Jamie Barnett to Exit Commission

Another top official is exiting the commission.

Admiral Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is leaving at the end of the month to rejoin think tank, the Potomac Institute for Public Policy Studies.

David Furth, deputy chief of the bureau, will be acting chief.

"Jamie is an extraordinarily talented and effective leader, a valued colleague, and an outstanding and dedicated public servant," said FCc Chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. "Thanks to his efforts, our country's communications networks are stronger and more resilient, and Americans are and will be safer in significant ways. I wish Jamie the best as he moves on to the next stage of an already distinguished career." 

Barnett has been with the commission since July 2009. Under his watch, the bureau helped produce the recently released cybersecurity voluntary guidelines on botnets, DNS protection and route hijacking. It also proposed the November 2011 first-ever national test of the emergency alert system and worked for the creation of a national public safety broadband network, which Congress authorized earlier this year.

Barnett is just the latest in a series of FCC exits of top officials since the beginning of the year. Others include Chief of Staff Eddie Lazarus, senior adviser to the chairman Amy Levine, Consumer Bureau chief Joel Gurin, and Paul De Sa, chief of the FCC's office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

Reasons given for the departures have included family moves and other opportunities, but it is not unusual for officials to want to return to the usually more lucrative private sector after a stint in the sometimes-frustrating bureaucracy of public service. Also, it is generally predicted that FCC Chair Julius Genachowski may decide to exit early next year, and would have to give up his chairmanship at any rate if a Republican were elected.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.