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WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, the Biden administration appointed Jessica Rosenworcel acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications  Commission. The move follows the inauguration of President Joe Biden and the resignation of former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Rosenworcel has served as an FCC commissioner since 2012, following years as a congressional and FCC staffer. She played a major role in shaping real Net Neutrality protections and drawing attention to the digital divide, and was a consistent voice of opposition under the previous administration.

On Wednesday, Biden also named Rebecca Slaughter as acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission. Slaughter had served as FTC commissioner since 2018, following years as chief counsel to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Free Press Co-CEO Jessica J. González made the following statement:

“Free Press congratulates Jessica Rosenworcel on her appointment as acting FCC chairwoman. As we confront the pandemic, economic crisis and the urgent need for racial justice, we need equitable access to reliable communications tools and accurate news and information. We look forward to working with Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel on restoring the Commission's Title II authority under the Communications Act and opening up opportunities to finally end the digital divide, ensure reliable access to the internet and reinstate nondiscrimination policies like Net Neutrality. We also hope to work closely on efforts to expand ownership and viewpoint diversity in the broadcast sector, and ensure that broadcasters are serving the public interest."

Free Press Co-CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“As a commissioner, Rosenworcel has challenged the Trump FCC’s worst actions and impulses. Now she must rebuild after the previous regime tried to demolish so much of the agency’s most important work.  Rosenworcel’s long record of public service and deep knowledge of the issues before the FCC make her uniquely suited to fixing what has been broken at the agency over the past four years. We hope she will use the power of the office to push immediately for long-overdue changes that can improve people’s lives, create opportunities for new and diverse voices, and make the FCC an agency that’s committed to public needs rather than corporate greed.”

Free Press Senior Policy Counsel Gaurav Laroia made the following statement:

“Commissioner Slaughter is a welcome pick for acting FTC chairwoman. She’s been persistently clear-headed on combating corporate malfeasance and argued for real remedies that these same companies can’t shrug off as the cost of doing business. She’s a forward-thinking leader who uses the FTC’s full power to combat persistent harms in our data economy. We’re confident she will chart a new path forward for the agency and use its powers to address pressing civil-rights harms and systemic racial inequalities in privacy, antitrust enforcement and in our economy writ large. We’re pleased to see the agency in her capable hands and hope that additional commissioners have the same commitment to justice.”

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