Obama transition team names FCC review leaders

The transition team for President-elect Barack Obama announces several more agency review team leaders, including those who will head up the review process of the FCC.

Stephanie Condon Staff writer, CBSNews.com
Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.
Stephanie Condon
2 min read

President-elect Barack Obama's transition team on Friday announced who will lead the transition project's review of the Federal Communications Commission, the office of the United States Trade Representative, and a number of other agencies, departments, and executive offices.

The new team members will review the agencies and offices to aid the new administration in its planning decisions. Obama's transition group first announced the formation of the teams on Wednesday.

Susan Crawford, a communications law and Internet law professor at the University of Michigan, is a leader of the FCC review team. Crawford was until recently on the ICANN board of directors. Kevin Werbach, an assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, is the other FCC review team lead. Werbach organizes the annual Supernova technology conference and formerly served as counsel for new technology policy at the FCC.

Jim Kohlenberger, who served as senior domestic policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore and helped pass the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is a leader of the National Science Foundation review team. He is executive director of the Voice on the Net Coalition, which represents the voice over IP industry, and is a senior fellow at the Benton Foundation, which aims to ensure media and telecommunications serve democracy.

Henry Rivera, who represents the telecommunications sector for the firm Wiley Rein, is the other National Science Foundation review team leader. Rivera served as an FCC commissioner and is a past president of the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Anna Gomez, vice president of government affairs for Sprint Nextel, is a leader of the United States Trade Representative review team. Gomez served as senior legal adviser to FCC Chairman Bill Kennard and held a number of other positions in the FCC, including chief of the network services division. She also briefly served as counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee's telecommunications subcommittee.

Peter Cowhey, the other leader of the United States Trade Representative review team, served as chief of the FCC's international bureau and is now associate vice chancellor and dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Christopher Putala, who will lead the reviewal of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, previously served as senior staff to Vice President-elect Joe Biden on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Putala was executive vice president for public policy at EarthLink, an Internet service provider, from 2005 to 2007, and was vice president for congressional relations at CTIA, the wireless trade association.

A number of other advisers named Friday have experience or expertise in telecommunications and other technology sectors. For instance, Susan Ness, who leads the Federal Trade Commission review team, is a former FCC commissioner. Gloria Parker, who is leading the National Archives and Records Administration review team, was the Department of Housing and Urban Development's first chief information officer and is a director at the Computer Sciences Corporation.

Updated November 16 to correct Mr. Werbach's name, which is Kevin, not Ken.