West Hartford native Jessica Rosenworcel named President Joe Biden’s acting FCC chair

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Michael Hamad, Hartford Courant
·2 min read
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President Joe Biden has appointed West Hartford native Jessica Rosenworcel as the acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. She’s now a front-runner to become a full-time replacement for former chairman and Trump appointee Ajit Pai.

“I am honored to be designated as the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden,” Rosenworcel said, in a statement. “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, a proponent of net neutrality and an advocate for bringing broadband communications to underserved communities, was first nominated to serve on the FCC by President Barack Obama in 2011. Trump nominated her for an additional five-year term in 2017.

Biden so far has tapped a number of Connecticut natives for important roles in D.C., including U.S. education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona, press secretary Jen Psaki, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Brenda Mallory and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, who served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009.

A 1989 graduate of Hall High School in West Hartford, Rosenworcel received a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown before earning her law degree from New York University.

Prior to joining the FCC, Rosenworcel served as senior communications counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. She has also practiced communications law in Washington, DC.

The balance of power at the FCC is now split between two Democrats and two Republicans. That could change when President Biden nominates additional members to be confirmed by the narrowly controlled Democratic Senate.

Rosenworcel’s brother, Brian, is the drummer for the band Guster.

Michael Hamad can be reached at mhamad@courant.com.