Presentation: Wednesday, October 26th, 10:15am to 11:00am
The Honorable Michael K. Powell served as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
at a time of revolutionary change in technology and communications. He was appointed by
President Clinton in 1997 and was designated Chairman by President Bush in 2001.
As Chairman, Mr. Powell created the right regulatory conditions to stimulate the deployment of
powerful technologies that put more power in the hands of the people. He clearly saw the importance
of the rise of digital technologies and the impact they would have on our lives, from health care to
education. As Chairman, he focused on initiatives that encouraged market-driven solutions that promoted
consumer interests and drove innovative approaches to getting broadband technology out to people-such as
broadband over power lines, WiFi Hotspots, Cable broadband and DSL. These competitive alternatives
expanded affordable broadband options to all Americans and helped narrow the digital divide.
From campaigning for the right to keep your phone number when switching wireless carriers, to fighting
to block unwanted telemarketing calls with a Do-Not-Call list, to cautiously policing the airwaves of
indecency, Mr. Powell put consumers on the forefront in this exciting and dynamic marketplace.
Chairman Powell previously served as the Chief of Staff of the Antitrust Division in the Department
of Justice. In that capacity, he advised the Assistant Attorney General on substantive antitrust
matters and managed the division.
Before joining the Antitrust Division, Mr. Powell was an associate in the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers, and just prior to joining the firm clerked for the Honorable Harry T.
Edwards, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Before starting his legal career, Mr. Powell served as a policy advisor to Secretary of Defense,
Richard B. Cheney. In addition, his experience includes military service as an armored cavalry
officer in the United States Army. While on duty, Mr. Powell was seriously injured in a training
accident and-after spending a year in the hospital-was retired from service.
Mr. Powell graduated in 1985 from the College of William and Mary with a degree in Government.
He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Mr. Powell currently serves on the Board of Visitors of both the College of William and Mary
and the Georgetown University Law Center. He is currently serving three months as a Senior Fellow
of the Communications and Society Program of the Aspen Institute.
Mr. Powell is married to Jane Knott Powell. They live with their two children, Jeffrey and
Bryan, in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
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