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New FCC Chair Announces Staff Appointments

Ajit Pai names general counsel, chief of staff and others

WASHINGTON � Newly designated Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has fleshed out his staff, according to announcements from the FCC press office.

�I am honored that this talented team has agreed to help lead the commission. I look forward to working with them and the other skilled professionals at the agency to deliver digital opportunity to every American,� said Chairman Pai.

Pai has selected Brendan Carr as the commission�s acting general counsel. He had served as Commissioner Pai�s wireless, public safety, and international legal advisor and previously worked in the FCC�s Office of General Counsel, providing legal advice on a spectrum policy, competition, and public safety matters. Prior to joining the commission, Carr was an attorney at Wiley Rein LLP, and he clerked for Judge Dennis W. Shedd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is a graduate of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.

Matthew Berry was name chief of staff, which came as no surprise since Berry had served as Commissioner Pai�s chief of staff. He also has served as the commission�s general counsel and deputy general counsel. In the private sector, Berry was a partner at Patton Boggs LLP. He has also worked as counselor to the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy and an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Additionally, he worked as a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice. Berry received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Nicholas Degani has been tapped to serve as senior counsel. His prior role was Wireline Legal Advisor for Commissioner Pai for four years. He joined the office from a detail to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he served as counsel under Chairman Fred Upton and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden. He has also served as attorney advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau�s Telecommunications Access Policy Division and Competition Policy Division, as well as the Commission�s Office of General Counsel. He is a past participant of the FCC�s Attorney Honors Program, clerked for Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and is a Harvard Law School graduate.

Jay Schwarz has been chosen as Pai�s acting wireline advisor. He is an economist who will advise Pai on wireline issues. He had previously served as acting deputy chief at the Office of Strategic Planning. He has also held positions as deputy chief in the Wireline Competition Bureau�s Telecommunications Access Policy Division and as supervisory economist in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau�s Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division. He has also worked as an economist in the Wireline Competition Bureau. He is the 2014 recipient of the FCC�s Excellence in Economics award. He serves on the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference Program Committee and has taught graduate courses in Cost Benefit Analysis and Microeconomics at the Johns Hopkins University.�

Alison Nemeth will serve as acting media advisor. She joins the office from the Media Bureau, where she most recently served as a legal advisor. Previously, Nemeth worked as an interim legal advisor for media issues in then-Commissioner Pai�s Office. She is another employee who came to the FCC through the Attorney Honors Program and is also a graduate of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she also earned a certificate from its Institute for Communications Law Studies.�

Rachael Bender has been named acting wireless advisor. She joins the office from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, where she worked on competition issues and efforts to streamline infrastructure deployment. Bender served for over five years at the wireless trade association Mobile Future, where she worked as senior policy director, among other roles. Bender is yet another Columbus School of Law with a certificate from its Institute for Communications Law Studies.�

Zenji Nakazawa will serve as acting public safety and consumer protection advisor. Nakazawa joins the office from the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, where he served as chief of the Policy and Rules Division. He oversaw several key portfolios, including Next Generation 911, emergency alerting and spectrum licensing. Prior to that, he served as deputy chief in the division. Nakazawa graduated from the University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law.

Lori Alexiou was named confidential assistant, a role she has held for Commissioner Pai for more four years. She joined his office from the commission�s Office of General Counsel, where she was a litigation specialist, and prior to that she worked as confidential assistant to Commissioner Meredith A. Baker and Chairman Kevin J. Martin. In the private sector, Alexiou worked at the law firms of Wiley Rein LLP and Fisher, Wayland, Cooper and Leader.

Kim Mattos has been chosen as acting executive assistant, assisting Berry and Degani. She currently a management analyst in the Enforcement Bureau. She was detailed to serve as executive assistant to the former chief of staff and was detailed to the acting chairwoman�s office in 2013 as staff assistant. Mattos has been with the FCC since 2003, having started in the General Counsel�s office as executive assistant to the general counsel, and legal administrative specialist, where she administered the FCC�s Attorney Honors Program.�

Deanne Erwin has been named executive assistant, assisting Schwarz, Nemeth, Bender and Nakazawa. For the past four years, she has served as the staff assistant to the office of Commissioner Pai. Previously, she was the assistant for William Lake, Chief of the Media Bureau. Erwin began her career at the Commission in 2000. �