Obama picks Pai, Rosenworcel for FCC posts

Would fill commisioner slot vacated by Baker in June

President Obama has nominated Ajit Varadaraj Pai, partner in the litigation department at Jenner & Block, and Jessica Rosenworcel, senior counsel on the Senate Commerce Committee, as commissioners on the FCC.

Pai and Rosenworcel will fill vacancies from the departure of Meredith Attwell Baker, who left in June, and Michael Copps, whose term is nearing its end.

Before entering private practice, Pai was a staffer at the FCC, serving as deputy general counsel, associate general counsel and special adviser to the general counsel.

Rosenworcel is the senior communications counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee, where she has worked by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) since 2009.

Both nominations have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Pai also served as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights, and as senior counsel at the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice. Pai also served as deputy chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, and as associate general counsel at Verizon Communications.

Rosenworcel previously worked for Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) from 2007 to 2008. She worked for the FCC from 1999 to 2007, in which she held a number of posts including legal adviser to Copps. Before that, she was a communications associate at Drinker, Biddle & Reath.

In a statement, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski called the nominees “two outstanding choices” and said that “given their talent, leadership and expertise, the would both play and invaluable role at the FCC.”