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Joint Center Commends the U.S. Senate for Confirming the Nomination of Geoffrey Starks to the Federal Communications Commission

The Joint Center sent the following release in the wake of Geoffrey Starks being confirmed as a commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission.

January 4, 2019

Joint Center Commends the U.S. Senate for Confirming the Nomination of Geoffrey Starks to the Federal Communications Commission
WASHINGTON – Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commended the U.S. Senate for confirming Geoffrey Starks as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Starks was confirmed by a unanimous vote.

“Commissioner Starks has a proven track record as both an exceptional attorney and a tireless advocate for the inclusion of all Americans,” said Joint Center President Spencer Overton. “As the Joint Center grapples with the implications of the future of work, AI, and data privacy on Black communities, we look to leaders like Commissioner Starks to develop policies to help reduce the digital divide, address other key disparities, and expand opportunity. Commissioner Starks’s confirmation ensures that a diverse voice remains in one of our nation’s most important institutions – the FCC. We thank the Senate for confirming Commissioner Starks, and we are especially appreciative of the efforts of Leader Schumer.”

Last year, the Joint Center sent letters to the U.S. Senate in support of Starks. In February 2018, the Joint Center recommended the nomination of Starks in a letter to Leader Chuck Schumer. Then, after Starks’s nomination in June 2018, the Joint Center urged the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm him as the next FCC Commissioner.

Starks was appointed by President Obama as senior counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where he was responsible for advising the Deputy Attorney General on issues around healthcare, financial fraud, civil, criminal, cyber, and national security matters. In recognition of his work there, Starks earned the Attorney General Award for Exceptional Service, the highest honor a DOJ employee can receive. Since 2015, he served as the assistant bureau chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau. In that role he conducted investigations under federal communications laws, advised on important legal matters, and sat on the Universal Service Fund Council, a body that coordinates issues around services for low-income and rural Americans.

With his confirmation to the FCC, Starks is the only Black member of the five-seat commission and one of two Democratic members, after the retirement of former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2018.

“I’m hopeful that the appointment of Geoffrey Starks will continue the momentum of the work of the advisory committee as we continue to recommend ways to bridge the digital divide for our communities,” said Joint Center Workforce Policy Director and Member of the FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment Harin Contractor.

“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate confirmed Geoffrey Starks, an eminently qualified and dedicated public servant, as an FCC Commissioner,” said Joint Center Black Talent Initiative Director Don Bell. “It’s imperative that our government is reflective of all Americans, and I look forward to seeing the work of Commissioner Starks at the FCC.”