Has Jeff Eisenach Hit The FCC Fast Track?


As David Oxenford, a partner at Inside the Beltway communications law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, suggested on the day following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, broadcast media executives should get to know the name Jeff Eisenach.

Now, tongues are wagging Inside the Beltway that Eisenach has gotten Trump’s official nod as the head of the FCC transition team.

Eisenach’s name emerged in October, when the visiting scholar and Director for the Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy at DC-based conservative “think tank” American Enterprise Institute was called upon to lead the administration’s transition on technology and telecommunications policy.

Today, Eisenach is perhaps Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai‘s lone competitor to the chairmanship.

Eisenach comes to the forefront with a solid resumé — and presidential transition experience.

At AEI, Eisenach’s focus is on policies affecting the IT sector, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Recent blog posts deal with such hot-button issues as broadband and spectrum policy. But, he’s also a SVP at NERA Economic Consulting and an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches Regulated Industries.

Eisenach writes on a wide range of issues — including communications policy and the Internet and government regulations — and it is likely his focus on tech issues that makes him such a desirable choice for the Trump camp. He’s been on the Board of Advisers for the highly respected Pew Project on the Internet and American Life since 2002.

With Eisenach as the likely successor to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, deregulation is all but inevitable, as Eisenach has been a champion of free market environments.

Meanwhile, Eisenach worked on the FCC transition team for President George W. Bush in fall 2000, following his election over Al Gore.

According to Variety, Mark Jamison — a visiting Fellow with the AEI’s Center for Internet, Communication, and Technology who serves as Director and Gunter Professor of the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida  — is also on the FCC transition team.

This would prove interesting, as Jamison has penned columns appearing in RBR + TVBR that question the very need for a Commission and how the new chairman “will be rebuilding the agency’s credibility, pushing back the political opportunists, and mending the commission’s internal divisions.”

Perhaps Jamison authored the Nov. 17 column with Eisenach as the subject.

Eisenach did not respond to RBR + TVBR requests for comment via Twitter.