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Biden nominates Jessica Rosenworcel to head FCC; would be first female chief

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Biden nominates Jessica Rosenworcel to head FCC; would be first female chief
If confirmed by the Senate, Jessica Rosenworcel would be the first woman to head the FCC.  File Photo by Alex Wong/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 26 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated the Federal Communications Commission's acting chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, to fill the post permanently -- putting her on track to be the agency's first female chief.

Rosenworcel took over as acting head of the FCC on Jan. 21 after eight years as a commissioner within the agency. She previously served as the senior communications counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

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"During her time at the agency, she has worked to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success," the White House said in a statement.

"From fighting to protect an open internet, to ensuring broadband access for students caught in the Homework Gap through the FCC's Emergency Connectivity Fund, to making sure that households struggling to afford internet service stay connected through the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, she has been a champion for connectivity for all."

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Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stepped down from his role upon Biden's inauguration.

The White House also said Biden nominated Gigi Sohn to be a commissioner on the FCC.

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She's a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton senior fellow and public advocate. Sohn previously served as counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

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"Gigi is one of the nation's leading public advocates for open, affordable, and democratic communications networks," the White House said. "For over 30 years, Gigi has worked to defend and preserve the fundamental competition and innovation policies that have made broadband Internet access more ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open, and protective of user privacy."

If confirmed by the Senate, Rosenworcel would be the first woman to head the FCC. If Sohn is confirmed, she'll be the first openly LGBTQ commissioner on the FCC.

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