Obama nominates FCC's Adelstein to head Rural Utility Service

by [White House announcement]

RTM note: for the last several years, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has been one of the nation's most effective advocates for media democracy issues, including media diversity, community radio, and minority ownership. At RUS, he will be well-positioned to supervise dramatic advances in rural broadband deployment, funded by stimulus funds. This is an exciting move for Adelstein, though his shoes will be difficult to fill at the FCC.

Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts: Dr. Steven E. Koonin, Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy; David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of Energy; Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, State Department; Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Department of Labor; Jonathan S. Adelstein, Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture; Timothy W. Manning, Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security; and Priscilla E. Guthrie, Chief Information Officer, Office of Director of National Intelligence. President Obama also announced that Steve Isakowitz, the Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Energy, will continue serving in his current role.

President Obama said, "This group of public servants joins my administration at a critical time in our nation's history. As we work to rebuild our economy, achieve energy independence and keep American strong at home and abroad, I will rely on their trusted counsel and extensive experience on the issues. I look forward to working with them in the months ahead."

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Jonathan S. Adelstein, Nominee for Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Jonathan S. Adelstein is currently a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, where he has served since 2002, and was confirmed to a second term in 2004, where he led efforts to improve rural telecommunications and broadband. Previously, he served for fifteen years as a staff member in the US Senate, including his final seven years with Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), advising him on telecommunications, financial services, housing, transportation and other key issues. Prior to that, he served as Professional Staff Member to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman David Pryor (D-AR), including an assignment as a special liaison to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and earlier as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (D-MI). Before his service in the Senate, he was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of History, Harvard University, while studying at the Kennedy School of Government, and a Teaching Assistant in the Department of History, Stanford University, and as a Communications Consultant to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He received an M.A. in History and a B.A. with Distinction in Political Science from Stanford University. Born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, he and his wife, Karen, have two children, Adam and Lexi.

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