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McDowell Joins Wiley Rein

Former FCC commissioner Rob McDowell has joined Wiley Rein as a partner in its communications practice.

He will specialize in "domestic and international matters in the telecommunications, media, technology, and digital media industries."

McDowell has been a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute following his exit from the commission in May 2013 after seven years. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and nominated to a second term by President Obama.

At the commission, McDowell was a consistent advocate for getting rid of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban and a voice for a light regulatory touch in general. It was McDowell who pushed the FCC to strike the fairness doctrine from the record. That was the doctrine that required broadcasters to seek out opposing viewpoints on controversial topics or face FCC sanction.

He was also a voice on Internet governance and spectrum management.

Wiley Rein is certainly no stranger to FCC Commissioners. The Wiley in the name is former FCC chairman Dick Wiley, and it has boasted a number of FCC alumni among its ranks, including four former commissioners.

“Rob brings an unparalleled degree of bipartisan support, credibility, and respect at the highest levels of government, along with deep knowledge about the vital and growing communications and tech sectors,” said managing partner Peter D. Shields in announcing the new hire. “His tremendous and deep experience on complex issues will be invaluable to our clients.”

“Wiley Rein is the ‘gold standard’ among communications firms, and one that combines regulatory prowess with public policy, international advocacy, trade, intellectual property, government contracts, and litigation experience," McDowell said of the new post.