Kevin Martin has clean-cut schoolboy looks, but don’t let his appearance fool you. He is one of the country’s most experienced and influential telecommunications regulators.
Martin, who is among the three Republican commissioners serving on the FCC, was the planned keynote speaker today, but was unexpectedly called back to Washington, D.C., to attend to FCC business. In lieu of a live presentation, videotaped remarks from Commissioner Martin during Sunday night’s Champions of Competition Award ceremony will be broadcast. The general session entitled “The Battle in Washington to Preserve Competition” will commence immediately following the Commissioner’s broadcast remarks.
The FCC has taken center stage as the telecom industry grapples with such controversial issues as whether to limit broadband rules, how to regulate Internet-based phone companies, and how to preserve the multi-billion dollar Universal Service Fund earmarked to fund services in rural areas, schools and libraries.
Martin’s political prowess was evident last year when he defected from the agenda of FCC Chairman Michael Powell, and aligned with the minority party to make an important phone ruling — directing state regulators to determine whether there is enough local competition to uphold or phase out the wholesale phone regulations BellSouth Corp., SBC Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. staunchly oppose.
Martin was sworn in as FCC commissioner July 3, 2001, but he is no newcomer to the inner workings of the agency, or more broadly, the federal government. Before joining the FCC, Martin was a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and was deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign.
Martin was an advisor to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, served in the Office of the Independent Counsel and worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding. He earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.