Jessica Rosenworcel

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Jessica Rosenworcel
Jessica Rosenworcel portrait 2018.jpg
Commissioner of the
Federal Communications Commission
Assumed office
August 11, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
In office
May 11, 2012 – January 3, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byMichael Copps[1]
Personal details
Born (1971-07-12) July 12, 1971 (age 48)
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
EducationWesleyan University (BA)
New York University School of Law (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Jessica Rosenworcel (born July 12, 1971) is an American attorney currently serving as a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She originally served on the FCC from May 11, 2012 to January 3, 2017, and was confirmed by the Senate for an additional term on August 3, 2017.

Early life[edit]

A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, Rosenworcel received her bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and her Juris Doctor from the New York University School of Law.[2]

On July 13, 2012, Politico designated Rosenworcel as one of 50 politicos to watch, describing her as "whip-smart and intensely serious".[3]

Legal career[edit]

Prior to joining the FCC, Rosenworcel practiced communications law.[4] In 1999, she joined the Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC, and in 2003 started working for then-FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.[4] Starting in 2007, she served as Senior Communications Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D–WV). She previously served in the same role on the Committee under the leadership of Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D–HI).[5] In 2013, Rockefeller led a push to have Rosenworcel named to be the first female chair of the commission when former Chairman Julius Genachowski stepped down, although the position was ultimately given to Tom Wheeler.[6]

Federal Communications Commission[edit]

Rosenworcel in 2014

Rosenworcel was first nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama in October 2011.[6] Her confirmation was delayed for months when Republican Senator Chuck Grassley refused to bring it up for a vote until the FCC released documents about a project he opposed.[6] She was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7, 2012 and sworn into office on May 11, 2012, for a term ending June 30, 2015.[5]

By law, commissioners may continue serving until the appointment of their replacements, but not beyond the end of the next session of Congress following term expiration.[7] In May 2015, President Obama renominated Rosenworcel for a second term,[8] but she was not reconfirmed by the Senate by the time she was required to leave her seat in January 2017.[9] In June 2017, Rosenworcel was nominated to an additional term by President Donald Trump. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 2017.[10]

Rosenworcel is the Chair of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services, a forum for dialogue among the FCC, state regulators, and local and regional entities about the deployment of advanced telecommunications capabilities.[11]


During her initial term as an FCC Commissioner, Rosenworcel voted to enforce net neutrality by classifying Internet service providers as Title II common carriers,[12] overturn state laws that protect Internet service providers against competition from municipal broadband,[13] change the technical definition of "broadband" from 4 Mbps to 25 Mbps,[14] use the LifeLine program to subsidize Internet access for low-income individuals,[15] and expand consumer protection against robocalls.[16]

On net neutrality, Rosenworcel said, "We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind. We cannot have gatekeepers who tell us what we can and cannot do and where we can and cannot go online, and we do not need blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization schemes that undermine the Internet as we know it."[12]

Rosenworcel has been a champion of updating national education policy in order to connect the country’s schools and libraries with high-speed Internet.[17] In addition, Rosenworcel is responsible for coining the term "homework gap", and has brought attention to the need of students to get online when they are outside of school.[18]

Rosenworcel supports proposals to improve communications infrastructure and location accuracy for 911 calls from cell phones,[6] and supports the expansion of FirstNet, a dedicated wireless network for emergency services workers.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Rosenworcel lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children. She is the sister of Brian Rosenworcel, the drummer for the band Guster.[19]


  1. ^ Hart, Kim (October 31, 2011). "Jessica Rosenworcel, Ajit Varadaraj Pai nominated for FCC posts". Politico. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "Jessica Rosenworcel", Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "50 politicos to watch", Politico.
  4. ^ a b Liebelson, Dana (May 6, 2015). "How Jessica Rosenworcel Is Shaping Our Digital Future". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Meet the Commissioners", Future of Music, June 6, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Daniel (July 10, 2015). "Keeping FCC Commish Should Be 'Slam Dunk,' Colleagues Say". Law360. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  7. ^ 47 USC 154(c)
  8. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". The White House Office of the Press Secretary. May 20, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "Senate Fails to Confirm Rosenworcel for Another Term". National Public Safety Telecommunications Council. December 12, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  10. ^ Johnson, Ted (August 3, 2017). "Senate Confirms Jessica Rosenworcel, Brendan Carr to FCC". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Membership of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services, Retrieved on July 13, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Jon Brodkin (February 26, 2015). "FCC votes for net neutrality, a ban on paid fast lanes, and Title II". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  13. ^ Jon Brodkin (February 26, 2015). "FCC overturns state laws that protect ISPs from local competition". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Jon Brodkin (January 29, 2015). "FCC chairman mocks industry claims that customers don't need faster Internet". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Mark Wigfield (June 18, 2015). "FCC Takes Steps to Modernize and Reform Lifeline for Broadband" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  16. ^ Eggerton, John (June 18, 2015). "FCC Clarifies Robocall Rules". Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  17. ^ Contributor, Guest. "E-Rate 2.0: Commissioner Rosenworcel's Plan to Reboot National Education Politic365 - Politic365". Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Rosenworcel, Jessica (June 15, 2015). "Bridging the Homework Gap". Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "FCC requires Comcast to place Bloomberg alongside other news channels", The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.

External links[edit]