WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michael K. Powell, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2001 to 2005 and a member of the FCC for eight years, has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the Association said today.
As CEO for NCTA, Powell will serve as the cable industry’s leading advocate, spokesman, and representative in its relationship with the U.S. Congress, the Administration, the FCC, and other federal agencies. He will also manage the staff, programs, and initiatives of the Association. And, he will serve as an important strategic voice on the direction of the industry.
Powell currently is a senior advisor with Providence Equity Partners and Honorary Co-Chair of Broadband for America. He begins his tenure at NCTA on April 25 and succeeds outgoing NCTA President & CEO Kyle McSlarrow, who recently was named President, Comcast/NBC Universal, Washington, D.C.
“Michael Powell is one of the most well respected and influential visionaries in all of telecommunications, and we’re so proud to have him join the cable team,” said Patrick J. Esser, Chair of the NCTA Board of Directors and President, Cox Communications. “Michael’s exemplary record of leadership, deep commitment to public service, and vast insight into public policy make him an ideal fit to lead our industry in Washington, D.C., as we address the regulatory challenges that lie ahead and continue to help policy makers understand cable’s commitment to jobs, investment, and innovation.”
“Cable is a dynamic and highly innovative industry, providing cutting edge services and content that Americans love,” Powell said. “The broadband platform the industry has deployed is a critical part of the infrastructure needed to realize our national ambition to be a great nation in the Information Age. I am excited to help lead companies committed not only to their businesses, but to improving U.S. competitiveness and supporting invaluable programs in important areas such as education.”
“Michael is an outstanding individual who brings great commitment and integrity to his work, whether in public or private service,” said Jonathan Nelson, CEO, Providence Equity Partners. “While he will be missed here at Providence, where we share his passionate interest in media and communications, we know he will serve NCTA members extremely well.”
Powell was nominated as a member of the FCC by President Bill Clinton and sworn in on November 3, 1997. He was designated by President George W. Bush as FCC Chairman in January 2001, serving in that role until April 2005.
During Powell’s tenure at the FCC, the Commission oversaw tremendous change and marketplace growth in the telecommunications sector. Powell worked to bring FCC regulations into the 21st Century and to recognize the move of voice, video, and data technologies away from limited analog platforms to powerful digital applications that bring more value to the public. He focused on initiatives to encourage market-driven solutions that promote consumer interests. He also supported new methods of deploying advanced services through technologies that would expand affordable broadband options to all Americans regardless of their geography.
Prior to the FCC, Powell served as the Chief of Staff of the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice where he advised the Assistant Attorney General on substantive antitrust matters, including policy development, criminal and civil investigations, and mergers. He also served as an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP and clerked for the Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Before his legal career, Powell served as a policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense. His experience also includes military service as an armored cavalry officer in the United States Army.
Powell serves on a number of important non-profit boards, including the Mayo Clinic, the Aspen Institute and Americas Promise, where he co-chairs Grad Nation, an effort to end the high school dropout crisis. He also served as the Rector of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary.
Powell graduated in 1985 from the College of William and Mary with a degree in Government. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
“Over the past decade and during the time that Michael was serving at the FCC, the cable industry led America into the broadband era as our companies invested hundreds of billions of dollars to connect millions of consumers to next-generation networks,” Esser said. “Today we face a hyper-competitive and rapidly changing environment that is presenting new challenges and opportunities, both in the marketplace and in the halls of government. The NCTA Board of Directors is confident that Michael Powell is the ideal candidate to strategically guide our public policy agenda as we move into an even brighter future.”
NCTA, with about 100 employees, is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States and provides oversight for Cable in the Classroom and The Walter Kaitz Foundation. It represents cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks, as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.