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FCC Names Jerry Ellig Chief Economist

Jerry Ellig has been named chief economist for the FCC.

“Dr. Ellig’s record of distinguished scholarship and prior government service makes him the right person for this job," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai.

Ellig is a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., a suburb of D.C. Mercatus is a market-oriented research organization that does not receive any funding from the university.

Among Ellig's first orders of business will be to set up the new Office of Economics and Data, which Pai announced last April he would be creating to spread the availability of economic expertise throughout the FCC's bureaus. 

Ellig has been a senior research fellow since 1996. His government record includes director of the Office of Policy and Planning at the Federal Trade Commission and as a senior economist at the congressional Joint Economic Committee.

In a speech to the Hudson Institute in Washington in April, Pai said he would be creating the Office of Economics and Data (OED), which would combine economists and others from around the commission and provide input on rulemakings, transactions, auctions, data management, research and more. 

He said his goal was to have the office up and running by the end of the year after a task force of economists had been dispatched to ponder "Who should be part of this office? Who should be on other teams? How should OED be structured and how should it fit with the rest of the Commission? What should be the powers and responsibilities of the office?"