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Sean Lev Named General Counsel

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Released: May 25, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

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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 25, 2012
Neil Grace, 202-418-0506



(Washington, D.C.) – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski today
announced that Austin Schlick will step down as General Counsel, effective mid-June. Sean Lev,
currently Deputy General Counsel and Special Advisor to the Chairman, will become General Counsel.
FCC Chairman Genachowski said, “Having known Austin Schlick for many years, I had very high
expectations when he joined as General Counsel. Austin exceeded those expectations in every way. He is
one of a kind –a great counselor and a great manager, visionary and practical, brilliant and wise. Austin’s
excellent work is reflected in every accomplishment of the Commission over the past three years, and in
the very strong team in the Office of General Counsel, who under Austin’s leadership consistently
provide creative, legally sound, and workable solutions to issues faced by bureaus and offices across the
He continued, “I am confident that excellent work will continue under the leadership of Sean Lev. Sean
has deep experience and expertise, and we are lucky to have him at the agency. I look forward to relying
on his legal analysis and his judgment, and I am sure that in the period ahead the Office of General
Counsel will continue to a center of excellence at the FCC.”
As General Counsel, Mr. Schlick played a particular role on FCC reform efforts, including strengthening
ex parte disclosure, expanding online filing and access to Commission dockets, removing obsolete and
unnecessary rules, and improving cost/benefit analysis. The agency under Mr. Schlick’s leadership
prevailed in better than 90 percent of court cases challenging orders issued by the Genachowski


Austin Schlick

: Mr. Schlick joined the Commission as General Counsel in July 2009, bringing
experience in both state and federal government, as well as private legal practice. Before joining the
Commission, he served as Chief of Litigation for the State of Maryland. In 2004 and 2005, Mr. Schlick
served at the FCC as Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Acting General Counsel. Before that, he
was an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he argued seven cases
before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Schlick was a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Kellogg,
Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, specializing in communications law and litigation. He began his
legal career as a law clerk to Chief Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Princeton University
and Yale Law School.

Sean Lev

: Mr. Lev came to the FCC from the Department of Energy (DOE), where he served as the
Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Environment and Nuclear Programs. Before

joining DOE in June 2009, Mr. Lev was a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel,
where his practice focused on telecommunications, administrative law, and appellate and general
litigation. He was also an attorney on the Appellate Staff in the Civil Division at the United States
Department of Justice. Prior to his service at DOJ, Mr. Lev clerked for the Honorable Patricia M. Wald of
the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He graduated magna cum laude
from Harvard Law School, where he was a Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is also a
magna cum laude graduate of Williams College.
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