White House to Name Rosenworcel as F.C.C.’s First Female Leader

  • Politics
  • White House to Name Rosenworcel as F.C.C.’s First Female Leader

“Given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure all people have access to broadband, it is absolutely essential that there are trusted, qualified appointees leading these agencies,” the letter read.

A native of Connecticut, Ms. Rosenworcel attended Wesleyan University and New York University Law School. In 2001, she joined the staff of the F.C.C. commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, rising to senior adviser.

After six years, Ms. Rosenworcel left the commission for Capitol Hill, serving as the senior counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee. She worked with Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia, on legislation to address communications problems among emergency workers during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“We gained an immense respect for the thoughtfulness and the genuine concern that she had for public safety issues,” said Jeff Johnson, the chief executive of the Western Fire Chiefs Association, who worked with her on plans for the first responders’ network now known as FirstNet. “She became someone we completely trust, and still do.”

Ms. Rosenworcel returned to the F.C.C. in 2011 as President Barack Obama’s nominee to the commission, and she was reappointed by President Donald J. Trump in 2017.

In 2018, while serving on the commission, Ms. Rosenworcel spoke to the National Association of Broadcasters, rallying journalists against Mr. Trump’s attacks on the news media. She said his term “fake news” had reached her dinner table, used as a taunt by one of her children.

“I am stunned at the casualness with which my second grader told his fifth-grade sister to take a hike,” Ms. Rosenworcel said, denouncing how the phrase had “complicated what we believe is true and false, and how that has chilling consequences for those who seek to report — without fear or favor — on the news we need to know.”

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