Jonathan Adelstein

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Jonathan Steven Adelstein
Jonathan s adelstein.jpg
Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
President George W. Bush
In office
December 2002 – June 2009
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture
In office
July 2009 – September 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James M. Andrew
Succeeded by John Charles Padalino
Personal details
Born Rapid City, South Dakota
Citizenship United States of America
Spouse(s) Karen Brenner
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Stanford University, M.A., History
Stanford University, B.A., Political Science
Profession Public policy
Committees United States President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
White House Business Council

Jonathan Steven Adelstein is an American political appointee and trade association president. He was nominated to posts by Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama, serving as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service.

He currently is President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), which represents over 200 companies that build wireless broadband facilities in the United States.[1]

Public service[edit]

U.S. Department of Agriculture (2009-2012)[edit]

Adelstein was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2009 to serve as the 17th Administrator of the USDA Rural Utilities Service ("RUS"). He served in the post until 2012.[2]

As RUS Administrator, he oversaw a $60 billion portfolio of rural electric, water and telecommunications infrastructure loans. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he led the investment of $3.5 billion in rural broadband expansion to create jobs and provide new or improved broadband service to seven million residents, businesses and community facilities. He managed the investment of over $3 billion in loans and grants in to repair and upgrade rural water and waste systems. He led RUS's $6 billion rural electric program to modernize the electric grid, and expanded investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grid.[3]

Federal Communications Commission (2002-2009)[edit]

He was previously confirmed unanimously twice by the Senate to serve as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2002 to 2009. On the FCC, he sought to secure access to communications for everyone, including those left behind by the market. He fought for media diversity and localism, encouraging increased public access to the media to support free expression and a well-informed citizenry.[citation needed]

U.S. Senate (1988-2002)[edit]

Before joining the FCC, Adelstein served for fifteen years as a staff member in the United States Senate. During his final seven years on Capitol Hill, he served as a senior legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, advising him on technology, telecommunications, financial services, budget, housing, transportation and other key issues. Previously, he served as a legislative advisor to Senator David Pryor of Arkansas, and Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. of Michigan.[4]

White House Councils[edit]

As a member of the Obama Administration, Adelstein was appointed as a member of the White House National Science and Technology Council, which coordinates science and technology policy across the federal government, and the White House Business Council, leading Council meetings with business leaders across America.[1][5][6]

Academia and education[edit]

Adelstein received an M.A. in History and a B.A., with Distinction, in Political Science from Stanford University. He attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and served as a Teaching Fellow in history at Harvard and a Teaching Assistant at Stanford.[7]


  1. ^ a b "About Staff Jonathan S. Adelstein". Alexandria, V.A.: PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association. 16 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Departure of Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Statement of Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator, USDA Rural Utilities Service; Hearing Before House Small Business Committee" (PDF). Support Documents. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Name: Adelstein, Jonathan". Officials. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Adelstein, Jonathan (24 May 2011). "White House Business Council Roundtable Held in Mexico, Missouri". The White House Blog. Washington, D.C.: The White House, Office of the President of the United States. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Speaker Biographies". The Americas Spectrum Management Conference 2011. Cardiff, U.K.: Forum Europe. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Biography of Former Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein". FCC. Washington, D.C.: Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2 April 2014.