Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel FCC
Jessica Rosenworcel (FCC)

Jessica Rosenworcel (born July 12, 1971) is an American attorney serving as a member and chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She originally served on the FCC from May 11, 2012, to January 3, 2017, and was confirmed by the Senate for an additional term on August 3, 2017. Subsequently, she was named to serve as acting chair in January 2021, designated permanent chair in October 2021, and confirmed as such by the Senate in December 2021. Rosenworcel’s term runs for five years beginning July 1, 2020.

Early life and education

Rosenworcel was born to Willa (née Linoff) and Elliot Rosenworcel, grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut and in 1989, was graduated from Hall High School. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and English literature, then studied law at New York University School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 1997.


After law school, Rosenworcel was an associate at the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath (now Faegre Drinker), where she worked in communications law. In 1999, she joined the Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC, and in 2003 started working for then-FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Starting in 2007, she served as Senior Communications Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D–WV). She previously served in the same role on the Committee under the leadership of Senator Daniel Inouye (D–HI). In 2013, Rockefeller led a push to have Rosenworcel named to be the first female chair of the commission when former Chairman Julius Genachowski stepped down, although the position was ultimately given to Tom Wheeler.

Federal Communications Commission

FCC Commissioners

Rosenworcel was first nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama in October 2011. Her confirmation was delayed for months when Republican Senator Chuck Grassley refused to bring it up for a vote until the FCC released documents about a project he opposed. She was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7, 2012, and sworn into office on May 11, 2012, for a term ending June 30, 2015.

On July 13, 2012, Politico designated Rosenworcel as one of 50 politicos to watch, describing her as “whip-smart and intensely serious”.

By law, commissioners may continue serving until the appointment of their replacements, but not beyond the end of the next session of Congress following term expiration. In May 2015, President Obama renominated Rosenworcel for a second term, but she was not reconfirmed by the Senate by the time she was required to leave her seat in January 2017. In June 2017, Rosenworcel was nominated to an additional term by President Donald Trump. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 2017.

Business Biden FCC Picks 1327856737

Following the election of Joe Biden as president, Biden named Rosenworcel as his choice to become chairperson of the FCC after the departure of prior chair Ajit Pai with the change in administration. Biden named Rosenworcel to serve as acting chair in the interim, making her the second-ever woman to serve in this position. Biden later named Rosenworcel to be the permanent FCC Chair in October 2021, which was confirmed by the Senate on December 7, 2021, making her the first female to hold the permanent chairperson position on the FCC. Her five-year term began July 1, 2020.

Rosenworcel is the Chair of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services, a forum for dialogue among the FCC, state regulators, and local and regional entities about the deployment of advanced telecommunications capabilities. In 2022, Rosenworcel announced new plans to create a space bureau within the FCC to address the increased number of satellite launches.


During her initial term as an FCC commissioner, Rosenworcel voted to enforce net neutrality by classifying Internet service providers as Title II common carriers, overturn state laws that protect Internet service providers against competition from municipal broadband, change the technical definition of “broadband” from 4 Mbit/s to 25 Mbit/s, use the LifeLine program to subsidize Internet access for low-income individuals, and expand consumer protection against robocalls. On the latter topic, Rosenworcel in 2019 argued that the FCC should order telecommunications companies to provide free call-blocking services. On March 17, 2021, she kicked off an anti-robocall agenda. This agenda includes issuing significant fines to companies, demanding cease-and-desist, and launching a Robocall Response Team.

On net neutrality, Rosenworcel said, “We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind. We cannot have gatekeepers who tell us what we can and cannot do and where we can and cannot go online, and we do not need blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization schemes that undermine the Internet as we know it.”

Rosenworcel has been a champion of updating national education policy in order to connect the country’s schools and libraries with high-speed Internet. In addition, Rosenworcel is responsible for coining the term “homework gap”, and has brought attention to the need of students to get online when they are outside of school.

Rosenworcel supports proposals to improve communications infrastructure and location accuracy for 911 calls from cell phones, and supports the expansion of FirstNet, a dedicated wireless network for emergency services workers.

Personal life

Rosenworcel lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children. She is the sister of Brian Rosenworcel, the drummer for the band Guster.

Rosenworcel is Jewish.

Jessica Rosenworcel
Chair of the Federal Communications Commission
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
President Joe Biden
Preceded by Ajit Pai
Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
Assumed office
August 11, 2017
President Donald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded by Herself
In office
May 11, 2012 – January 3, 2017
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Michael Copps
Succeeded by Herself
Personal details
Born July 12, 1971 (age 51)
West Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Children 2
Relatives Brian Rosenworcel (brother)
Education Wesleyan University (BA)
New York University (JD)


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  • ^ Newton, Ronni (January 27, 2021). “President Biden Names West Hartford Native Acting FCC Chairwoman”. West Hartford News. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
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  • ^  Meet the Commissioners”, Future of Music, June 6, 2012.
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  • ^ “50 politicos to watch”, Politico.
  • ^ 47 USC 154(c)
  • ^ “President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts”. White House Office of the Press Secretary. May 20, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
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  • ^ Johnson, Ted (August 3, 2017). “Senate Confirms Jessica Rosenworcel, Brendan Carr to FCC”. Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
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  • ^ Membership of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services, Retrieved on July 13, 2015.
  • ^ Shepardson, David (November 3, 2022). “U.S. telecom regulator launching new space bureau”. Reuters. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
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  • ^ Jon Brodkin (February 26, 2015). “FCC overturns state laws that protect ISPs from local competition”. Ars Technica. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  • ^ Jon Brodkin (January 29, 2015). “FCC chairman mocks industry claims that customers don’t need faster Internet”. Ars Technica. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  • ^ Mark Wigfield (June 18, 2015). “FCC Takes Steps to Modernize and Reform Lifeline for Broadband” (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  • ^ Eggerton, John (June 18, 2015). “FCC Clarifies Robocall Rules”. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  • ^ Romm, Tony (June 7, 2019). “The FCC allows AT&T, Verizon and other carriers to block more suspected robocalls”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 24, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  • ^ “Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel kicks off anti-robocall agenda” (PDF)Federal Communications Commission. March 17, 2021.
  • ^ Tepe, Lindsey. “Another FCC Commissioner’s Vision for Restructuring the Schools and Libraries Program”. New America Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  • ^ Rosenworcel, Jessica (June 15, 2015). “Bridging the Homework Gap”. HuffPost. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  • ^ “Jessica Rosenworcel set to become first woman to lead FCC permanently”. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. October 27, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  • ^ “FCC requires Comcast to place Bloomberg alongside other news channels”, The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.
  • ^ “Jews in the Biden Administration”. Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved July 17, 2022.

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