President Joe Biden designated Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as acting chairs Thursday.
Rosenworcel and Slaughter will replace Republicans FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, respectively, who announced their planned departures earlier this month.
“I am honored to be designated as the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “I thank the President for the opportunity to lead an agency with such a vital mission and talented staff. It is a privilege to serve the American people and work on their behalf to expand the reach of communications opportunity in the digital age.”
In a tweet, Slaughter said she was “deeply honored” to receive Biden’s designation.
“Working w/ our incredible staff has filled me w/ confidence that we’ll be able to rise to the formidable challenges facing our markets & the American people,” Slaughter said in the tweet.
The appointments position the regulatory agencies to take a more aggressive stance against the tech industry. For years, Rosenworcel has been a staunch advocate for net neutrality and her calls for expanding national broadband align with Biden’s nascent tech agenda.
Slaughter had served as a Democratic commissioner at FTC since 2018. In recent years, the agency has taken a stronger stance against tech companies, issuing billions of dollars in fines over privacy violations and recently initiated a lawsuit against Facebook alleging the company violated federal antitrust laws. Some tech and privacy experts believe a strong FTC could have an outsized impact on large tech companies over the next four years, especially with Democrats holding a slim majority in Congress.