Julius Genachowski

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Julius Genachowski (born August 19, 1962) is a business executive with experience in telecommunications and technology issues. [1] In March 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Genachowski to Chair the Federal Communications Commission. He was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as FCC Chair on June 29, 2009. [2] His predecessors include Acting Chair Michael Copps, who remains on the Commission, and Bush administration Chair Kevin Martin. [3]

In an August 2009 interview, Genachowski said, "The public has always had a special contract with broadcasters. There are multiple parts to that contract and American consumers expect broadcasters to serve the public interest. ... Americans place great value on access to local news, emergency information. Broadcasters do as well and, generally, localism is a core principal of the Communications Act." [4]

Nomination on hold

As of early May 2009, "Genachowski's nomination remains on hold in the Senate. Republican senators indicating they want him paired with a Republican nominee, but have yet to settle on a choice." [5] The Senate Commerce Committee initially scheduled his nomination hearing for June 16, 2009, to be considered along with the renomination of sitting Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell. [6] However, at least one Senator on the committee objected to the attempt to streamline Genachowski's and McDowell's nominations. [7] He was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as FCC Chair on June 29, 2009. [8]

Issues facing Genachowski

Genachowski "is expected to bring is a more proactive approach to ensuring that broadcasters meet local public-interest obligations," reported TV Week. Other expectations of how Genachowski might change the FCC include questioning media ownership combinations more closely, doing more to support diversity among media owners, being less "confrontive to the cable industry," and conducting FCC business "in a more open manner than Mr. Martin, who was criticized for using a small group of FCC officials to make decisions." [9]

He'll also be leading an agency with many hot-button issues pending, including a Supreme Court review of the FCC's indecency policies, several industry lawsuits, video news release disclosure, the need to reform "the government's nightmarishly out of control Universal Service Fund, come up with some way of auctioning off the 700 MHz public safety D Block, keep an eye on the Sirius XM merger requirements, comply with a court order on protecting migrating birds from cell phone towers, reach a consensus on product placement, complete an investigation of the Pentagon's media outreach program, do something (or not) about cell phone early termination fees, hopefully tell Hollywood to shut up about Selectable Output Control, figure out whether to investigate Arbitron's Portable People Meter system, and decide whether to tighten up its DTV patent licensing rules to protect US TV makers." [10]

Early life and education

Genachowski received his B.A. from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1985. He received his Juris Doctor in 1991 from Harvard Law School, where he was a notes editor at the Harvard Law Review[11] when it was headed by Barack Obama, who graduated in the same year. After graduation, Genachowski clerked for the Honorable Abner J. Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and then at the U.S. Supreme Court for two years, for Justices William J. Brennan and David Souter. [12]

Government service

He was formerly a senior official at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Genachowski served as General Counsel to the Chairman of the FCC under Chairman Reed Hundt, after serving as Special Counsel to General Counsel of the FCC (later Chairman) William Kennard. [13]

Business and technology experience

Genachowski was the Chief Business Officer and a member of Barry Diller's Office of the Chairman at IAC/InterActiveCorp. He had previously served on the Boards of Directors of Expedia, Hotels.com and Ticketmaster.[11]

He is a co-founder of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures. [12] He is also a special advisor at General Atlantic and a member of the Boards of Directors at The Motley Fool, Website Pros, Mark Ecko Enterprises, and Beliefnet.[12]

Genachowski serves as a board member of Common Sense Media, an organization seeking to improve the media lives of children and families; and as an advisory board member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). He also recently helped found the New Resource Bank, the country's first commercial "green bank."[11]

Obama campaign and transition

For the Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign, Genachowski was Chairman of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications policy working group that created the Obama Technology and Innovation Plan. [14] He also advised and guided the Obama campaign’s innovative use of technology and the Internet for grassroots engagement and participation.

He also co-led the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform Group for Barack Obama's presidential transition team.[15]


  • 1985: B.A. from Columbia College
  • 1991: Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School
  • Staff member for then-U.S. Representative, now Senator, Charles E. Schumer
  • Staff member of the Select Committee investigating the Iran-Contra Affair
  • Law Clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
  • Law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter
  • Chief Counsel to Chairman Reed Hundt of the Federal Communications Commission.
  • A founder of New Resource Bank
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Common Sense Media
  • Former member of the Board of Advisors of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
  • Co-Founder and Managing Director, Rock Creek Ventures
  • Co-Founder of LaunchBox Digital
  • Senior executive positions for eight years at IAC/InterActiveCorp
  • Former member of the Board of Directors of Expedia
  • Former member of the Board of Directors of Hotels.com
  • Former member of the Board of Directors of Ticketmaster
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Website Pros
  • Member of the Board of Directors of The Motley Fool
  • Special advisor at General Atlantic.

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Todd Shields and Julianna Goldman, "Julius Genachowski Said to Be Obama’s Choice for FCC Chairman", Blooomberg, January 12, 2009.
  2. John Eggerton, "Julius Genachowski Officially Sworn In As FCC Chairman: Takes over commission from acting chairman Michael Copps, who remains on the FCC as a commissioner," Broadcasting & Cable, June 29, 2009.
  3. Press release, "President Obama Announces More Key Appointments," White House Press Office, March 3, 2009.
  4. Harry A. Jessell, "Kid's Viewing Tops Chairman's Agenda," TVNewsCheck, August 25, 2009.
  5. Amy Schatz, "[SB124105025793571073 Mignon Clyburn Nominated to FCC]," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), April 29, 2009.
  6. John Eggerton, "Senate Commerce Committee Slates Genachowski, McDowell Hearing: Confirmation Hearing Set For FCC Chairman, Commissioner June 16," Multichannel News, June 9, 2009.
  7. John Eggerton, "Attempt To Hotline Genachowski, McDowell Nominations Falls Short: Nominations could still get approval by a floor vote next week," Broadcasting & Cable, June 19, 2009.
  8. John Eggerton, "Julius Genachowski Officially Sworn In As FCC Chairman: Takes over commission from acting chairman Michael Copps, who remains on the FCC as a commissioner," Broadcasting & Cable, June 29, 2009.
  9. Ira Teinowitz, "Genachowski Faces High Expectations at FCC Helm," TV Week, March 4, 2009.
  10. Matthew Lasar, "Excitement over Genachowski FCC pick... will it last? Everybody's praising the White House's widely expected pick of Julius Genachowski to head the FCC. But Ars wonders how long this honeymoon will last," Ars Technica, March 4, 2009.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Julius Genachowski - Biography. Retrieved on 2008-11-06.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 LaunchBOX Digital Founders & Advisors. Retrieved on 2008-11-06.
  13. USA Networks, Inc. Appoints Julius Genachowski Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  14. Barack Obama and Joe Biden - The Change we Need - Julius Genachowski's Blog. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  15. Policy Working Groups. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.

External resources

External articles

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