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Acting FCC Chair Clyburn Assembles Her Team

Former Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison is now chief of staff

Just as Commissioner Michael Copps did when he was acting chair, now FCC Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn has filled gaps and shifted some personnel on her staff now that she’s in a new role.

Clyburn has tapped Michele Ellison, currently chief of the Enforcement Bureau, as her chief of staff. Previously, Ellison was acting general counsel, where she was primary legal counsel to the commission and prior to that, she served as deputy general counsel for 12 years.

Most notably for broadcasters, Sarah Whitesell, now deputy bureau chief of the Media Bureau, becomes Clyburn’s legal advisor for media issues. She worked in several positions at the commission before joining the Media Bureau in 2005, including as acting legal advisor to Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on media issues and to Commissioner Gloria Tristani for common carrier issues.

Dave Grimaldi was chief of staff for Clyburn; now he’s her chief counsel and senior legal advisor. Before working for Clyburn, he was senior counsel for her father, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on technology and telecommunications, foreign affairs, and financial services regulation.

Louis Peraertz becomes legal advisor for wireless, international, and public safety issues. Peraertz joined then commissioner Clyburn’s staff in 2009 following a stint in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Clyburn said she will rely on her team’s “steady counsel, depth of knowledge and valuable experience” in her role as acting chair.