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Joe Biden's Commerce Picks Draw Industry Comment

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Gary Arlen)

Industry players were weighing-in Friday on President-elect Joe Biden's picks to run the Commerce Department, the department that includes the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which oversees federal spectrum policy.

Biden has nominated Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to be Secretary of Commerce and Don Graves, who has been leading the Biden-Harris Transition’s Treasury Agency Review Team, as deputy secretary.

Prior to becoming governor, Raimondo helped found venture capital firm Point Judith Capital and before that was the state's general treasurer. Raimondo is a graduate of Harvard, masters and doctoral degrees from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a law degree from Yale.

Graves is a former counselor to then-Vice President Biden, as well as executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and deputy assistant secretary for small business, community development and housing policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He also led the effort to revitalize Detroit following the city's bankruptcy and Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative.

"President-elect Biden has selected two proven leaders with a keen understanding of how broadband innovators support American connectivity, job creation, education, national security and economic prosperity," said USTelecom president and CEO Jonathan Spalter.

“Now more than ever, the Commerce Department plays a vital role in our connected digital future, and this talented leadership team is ready to face a range of issues related to cybersecurity, 5G and spectrum management, and the future of the internet. There are also enormous opportunities to make this country more connected and technology access more equitable, and USTelecom members look forward to working with the department to finally and fully achieve our universal connectivity goals.”

"[The Telecommunications Industry Association looks forward to working with Gov. Raimondo and Mr. Graves, once they are confirmed, on a range of important issues that include improving supply chain security, expanding internet connectivity and access, promoting the competitiveness of trusted ICT manufacturers, and ensuring that the U.S. leads in standards innovation,” said TIA CEO David Stehlin.

"On behalf of the wireless industry I congratulate Governor Raimondo on her nomination as Commerce Secretary," said CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker. "Governor Raimondo was one of the first to recognize 5G’s potential to generate new levels of economic and job growth. Her nomination sends a strong signal that the Biden Administration is committed to maintaining America’s position as the world’s innovation hub."

“Governor Raimondo’s extensive experience as a distinguished public official, successful businesswoman, and advocate for government-industry collaboration will serve her well as the next Secretary of Commerce,” said Jason Oxman, president of global tech association ITI. “On behalf of the tech industry, I want to congratulate her on this well-deserved nomination. Our industry looks forward to working together on pressing issues including broadband, industry standards, supply chain security, and trade to promote U.S. leadership and innovation around the world."

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.