FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to join Aspen Institute | AspenTimes.com

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to join Aspen Institute

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
crunchgear.com Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will leave the agency to join The Aspen Institute's Washington office.

WASHINGTON ” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is leaving the agency Tuesday to join The Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

Aspen Institute spokesman James Spiegelman confirmed that Martin, a Republican, will be joining the institute as a senior fellow with its Communications and Society Program.

Martin, a North Carolina native, joined the FCC as a commissioner in July 2001 and was named chairman of the agency by President Bush in March 2005, succeeding Michael Powell.

During his time at the commission, Martin, 42, pushed for deregulation in the telecommunications industry and more competition in the cable market. He also fought to crack down on broadcast indecency following Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show.

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Before joining the FCC, Martin was a special assistant to President Bush for economic policy. He also served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and was deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign. Before that, Martin worked as an adviser to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth.

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to nominate Julius Genachowski, a key technology adviser, to be the next FCC chairman.

The Aspen Institute operates conference facilities in Aspen as well as at its Aspen Wye River campus in Queenstown, Md., and has offices in Washington, D.C. Martin will be working out of the Washington office.

Martin was a keynote particpant in a Communications and Society seminar at the institute’s Aspen campus two summers ago, and he may return for that event in August 2009, according to Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Communications and Society Program.

Martin is the fourth consecutive chairman to become a senior fellow in the program after departing the FCC, Firestone noted. By joining the institute, former FCC chairs can figure out what to do next in their career after they leave the commission, rather than actively seeking a job from the entities they regulate while they’re still in their role with the FCC, he said.

Two of the departing FCC chairs who joined the institute have been Democrats and two have been Republicans, Firestone added.

“It kind of demonstrates the nonpartisan nature of The Aspen Institute,” he said.

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