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FCC Chairman Announces Senior Staff Appointments

Has named Tim Brennan as chief economist for the agency and Clete Johnson as chief counsel for cybersecurity

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has appointed Tim Brennan as chief economist for the agency and named Clete Johnson as chief counsel for cybersecurity in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

Brennan is currently a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a senior fellow with Resources for the Future. His current research is focusing on energy efficiency policies, the role of behavioral economics in cost-benefit analysis and standards for legality of exclusionary practices in antitrust law.

Brennan previously was an economist with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and taught in the telecommunications policy program at George Washington University. He also was a senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers and served as a staff consultant to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. He has also held the T. D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics at the Canadian Competition Bureau and has advised various authorities on competition law internationally.

Brennan received a Ph.D. in economics in 1978 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

New chief counsel for cybersecuity Johnson will join the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, where he will report directly to the Bureau Chief, Rear Admiral (Ret.) David Simpson. He will work to identify and address sector vulnerabilities, and increase the security and resiliency of infrastructure within the communications sector.

Johnson joins the FCC from the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he worked on initiatives within the committee’s cybersecurity portfolio and served as the lead staffer on financial intelligence issues. As designated counsel for former Intelligence Committee Chairman and present Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, Johnson was the staff lead for Rockefeller’s cybersecurity legislation and related stakeholder outreach. He served previously as Rockefeller’s counsel for defense, foreign policy and international trade.

Johnson also practiced law at Patton Boggs LLP, focusing on export controls and defense procurement. He is a former Army officer, serving as a platoon leader and maintenance shop officer, and later as a general’s aide.

He received his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. While on a Fulbright Fellowship, he earned an M.Sc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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