Biden Administration Names Jessica Rosenworcel As Acting FCC Chief

The FCC’s first female leader is commission veteran Jessica Rosenworcel, who is known for supporting net neutrality and prioritizing broadband access for all.


Jessica Rosenworcel, a longtime Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner, was appointed to chairwoman on Thursday, the first woman to hold the position as leader of the FCC.

President Joe Biden named Democrat Rosenworcel as acting chief and she will likely be nominated to fill the position formally later this year.

Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai left the FCC on Wednesday. There is currently a 2-2 split between Democrats and Republicans on the FCC. A new FCC commissioner will also be named and must be granted confirmation from the Senate later this year.

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Rosenworcel began at the FCC in 2003. She was nominated as FCC Commissioner by President Barack Obama in 2011 and was confirmed in 2012 to the role she’s been in for the last nine years.

Rosenworcel has supported net neutrality rules and common-carrier regulation of broadband providers during her time as a commissioner. She also fought for increases in the FCC’s broadband-speed standard and prioritized broadband access for children and students from low-income families and rural areas.

“I am honored to be designated as the acting chairwoman of the FCC by President Biden. I thank the President for the opportunity to lead an agency with such a vital mission and talented staff. It is a privilege to serve the American people and work on their behalf to expand the reach of communications opportunity in the digital age,” Rosenworcel said in a statement.

“Since coming to the FCC in 2012, Acting FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel has been a forward-thinking champion of bridging the digital divide, and of expanding access to broadband through, among other means, more unlicensed spectrum. She has a tremendous understanding of how the FCC works, deep knowledge of communications law, FCC rules and policy precedents, and is keenly aware of the needs of the various stakeholders in our multi-faceted communications industry,” said Claude Aiken, president and CEO the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), in a statement.