New FCC Bureau Chief Can Sing, Too

Washington – Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin has named a new chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. She’s Dana Shaffer, a veteran communications lawyer from Tennessee who has held key staff positions with Republican FCC members Deborah Taylor Tate and Robert McDowell.

In a press release Monday announcing the promotion, Martin failed to mention a special honor that belongs to the versatile Shaffer, who’s got real talent as a singer-pianist.

In 1991, Shaffer (who went by Dana Brown at the time) was second runner-up in the Miss America pageant. She qualified for the event after being named Miss Tennessee.

Wearing a dazzling beaded pink gown, Shaffer used the talent portion of the national contest to belt out a lively medley, which included “The Glory of Love.”

She spiced her three-minute performance with a jazzy piano solo as hosts Gary Collins and Phyllis George looked on and Bert (“Here She Comes, Miss America”) Parks waited in the wings.

Shaffer finished two places behind the eventual winner, Miss Illinois Marjorie Vincent. For her efforts, Shaffer collected a $14,000 in scholarship money.

In her new FCC position, Shaffer takes over from Thomas Navin atop a bureau charged with the day-to-day oversight of local phone companies. Many of the former monopolies are seeking regulatory relief as direct competition from cable companies heats up.

Navin is remaining at the agency as assistant special counsel in the Office of General Counsel, an FCC spokesman said.

According to Martin’s statement, Shaffer received her B.S. summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas and her J.D. magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University School of Law. She was also a law clerk to the U.S. Circuit Judge Eugene Siler of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.