Rosenworcel Appoints Acting FCC General Counsel, Wireless Bureau Chief
Monday, January 25, 2021 | Comments

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the appointment of P. Michele Ellison as acting general counsel and Joel Taubenblatt as acting chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB).

“Michele and Joel bring the perfect mix of experience and expertise to their new roles,” said Rosenworcel. “They both have a deep understanding of communications law and policy and a keen sense of initiative that will be invaluable as the agency takes on its work in the days ahead.”

Tom Johnson is stepping down as general counsel and has agreed to continue to serve in the WTB. Don Stockdale, the previous head of the WTB, will be transitioning to the Office of Economics and Analytics.

“Tom and Don are terrific public servants who have made real contributions to the work of the Federal Communications Commission,” said Rosenworcel. “I am grateful for their work on behalf of the American people.”

P. Michele Ellison was most recently the deputy general counsel of the FCC, a position she has held for most of her 25-year tenure at the FCC. Ellison managed the multibillion dollar transactions, bankruptcy and fraud portfolio. She also has the distinction of being the first woman of color to serve as the agency’s chief of staff, chief of the Enforcement Bureau and acting general counsel.

Over the years and while serving as deputy general counsel, Ellison has provided leadership in cross-cutting areas critical to the agency's mission. At present, she chairs the FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force, a multidisciplinary team created to advise the commission on ways to address the broadband health gap and to move the needle on broadband and advanced health care technologies.

She previously co-chaired the commission's localism task force and led the commission's task force on expanding communications opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses as well as developing countries. Ellison also played a pivotal role on national broadband planning under acting Chairman Michael Copps, served as transition counsel to commissioner Mignon Clyburn and then chief of staff to acting chairwoman Clyburn, and advised Chairman William Kennard as his deputy chief of staff.

Before joining the commission in 1995, Ellison was a partner, and earlier an associate, at Williams and Connolly. She clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for the Honorable Paul R. Webber III of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Ellison received her juris doctorate (JD) cum laude from Howard University School of Law and her bachelor’s of art (BA) from Duke University.

Taubenblatt was most recently the deputy bureau chief of the WTB, a position he has held for one-third of his 25-year career with the FCC. Taubenblatt has managed a range of issues related to spectrum access and availability, network and infrastructure deployment, and intermodal and intramodal competition.

Taubenblatt previously held several leadership positions in the bureau, including chief of the competition and infrastructure policy division and chief of the broadband division. He joined the FCC in 1996 as an attorney in the Common Carrier Bureau, and he is a recipient of the FCC’s Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Career Service. He graduated from the Duke University School of Law and from the University of Pennsylvania, with a bachelor’s of science (BS) in economics from the Wharton School and a bachelor’s of arts (BA) in English.

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