President-elect Barack Obama has turned to two contenders for the FCC chairmanship to identify technology priorities that his administration should pursue.
Julius Genachowski and Blair Levin, both expected to be on Obama’s shortlist for chief of the Federal Communications Commission, will be part of a “policy working group” during the transition period, the Obama transition team announced Wednesday. Genachowski and Levin will be joined by Google exec Sonal Shah in supervising the working group focused on technology, innovation and government reform.
Both Genachowski and Levin are former senior staffers to Reed Hundt when he served as FCC chairman during the Clinton administration. A Harvard Law School classmate of Obama’s, Genachowski was a senior executive at Barry Diller’s IAC/-InterActiveCorp and its predecessors from 1997-2005.
Insiders have speculated that the FCC chair is Genachowski’s for the asking, but he may be more interested in becoming the administration’s chief technology officer — a position Obama has said he will create.
Levin is most recently managing director of Stifel Nicolaus and serves as the firm’s principal telecom, media and tech regulatory and strategy analyst.
Shah has experience in international finance and economics, national security and environmental policy. She also served in the Clinton administration, working at the Treasury Dept. and also later on the National Security Council.