President-elect Barack Obama has named two telecom industry and policy veterans and a leader of Google’s philanthropy arm to craft the new administration’s high-tech policy priorities.
The policy working group on Technology, Innovation and Government Reform will “develop proposals and plans from the Obama Campaign for action during the Obama-Biden Administration,” according to the president-elect’s transition web site www.change.gov.
The authors of what could be sweeping changes in broadband rules, privacy and government transparency include:
–Blair Levin, a telecom investment analyst at Stifel Nicolaus and former chief of staff to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt. Levin is also seen among a short list of candidates to head the FCC in the new administration.
–Julius Genachowski, former chief counsel to Hundt at the FCC and a member of Obama’s transition team. Genachowski, a former law school classmate of Obama’s and an active and early member of the campaign, has been talked about as a candidate for the nation’s first chief technology officer or FCC chairman. He is venture capitalist, the co-founder of Rock Creek Vetnrues and LaunchBox Digital. Genachowski also served as a senior executive at IAC/InterActiveCorp, where he was head of business operations.
–Sonal Shah heads Google’s philanthronpic arm, Google.org’s global development efforts. Shah has a lengthy resume on international development issues: prior to joining Google she was a vice president at Goldman, Sachs and Co., developing the firm’s environmental policy. She is also the co-founder of Indicorps, a U.S.-based non-profit organization offering one-year fellowships to Indian-Americans to work on development projects in India. Sonal worked at the Department of Treasury from 1995-2002 on various economic issues. She is on the Obama-Biden Transition Project Advisory Board.
The announcement comes amid speculation about who will take the job of national CTO and the FCC. High-tech and telecommunications leaders around the nation are also eager to learn what the job of CTO entails.
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