|Commissioner of the|
Federal Communications Commission
August 3, 2009 – June 6, 2018
|Preceded by||Deborah Tate|
|Succeeded by||Geoffrey Starks|
|Born||March 22, 1962|
|Alma mater||University of South Carolina (BA)|
Mignon L. Clyburn (born March 22, 1962) is a former commissioner at the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), serving in that position since she was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the US Senate in August 2009.
In December 2017, Clyburn—alongside fellow Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel—voted against rescinding the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order, better known as net neutrality; the measure passed in a 3-2 party line vote to remove net neutrality protections. In April 2018, Clyburn announced that she would step down from her position as commissioner and served until June 6, 2018.
Education and career
Clyburn graduated from W. J. Keenan High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in banking, finance, and economics from the University of South Carolina in 1984. From 1984 to 1998, Clyburn served as publisher, editor, and general manager of the Charleston, South Carolina-based The Coastal Times, a weekly African-American newspaper.
From 1998 to 2009, Clyburn was a member of the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC), representing South Carolina's 6th congressional district. She was first elected to the post on July 1, 1998, and served as the chair of the Commission from July 2002 to July 2004.
Tenure on the FCC
In April 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Clyburn to a vacant Democratic seat on the Federal Communications Commission. Clyburn initially was appointed to serve the unexpired term of Jonathan Adelstein, who left the Commission to take up a post in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In July 2009, Clyburn was confirmed to a full five-year term; her appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Clyburn began a second five-year term on the FCC in January 2013, having been nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate. In May 2013, Obama designated Clyburn as acting chairwoman of the FCC, a position she held until Tom Wheeler was appointed chairman in October 2013. Clyburn's five-year term ended on June 30, 2017, but pursuant to federal law, Clyburn remains on the Commission until her successor is sworn in or until the 115th Congress ends in January 2019.
In 2015, Clyburn, alongside fellow Democratic commissioners Wheeler and Jessica Rosenworcel, voted to adopt the FCC Open Internet Order, a regulation protecting net neutrality in the United States. In 2017, after Donald Trump became president, Republicans took control of the FCC for the first time in Clyburn's tenure on the commission, and she was for a time the Commission's sole Democratic member. The new Republican-majority Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai sought to reverse FCC initiatives that had occurred under Obama, Clyburn mounted "a vigorous defense of the FCC's pro-consumer policies." After Pai revoked several Obama-era consumer-protection regulations and closed the FCC's inquiry into the telecommunications industry's controversial practice of zero-rating, Clyburn described the moves as an unlawful violation of the "basic principle of administrative procedure that actions must be accompanied by reasons for that action."
Clyburn has been a vocal advocate of preserving net neutrality in the United States. In May 2017, Clyburn dissented from the Commission's issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to repeal net neutrality and strongly criticized the proposal. In December 2017, Clyburn (along with fellow Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel) dissented from the FCC's reversal of the 2015 Open Internet Order. The repeal measure, championed by Pai, passed in a 3-2 party line vote. Congressman Jerry McNerney had requested to deliver remarks during the hearing, but was denied. Clyburn submitted his statement as part of the record.
Clyburn has also clashed with Pai over the Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers, a federal program that has subsidized phone access for low-income Americans since the 1980s. In 2016, Clyburn led an effort to include broadband access in the program for the first time, in order to close the digital divide. Pai countered this effort the following year, by terminating the participation of nine telecommunications companies in the program, a move that Clyburn strongly criticized.
Awards and honors
- "Biography of Former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn". FCC. 7 June 2018. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- Lecher, Colin (December 14, 2017). "Read the dissenting statements of the Democratic FCC commissioners slamming net neutrality repeal". The Verge. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- Castillo, Michelle; Haselton, Todd (December 14, 2017). "The FCC has reversed a 2015 rule that could change how you access and pay for internet service". CNBC. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- McGill, Margaret Harding (April 17, 2018). "Obama nominee Mignon Clyburn stepping down from FCC". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- Schatz, Amy (29 April 2009). "Mignon Clyburn Nominated to FCC". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, South Carolina Public Service Commission.
- James Rosen, Statement of Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn on Her Confirmation for a Second Term as FCC Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (January 2, 2013).
- Kim McAvoy, Getting to Know FCC Hopeful Clyburn, TVNewsCheck (February 11, 2009).
- Cecilia Kang, Mignon Clyburn, House Majority Whip's Daughter, Nominated to FCC, Washington Post (May 1, 2009).
- Amy Schatz, WSJ Mignon Clyburn Nominated to FCC, Wall Street Journal (April 29, 2009).
- John Eggerton, Senate Confirms Clyburn to Full FCC Term; Republican FTC commissioner Joshua Wright also confirmed, Broadcasting & Cable (January 2, 2013).
- Senate confirms Rep. Clyburn's daughter to FCC post, McClatchy Newspapers (July 24, 2009).
- "Commissioner Mignon Clyburn". Biography. Federal Communications Commission. 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Katy Bachman, Senate Confirms Tom Wheeler as Next FCC Chairman, AdWeek (October 29, 2013).
- Her Term Now Up, Clyburn Still Plans To Serve On FCC, Inside Radio (July 5, 2017).
- Brian Fung, Calling a prison inmate can cost $54 a pop. The FCC thinks that’s way too high., Washington Post (October 22, 2015).
- Ann E. Marimow, FCC made a case for limiting cost of prison phone calls. Not anymore., Washington Post (February 4, 2017).
- Ann E. Marimow, There's no cheap talk when it comes to prison calls. And that’s not changing soon., Washington Post (June 13, 2017).
- Sam Gustin, How Mignon Clyburn, the FCC’s Lone Democrat, Is Fighting to Save Net Neutrality, Motherboard Vice (March 22, 2017).
- Sam Gustin, Trump's New FCC Chief Just Opened the Floodgates for Zero-Rating, Vice Motherboard (February 3, 2017).
- Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, Notice of Proposed rulemaking, Federal Communications Commission (May 18, 2017), pp. 62-74.
- Colin Lecher, Read the dissenting statements of the Democratic FCC commissioners slamming net neutrality repeal, The Verge (December 14, 2017).
- Eric Limer, Watch FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's Powerful, Doomed Defense of Net Neutrality, Popular Mechanics (December 14, 2017).
- Jerry McNerney (2017). "Rep. McNerney Submits Written Statement for FCC Open Meeting". Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- "Honorees: 2010 National Women's History Month". Women's History Month. National Women's History Project. 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
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