Reed Hundt

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Reed Hundt
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
In office
November 29, 1993 – November 3, 1997
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byJames Quello
Succeeded byWilliam Kennard
Personal details
Reed Eric Hundt

(1948-03-03) March 3, 1948 (age 74)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Spouse(s)Betsy Katz
EducationYale University (BA, JD)

Reed Eric Hundt[1] (born March 3, 1948) is an American attorney who served as chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission from November 29, 1993 to November 3, 1997.[2] Appointed by President Bill Clinton, he served for most of Clinton's first term. He was succeeded by William Kennard.

Hundt is the CEO and co-founder of the Coalition for Green Capital, a non-profit engaged in the creation of green banks in the United States and internationally, and Making Every Vote Count, a non-profit advocating to make the national popular vote relevant to selecting the President. He was also on the board of Intel Corporation 2001-20. He was a senior adviser to the law firm, Covington, in Washington, D.C., from 2014 to 2019, and lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and Portola Valley, California.


Hundt attended high school in Washington D.C. at St. Albans School, graduating in 1965.[1] He went to Yale College, where he majored in history, and worked on the Yale Daily News. Hundt taught school for several years before graduating from Yale Law School in 1974. He clerked for Harrison Lee Winter, a Baltimore judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, before moving to Los Angeles, where he became the 85th lawyer at Latham & Watkins, one of the top law firms in the world.

In 1980, Hundt moved to the Latham & Watkins' Washington, D.C., office. 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 drafted the 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, whom 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 became commercially viable because of the confluence of the first popular browser, Mosaic, and the decision of the CERN laboratory to release for free the Berners-Lee World Wide Web software protocols that enabled any connected computer to navigate 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.

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 five 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. Additionally, 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).

Most recently, Hundt wrote A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama's Defining Decisions (Rosetta Books: 2019). Some contend that the book's thesis—stated in title—is an accepted tenet of the Biden Administration.

Recent articles include:

  • "Scotus Protects 'The Privacies of Life,'" The Boston Review Online, June 27, 2014.[3]
  • "Saving Privacy," The Boston Review, May 19, 2014.[4]
  • "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.[5]
  • "A Broadband Solution to Fiscal Crises," (Co-Authored with Blar Levin). ComputerWorld, December 10, 2012 [6]
  • "Democrats and Republicans Should Come Together to Support a Future of Abundance," (Co-Authored with Blair Levin). Innovation by Techdirt, November 14, 2012 [7]
  • "For A Politics of Abundance, Growth First," (Co-Authored with Blair Levin). San Jose Mercury News, November 12, 2012 [8]
  • "How the Government Saved the Internet," TechCrunch, August 19, 2012 [9]
  • "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).[10]
  • "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.[11]
  • "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.

In popular culture[edit]

Hundt is referenced by Dale Gribble in Season 4, Episode 10 ("Hillenium") of King of the Hill as the author of a "brilliantly written op-ed piece" about Y2K millennium.

Personal life[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b Shriver Jr., Jube (May 10, 1994). "FCC Chairman's Information Vision : Reed Hundt Says He Wants Technology Accessible to All". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "Commissioners from 1934 to Present". Federal Communications Commission. June 5, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Renner, Nausicaa (June 27, 2014). "SCOTUS Protects 'The Privacies of Life'". Boston Review. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Renner, Nausicaa (May 7, 2014). "Saving Privacy". Boston Review. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Blogger, Guest. "A broadband solution to fiscal crises". Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Democrats & Republicans Should Come Together To Support A Future Of Abundance". Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "Reed Hundt and Blair Levin: For a politics of abundance, growth first". November 12, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Contributor. "How The Government Saved The Internet - TechCrunch". Retrieved June 30, 2017. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  10. ^ Hundt, Reed; Mann, Thomas; Hundt, Reed; Mann, Thomas (June 15, 2011). "Rebuild American infrastructure? Companies' offshore profits can help". Retrieved June 30, 2017 – via
  11. ^ Hundt, Reed (January 30, 2006). "Patently Obvious". Retrieved June 30, 2017.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Succeeded by