Reed Hundt

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Reed E. Hundt
ReedHundtAtTechPolicyForum.jpg
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
President Bill Clinton
Succeeded by William Kennard
Personal details
Born (1948-03-03) March 3, 1948 (age 67)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Spouse(s) Elizabeth "Betsy" Katz
Children Adam, Nathaniel and Sara Hundt
Alma mater Yale College
Yale Law School

Reed E. Hundt (born March 3, 1948 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is probably best known as the chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997. Appointed by President Bill Clinton, he served for most of Clinton's first term. He was succeeded by William Kennard. Hundt is the CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital and a senior advisor to GTCR, a private equity firm. He is on the board of a number of technology companies, including Intel Corp., and the Connecticut Green Bank. [1]

Biography[edit]

Hundt attended high school in Washington D.C at the prestigious St. Albans School. He went to Yale College, where he majored in history, and worked on the Yale Daily News, and then taught school for two years. He returned to Yale in the fall of 1971 in order to attend Yale Law School, graduating with a J.D. in 1974. He then clerked for Harrison Winter, a Baltimore judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Hundt's co-clerk Tim Cullen of Washington, D.C., became a lifelong friend. Tim had a great career as a litigator at Jones, Day, where he still practices. Hundt then moved to Los Angeles, where he became the 85th lawyer at Latham & Watkins, then considered to be the fourth or fifth best firm in a city not well known for law practice. From the early 1970s to the present Latham has become one of the biggest, most lucrative, and most successful firms in the world. In 1980 Hundt moved to the Washington, D.C., office of the firm, where he was the ninth lawyer. In his litigation career at the firm, Hundt appeared in court in 48 states and the District of Columbia, argued appellate cases in almost all circuits, and handled cases in many topic areas, although he specialized in antitrust.

Meanwhile, from 1983 and onwards, Hundt played many diverse roles in helping Al Gore's political career. In 1992-3 he was part of the Clinton-Gore transition team, and chaired the committee that draft that partly successful carbon tax introduced and passed in the House of Representatives in 1993. It was not passed through the Senate. The issue remains alive to this day. In 1993 President Clinton, who Hundt had known in law school, nominated Hundt to be chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He was confirmed in November 1993, which was approximately the same time that the Internet was commercially invented as a practical matter because of the confluence of the first popular browser, Mosaic,and the decision of the CERN laboratory to release for free the now famous Berners-Lee software protocols that enabled any connected computer to join the Internet. Serendipitously, that same month saw Congress empower the FCC to create the structure and function of the digital cellular market in the United States by means, among other things, of spectrum auctions, then having previously been tried only in isolated cases in small countries.

Congress gave the FCC vast powers to regulate and de-regulate all digital markets when it passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, signed by digital signature of President Clinton in the Library of Congress in February 1996. The FCC then essentially re-wrote the regulatory landscape for wireless and wireline communication. Not everything predicted actually occurred, in Hundt's view, but all knew that somehow the communications sector was responsible in large part for the great boom in the American economy and stock market that marked the Clinton Administration's two terms.

After the election of 2000 was finally decided, Hundt continued his now more than fifty year friendship with Al Gore. He currently serves on the audit committee of Gore's chief non-profit. Hundt himself is CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, a non-profit he helped found in the wake of his service on the Obama transition team in 2008-9. Between 1998 and 2008, Hundt was a senior advisor to McKinsey, the consulting firm. He also served on many technology company boards from 1998 to the present, co-founded four firms (none of which was wildly successful), gave many speeches, wrote four books, and penned numerous articles. He has written "You Say You Want A Revolution: A Story of Information Age Politics" (Yale:2000) and "In China's Shadow: The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship" (Yale: 2006) as part of the Future of American Democracy Foundation's Future of American Democracy Series. Most recently, Hundt published e-books entitled "Zero Hour: Time to Build the Clean Power Platform (Odyssey, 2013) and, along with Blair Levin, "The Politics of Abundance: How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream and Establish Obama's Legacy" (Odyssey: 2012).

Recent articles include:

  • "Scotus Protects 'The Privacies of Life,'" The Boston Review Online, June 27, 2014.[2]
  • "Saving Privacy," The Boston Review, May 19, 2014.[3]
  • "Making No Secrets About It," Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, November 2013.[4]
  • “A Broadband Solution to Fiscal Crises,” (Co-Authored with Blar Levin). ComputerWorld, December 10, 2012
  • “Democrats and Republicans Should Come Together to Support a Future of Abundance,” (Co-Authored with Blair Levin). Innovation by Techdirt, November 14, 2012
  • “For A Politics of Abundance, Growth First,” (Co-Authored with Blair Levin). San Jose Mercury News, November 12, 2012
  • “How the Government Saved the Internet,” TechCrunch, August 19, 2012
  • “Wireless: The Common Medium of Conversation,” New York Law School, Media Law & Policy Vol 20.1 pp. 95–115 (2011)
  • “Rebuild American Infrastructure: Companies’ Offshore Profits Can Help,” The Washington Post Opinions, June 16, 2011 (with Thomas Mann).
  • “The Internet as ‘The Common Medium,’” New York Law School, Media Law & Policy Vol. 19.2 (2010-2011)
  • “Grid to the Twenty- First Century: Will a more networked society be a less free society?” Democracy Journal, Spring, 2008.
  • “Patently Obvious” Forbes, January 30, 2006.
  • “Communications Policy for 2005 and Beyond,” Hundt, R. and Rosston, G., 2005 Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper No. 04-07, August 2002 in Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 58 No. 1, December 2005.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Elizabeth "Betsy" Katz. He is the father of Adam, Nathaniel and Sara Hundt.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
James H. Quello
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
November 1993–November 1997
Succeeded by
William E. Kennard