President Biden Announces Key Nominations
WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key roles:
- Jessica Rosenworcel, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
- Gigi Sohn, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
- Alan Davidson, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce
- Kathi Vidal, Nominee for Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the Department of Commerce
- Laurel Blatchford, Nominee for Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management at the Office of Management and Budget
President Biden has also designated Rosenworcel as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. She is the first woman in history to serve in this capacity.
Jessica Rosenworcel, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
Jessica Rosenworcel presently serves as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, where she previously served as a Commissioner since 2012. 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. 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. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the Internet of Things. She has fought to combat illegal robocalls and enhance consumer protections in our telecommunications policies.
Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Jessica practiced communications law. She is a native of Hartford, Connecticut and a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.
Gigi Sohn, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
Gigi B. Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. Gigi is one of the nation’s leading public advocates for open, affordable, and democratic communications networks. For over thirty 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 she is confirmed, Gigi would be the first openly LGBTIQ+ Commissioner in the history of the FCC.
From 2013-2016, Gigi served as Counselor to Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and from 2001-2013 was Co-Founder and CEO of Public Knowledge, a leading communications and technology policy advocacy organization serving the interests of consumers. She was previously a Project Specialist in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts and Culture unit and Executive Director of the Media Access Project, a communications public interest law firm. Gigi holds a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film, Summa Cum Laude, from the Boston University College of Communication and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She resides with her family in Washington, DC.
Alan Davidson, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce
Alan Davidson is an Internet policy expert with over 20 years of experience as an executive, public interest advocate, technologist, and attorney. He is currently a Senior Advisor at the Mozilla Foundation, a global nonprofit that promotes openness, innovation, and participation on the Internet. He was previously Mozilla’s Vice President of Global Policy, Trust and Security, where he led public policy and privacy teams promoting an open Internet and a healthy web. Alan served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the first Director of Digital Economy at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He started Google’s public policy office in Washington, D.C., leading government relations and policy in North and South America for seven years until 2012.
Alan has been a long-time leader in the Internet nonprofit community, serving as Director of New America’s Open Technology Institute where he worked to promote equitable broadband access and adoption. As Associate Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, where he is currently a Board Member, Alan was an advocate for civil liberties and human rights online in some of the earliest Internet policy debates. Alan currently resides with his family in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Yale Law School, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Kathi Vidal, Nominee for Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the Department of Commerce
Katherine (“Kathi”) Vidal is one of the leading intellectual property lawyers in the country and has held key leadership and management roles in international law firms. Currently, she is the managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s Silicon Valley Office. Nationally recognized for leading high-profile patent disputes, her experience covers a myriad of complex technologies from semiconductors and software to medical devices and consumer products. Kathi has received numerous accolades for her work—including being inducted as a Fellow by Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society. Kathi represents both plaintiffs and defendants in U.S. district courts, the International Trade Commission, and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Kathi is registered to practice before the PTO and prosecuted many patent applications early in her career. Kathi also advises on IP policies for standard setting organizations, trademark and copyright matters, and on strategies for worldwide patent disputes including advising on national security, policy and related issues. Kathi is also a recognized thought leader on difficult issues confronting the legal profession and intellectual property law, and has been active in the Sedona Conference, the Leahy Institute of Advanced Patent Studies, and the Federal Judicial Conference. She is also a Fellow of the Federal Circuit Bar Association.
Kathi is a recognized leader in diversity and women’s issues. She is one of four law firm advisory board members for ChIPs, a non-profit organization committed to advancing women at the intersection of law, technology, and regulatory policy. She founded the Next Gen initiative and actively advocates for training and opportunities for junior lawyers. She is also a member of Winston & Strawn’s Executive Committee and Diversity. At her prior firm, Fish & Richardson, Kathi was the Litigation Chair and sat on the firm’s management committee. She has a strong technical background, having practiced in industry for five years at General Electric and Lockheed Martin in circuit, systems, software and artificial intelligence. She received her Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering and completed the GE Edison Engineering three-year leadership program. Kathi’s father was a career Navy Senior Chief Officer and her grandparents were scientists at the National Institutes of Health after serving in the Navy.
Laurel Blatchford, Nominee for Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management at the Office of Management and Budget
Laurel currently is a Managing Director at Blue Meridian Partners, a nonprofit and pioneering philanthropic model that invests in economic and social mobility nationwide. In this capacity, she sources new philanthropic investment opportunities, leads due diligence on Blue Meridian investees, and manages relationships with current investees. She is also spearheading Blue Meridian’s investments in policy tools, solutions, and supports that create economic mobility. Prior to joining Blue Meridian, Laurel was President of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a national affordable housing and community development intermediary. She was responsible for leading Enterprise’s work in 12 local markets across the United States, and as well as groundbreaking initiatives focused on addressing housing insecurity, climate change, and connecting people to opportunity. She also led Enterprise’s advisory work in local communities in partnership with federal, state and local government partners.
In the Obama-Biden Administration, Laurel served as Chief of Staff of the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2009-2013 and served as executive director of the Hurricane Sandy Task Force, guiding the implementation of disaster resilience funding across New York and New Jersey. Prior to joining the Obama-Biden Administration, she held several leadership roles in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg between 2002-2008.
She currently serves the board of the National Housing Conference, as a member of the Advisory Board for the American Flood Coalition, and was a member of the agency review team for HUD and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) during the Biden-Harris presidential transition. Laurel holds an MPP from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Anthropology/Sociology from Williams College. She lives with her family in Washington DC.