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Ellison Is Acting General Counsel at FCC

Was first woman of color to serve as its chief of staff and chief of Enforcement Bureau

Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel named Michele Ellison as acting general counsel at the Federal Communications Commission.

Tom Johnson steps down as general counsel and but continues to serve in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Ellison, most recently deputy general counsel, is a commission veteran. “Ms. Ellison managed the multi-billion dollar transactions, bankruptcy and fraud portfolio,” Rosenworcel’s announcement stated. “She also has the distinction of being the first woman of color to serve as the agency’s chief of staff, chief of the Enforcement Bureau, and acting general counsel.”

Among her current roles she chairs the FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force, and has been involved in commission efforts on localism and on expanding communications opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses as well as developing countries.

“Ms. Ellison also played a pivotal role on national broadband planning under Acting Chairman Michael Copps, served as transition counsel to Commissioner (then Chief of Staff to Acting Chairwoman) Mignon Clyburn, and advised Chairman William Kennard as his deputy chief of staff.”

Rosenworcel also named Joel Taubenblatt as acting chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. He was deputy bureau chief. The bureau’s chief Don Stockdale moves to the Office of Economics and Analytics.

Staff appointments

Rosenworcel also announced several acting appointments within the Office of the Chairwoman:

Travis Litman will handle acting chief of staff duties. Kate Black was named acting chief policy advisor. Umair Jave is acting chief counsel.

Acting special advisors include D’wana Terry, acting director of the Office of Workplace Diversity; Sanford Williams, director of the Office of Business Communications Opportunities; and Trent Harkrader, deputy bureau chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau.

Acting legal advisors include Holly Saurer for media, David Strickland for consumer, enforcement and international; Ramesh Nagarajan for wireline; and Ethan Lucarelli for wireless and public safety.

Aurelle Porter is acting staff assistant. Andi Roane is acting confidential assistant.