Obama To Tap Tech Adviser as FCC Chief

President-elect Barack Obama intends to nominate his technology adviser, Julius Genachowski, to head the Federal Communications Commission, a Democratic source close to the Obama transition team tells the

Wall Street Journal.

A Harvard Law School classmate of Obama, Genachowski, 46, previously worked at the FCC during the Clinton administration. More recently, he co-founded LaunchBox Digital, a Washington-based venture-capital firm. He worked at Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActive Corp. in various executive positions for eight years after leaving the FCC.

Genachowski couldn’t be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Obama transition team declined to comment.

During the campaign, Genachowski served as top technology adviser, putting together a detailed technology and innovation plan that expressed support for open-Internet, or “net neutrality,” protections; media-ownership rules that encourage more diversity; and expansion of affordable broadband access across the country.

An early Obama supporter, Genachowski also served as a bundler for the campaign, raising more than $500,000 in donations.

If confirmed, Genachowski will take over an agency that has had rocky relations with Congress and major companies in the telecommunications industry under current Chairman Kevin Martin. The agency may also still be coping with the U.S. transition to digital-only television, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 17 but could be pushed back to the summer.

While at IAC, Genachowski served several roles at the media and e-commerce conglomerate, first as general counsel and later as head of business development and part of the top core of executives.

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