Former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell Joins Wiley Rein
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Summary: Wiley Rein LLP has hired Robert McDowell, former commissioner and senior member of the Federal Communications Commission at Washington D.C.

Former FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell has joined as a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Wiley Rein, the law firm announced on Monday. McDowell joins the Communications practice of the firm as expected.


Wiley Rein seems to have become the obvious destination of FCC Commissioners returning to private practice and with the addition of McDowell, four former FCC commissioners are now members of Wiley Rein’s Communications Practice, including Chairman Richard E. Wiley, who also served as chairman and general counsel of the FCC.

Appointed to the FCC by presidents George W. Bush (2006) and Barack Obama (2009) and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate each time, Mr. McDowell was the first Republican appointed to an independent agency by President Obama. During his seven years as one of five FCC commissioners, he spearheaded the production of policies that directly affect all aspects of the Internet, wireless technologies, broadband competition, and communications equipment and devices, as well as radio and satellite services.

Of his decision to join Wiley Rein, Mr. McDowell stated: “Wiley Rein is the ‘gold standard’ among communications firms, and one that combines regulatory prowess with public policy, international advocacy, trade, intellectual property, government contracts, and litigation experience. It’s my pleasure to join this team of consummate professionals, and I look forward to working with attorneys throughout the firm to assist clients and expand the firm’s international presence.”

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McDowell brings to Wiley Rein approximately 16 years of private sector experience in the communications industry. Prior to joining the FCC, he was senior vice president for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel). He also served as the executive vice president and general counsel of America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA), which merged with CompTel in 1999.

Most recently, McDowell served as a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet and was appointed in 2013 to the international Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms, sponsored by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the World Economic Forum, and The Annenberg Foundation.

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