President Donald Trump names Republican Ajit Pai head of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai succeeds Tom Wheeler as Chairman of the FCC after Wheeler announced earlier this month he would step down once the Trump Administration took office January 20th.
Pai is pro-business and has gone on record saying we should take a “weed whacker” to unneeded rules imposed during the Obama administration that is holding back investment, innovation and job creation. He predicted in 2015, landmark “net neutrality rules would not last.”
He also believes consumers benefit from competition, not preemptive regulation and the free market delivers more value to the American consumer than highly regulated ones, which seems to be a far cry from his predecessor’s beliefs.
Pai was nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama, then unanimously by the Senate in 2012 and therefore does not need confirmation from the Senate to step into this new role. However, come the end of 2017, he does need to be reconfirmed.
Pai graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1994 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1997.
Pai’s previous experience includes:
• Federal Communications Commission. Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Special Advisor to the General Counsel, 2007 – 2011
• U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Chief Counsel, Chairman Sam Brownback, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights, 2005-2007
• U.S. Department of Justice. Senior Counsel, Office of Legal Policy, 2004 – 2005
• U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Deputy Chief Counsel, Chairman Jeff Sessions, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Court, 2003-2004
• Verizon Communications Inc. Associate General Counsel, 2001 – 2003
• U.S. Department of Justice. Trial Attorney (Attorney General’s Honors Program), Antitrust Division, Telecommunications Task Force, 1998 – 2001
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the FCC and the TCPA regulations, under the helm of a pro-business, pro-competition FCC.