President-elect Donald Trump on Monday designated two members of his transition team to focus on the FCC, fueling speculation about the administration’s pick to lead the agency that regulates the TV and telecom industries.
Both of Trump’s appointments are economists who are strongly opposed to the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules that have been a hallmark of the Obama administration’s telecom policy.
Jeff Eisenach is at present managing director and co-chair of the communications, media and Internet practice at Washington-based NERA Economic Consulting and an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law. He’s also a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Eisenach has deep experience with transfers of power in Washington, having previously worked on the Reagan and George H.W. Bush transition teams. He’s held posts at the Federal Trade Communications and Office of Management and Budget.
Mark Jamison heads the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. He was previously a lobbyist for Sprint and chaired the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
Eisenach and Jamison are considered candidates for Trump’s pick to succeed Tom Wheeler as FCC chairman. Commissioner Ajit Pai, the senior Republican on the five-member panel, is also seen as in the mix for the top job. Pai, a former FCC deputy general counsel, has been a commissioner since 2012.