Why You Should Know Who Roslyn Layton Is

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There are now three people who have been tasked by President-Elect Donald Trump to oversee the FCC leadership transition.


As RBR + TVBR has reported, Jeff Eisenach — the visiting scholar and Director for the Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy at DC-based conservative “think tank” American Enterprise Institute — and Mark Jamison, a visiting Fellow with the AEI’s Center Eisenach oversees who serves as Director and Gunter Professor of the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida have been selected by Trump to oversee the moves at the Commission that will come with the end of President Barack Obama’s eight years in office, come January 2017.

roslyn-layton
Roslyn Layton

On Tuesday (11/29), the Trump camp announced that Roslyn Layton will be working alongside both Eisenach and Jamison.

Who is Roslyn Layton?

She, like Jamison, is also a visiting Fellow with the AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy.

The move puts a trio of conservative thought leaders in a powerful position when it comes to the future of the FCC.

Layton is perhaps best-known as a critic of “net neutrality,” the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Without net neutrality, some argue, faster speeds and preferences to access could be given to websites, portals, and streaming services connect to the provider, such as Comcast or AT&T.

Layton has been particularly vocal about the nation’s broadband future, and in a Nov. 17 opinion piece in U.S. News & World Report said that the next administration “needs to do more than talk about the benefits of spectrum sharing.”

She has also been a harsh critic on the FCC’s privacy actions, noting in an August Forbes column that “the FCC is grandstanding on protecting consumers while protecting established online advertising interests.”

Much of Layton’s focus has been squarely on digital issues, and the internet; it is not publicly known what her views are regarding cross-ownership rules and broadcast media. However, it is a safe bet that she — along with her AEI colleagues — will press for the end to the FCC’s 41-year-old rules prohibiting common ownership of a newspaper with a broadcast station in the same market.

In an “About Me” posting on her personal blog, Layton says, “Every person has a bias, values and life experiences that inform one’s beliefs. I value freedom, education, transparency, and the rule of law.  My writing is informed by the fact that I have worked and studied in many countries and understand that there is a world outside of the United States.  Before entering academe, I worked in a number of industries and capacities including software/ICT, digital marketing, consulting, banking, tourism, and non-profits.  I was born in Pittsburgh, PA. I studied at universities in Washington, D.C., Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands. In addition to working in Silicon Valley, I have been employed in India, Holland and Denmark, and my assignments as a consultant have taken me to even more countries. My hope is that this diverse set of experience helps me to be a better evaluator.”

Before embarking on a tech policy career that spans a decade of global experience, Layton provided a range of financial and investment services to non-profit organizations as a Piper Jaffray consultant. From 1997-2000, she served as the assistant to the CFO of the San Francisco Museum of Art.

Layton holds a B.A. in International Service from American University in Washington, D.C.; an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School; and a Ph.D. in internet policy from Aalborg University/Copenhagen Institute of Technology.


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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.