the District of
Columbia. Ms. Ellison received her J.D., cum laude from Howard University School of Law, and her
B.A. from Duke University.
Dave Grimaldi will serve as Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor. Mr. Grimaldi previously served as
Chief of Staff in then Commissioner Clyburn’s office after serving as Senior Counsel to House Majority
Whip James E. Clyburn on technology and telecommunications, foreign affairs, and financial services
regulation. He previously counseled corporate, financial and non-profit clients as Senior Counsel at The
Raben Group and served as Legislative Counsel to Representative Ed Towns (NY-10), on the House
Energy & Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. A native
Washingtonian, Mr. Grimaldi holds a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University
of America and a B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Louis Peraertz will serve as Legal Advisor for wireless, international, and Public Safety issues. Mr.
Peraertz joined then Commissioner Clyburn’s staff in October 2009. Prior to this, he served as Special
Counsel in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau focusing on competition, spectrum allocation, and
infrastructure policy issues. Mr. Peraertz began his communications career in the Office of General
Counsel where, among other things, he represented the Commission in several cases before courts of
appeal. Before coming to the FCC, Louis served as an appellate litigator in the U.S. Department of
Justice’s Civil Rights Division and represented the United States in more than 60 cases before federal
courts of appeals. He began his legal career in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was
honorably discharged as a Major.
Rebekah Goodheart will serve as Legal Advisor for wireline issues. Ms. Goodheart has worked at the
Commission since January 2008. She served as Deputy Director of the Technology Transitions Policy
Task Force and Associate Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. Ms. Goodheart previously served as
a Senior Policy Advisor for the Omnibus Broadband Initiative, developing many of the recommendations
in National Broadband Plan. She also served as Assistant Division Chief in the Industry Analysis
Division of the Media Bureau. Prior to joining the FCC, Ms. Goodheart served as a Trial Attorney at the
U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division in the Telecommunications and Media Enforcement
Section, and was an associate at the law firm Wiley Rein LLP. She holds a J.D. from the University of
Virginia School of Law, and a B.S.F.S., cum laude, from the Georgetown University School of Foreign
Sarah Whitesell will serve as Legal Advisor for media issues. Ms. Whitesell previously served as Deputy
Bureau Chief of the Media Bureau, where she shaped policies for the media marketplace on broadcast
ownership, children's issues, and media transactions, among other matters. Prior to joining the Bureau in
2005, she served as Associate Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Associate
Chief of the Cable Bureau, Acting Legal Advisor to Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on media issues
and Legal Advisor to Commissioner Gloria Tristani for common carrier issues. Ms. Whitesell has also
served as a member of the Telecommunications Task Force for the Department of Justice's Antitrust
Division and as an associate at the law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. She has taught
telecommunications law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and legal writing
as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School. Ms. Whitesell was a law clerk to
the Honorable Jane R. Roth, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, received her law degree from
the Yale Law School, and obtained her undergraduate degree from Davidson College in North Carolina.
Drema Johnson will serve as Confidential Assistant. Ms. Johnson is responsible for managing the office
as well as the Acting Chairwoman’s personal schedule and travel arrangements. She previously served as
Special Assistant to former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley and as Confidential Assistant to former FCC
Chairman William Kennard. More recently, she was appointed to the Federal Commission for the
Jamestown 400th Anniversary Commemoration on behalf of Senator Mark Warner and former Governor,
now Senator Tim Kaine.
DeeAnn Smith will serve as Staff Assistant. Ms. Smith joined the agency in 2009 and will continue to
assist in carrying out the mission of the Clyburn office and the agency. She has an extensive
administrative background, including experience in the legal and marketing industries.
Dorothy Givens-Terry will serve as Special Assistant. Ms. Terry is an experienced researcher,
interviewer, reporter and entrepreneur. She spent a number of years at Pepco Holdings, Inc., Computing
Technologies, on the Hill and in the newsrooms of two daily papers. Ms. Terry received a Master’s in
Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University and a B. A. in Print
Journalism from Howard University.

Carol Lott will serve as Special Assistant. Carol Lott brings more than 26 years of administrative and
office management experience to the Acting Chief of Staff as a Special Assistant. The Administrative
Management Specialist in the Enforcement Bureau previously served as a senior staff assistant in the
Chairman’s office, the Executive Administrator and Office Manager for Temple Strategies and an
Executive Assistant in the Office of General Counsel.
-- FCC --

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