Ajit Pai
Courtesy of FCC
United States
2020

Federal Communications Commission

Ajit
Pai

Chairman

As part of Pai’s push to close the digital divide in the U.S., he led the FCC to adopt the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, a $20.4 billion initiative launched in February 2020 to bring high-speed broadband to millions of homes and small businesses in parts of the country without internet access. He also secured a months-long commitment from more than 800 broadband providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, promising to open Wi-Fi hotspots for all who need them and avoid terminating service or charge late fees for those unable to pay their bills due to the pandemic. Other initiatives include establishing 988 as the new nationwide phone number for suicide prevention and mental health and reducing communications fees for those who are incarcerated. Pai will exit the FCC upon President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Career

  • Jenner & Block
  • Verizon
  • United States Department of Justice

Education

  • Harvard University (MA, USA)
  • University of Chicago (IL, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Outgoing FCC Chair Ajit Pai Praised by Industry Orgs, Slammed as 'Disastrous' by Critics

Outgoing FCC Chair Ajit Pai Praised by Industry Orgs, Slammed as 'Disastrous' by Critics

Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who said Monday he will depart the commission on Jan. 20, leaves behind a controversial legacy: He's regarded as either an exemplary change agent or an ideologue who forfeited consumer interests for commercial ones.To cable, telecommunications and consumer-electronics companies, Pai has been a model of transparency and a champion of free markets who cut away outdated regulations and laid the groundwork for the expansion of broadband to millions of Americans.To critics, Pai's four years atop...

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