FCC Chairman Wheeler Joins the Aspen Institute

January 13, 2017

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman joins Aspen institute Communications and Society Fellow as senior fellow.

Douglas Farrar
The Aspen Institute
202.736.3848 | douglas.farrar@aspeninstitute.org

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2017 — Tom Wheeler will join the Aspen Institute as a Senior Fellow after he steps down from his post as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum, which provides a platform for candid dialogue on pressing policy issues. Mr. Wheeler will join its Communications and Society Program.  For the past 45 years, the Program has convened roundtables and projects on communications policy, Internet governance, artificial intelligence, journalism, information technology and public media.

Mr. Wheeler is the sixth consecutive FCC Chairman to join the Aspen Institute following his Chairmanship, marking a bipartisan tradition spanning twenty years. As a Senior Fellow, he will offer his insights on network and digital technology policy.

As Chairman, Mr. Wheeler led the FCC in adapting to and preparing for the next generation of wireless at the same time he worked to ameliorate the problems of current technology. He expanded rural access to broadband, adopted net neutrality rules, combatted robo-calling, and charted new courses to improve access for the hearing- and sight-impaired.

“I look forward to joining the Institute as a Senior Fellow,” Mr. Wheeler said. “Throughout my tenure as Chairman, I maintained that network providers have certain responsibilities to their consumers, including access, interconnection, consumer protection, public safety, and national security. I think Aspen’s unique platform for dialogue will be an excellent opportunity to address those goals.”

The Communications and Society Program’s Executive Director, Charlie Firestone, added “We have an enduring tradition of welcoming departing FCC Chairmen into our group, which improves the quality of dialogue and insight for everyone.  Chairman Wheeler made excellent contributions to our diverse group last summer. I look forward to hearing more from him as a Senior Fellow.”

Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson also welcomed Wheeler into the group. “Tom Wheeler exemplifies the spirit of innovation that drives progress and drives Aspen,” he said. “We are delighted to have Chairman Wheeler with us.”

The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, www.aspeninstitute.org/c&s, addresses the societal impact of communications and information technologies, and provides a multi-disciplinary venue for considered judgment on communications policy issues.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

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