Wheeler Adds Chief Economist, Cybersecurity Counsel

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has added a chief economist and chief counsel for cybersecurity to his senior staff.

His new chief economist comes with a resume that should prepare him for dealing with the economics of consolidation and the transformation of the communications system.

Timothy Brennan, professor of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore campus, has been named to fill the vacant chief economist position. Brennan is the author of A Shock to the System: Restructuring America's Electricity Industry. As such he comes equipped to deal with a broadband revolution that Wheeler has likened to the great transformative revolutions in power and travel.

Brennan is also a former economist with the antitrust division of the Justice Department and has taught telecommunications policy at George Washington University. his resume also includes stints at the Federal Trade Commission and the White House Counsel of Economic Advisers.

Clete Johnson is joining the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau as chief counsel for cybersecurity, reporting to bureau chief Rear Admiral (Ret.) David Simpson.

He will work with industry to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities and helping come up with industry best practices, according to the chairman's office.

Johnson has been with the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he was the lead staffer on financial intelligence and worked on cybersecurity legislation proposed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, former chairman of the intelligence committee and current chairman of the Commerce Committee.

He is also a former attorney with Patton Boggs in Washington and is a former Army officer.

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.