FCC chair Ajit Pai has named attorney Rosemary Harold chief of the agency's Enforcement Bureau.
The bureau investigates and takes action against unlawful conduct. Michael Carowitz, who had been acting bureau chief, will become deputy bureau chief.
It will be a homecoming for Harold, who was legal advisor to former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell. Most recently Harold has been a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer.
Harold joined McDowell's office in August 2008 as media legal advisor. She had been the deputy chief of the FCC's Media Bureau and, before that, was with the communications firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding, which is headed by former FCC chair Richard Wiley and has supplied numerous legal minds to the FCC, including former chair Kevin Martin.
Her resume also includes stints as a journalist, both at the Miami Herald and as an editor with C-SPAN.
“Our Enforcement Bureau has been getting back on track in recent months, and I am confident in Rosemary’s ability to continue this progress," said Pai, who had been critical of some of the bureau's actions under his predecessor, Tom Wheeler. "Our enforcement efforts must be governed by the facts and the law, and Rosemary’s experience and expertise will help us conduct sound investigations and craft legally sustainable enforcement actions. This is especially important when it comes to FCC priorities like protecting consumers against illegal robocalls and confronting unlawful interference with broadcast licensees."
McDowell, now a partner and co-leader of the global communications practice at Cooley LLP, said: "Rosemary is an incredibly talented attorney who knows the intricacies of the FCC's rules better than anyone. This is an excellent choice by chairman Pai. She will be judicious, impartial, thorough and fair. American consumers will be well served by her leadership of the Enforcement Bureau."
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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.