Blair Levin Plans FCC Departure in May

The man who led the creation of the FCC’s national broadband plan has taken a new post.

Blair Levin will leave the commission on May 7 to become a communications and society fellow at the Aspen Institute, the same place Kevin Martin went after he resigned as FCC chairman in January 2009.

Levin returned to the FCC last year to craft the White House-mandated national broadband plan, which the FCC presented to Congress last month. Levin for several years worked as a managing director at investment firm Stifel Nicolaus but, before that, served as chief of staff to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt from 1993 to 1997. Levin left Stifel Nicolaus after Barack Obama took office, to help lead president’s technology transition team. He was considered a front-runner to replace Martin but Obama named Julius Genachowski instead. Genachowski then chose Levin to spearhead the national broadband project.

“Blair has been masterful in providing wisdom to the Commission about how technology and market trends interact with the nation’s public policy agenda,” Genachowski said in a prepared statement released on Thursday. “His leadership in raising the quality of work and thought throughout the commission is beyond measure and I am sure he will continue to make similar contributions for the country while he is at the Aspen Institute.”

The Aspen Institute bills itself as a bipartisan nonprofit “dedicated to informed dialogue and inquiry on issues of global concern.” Blair said he looks forward to being able to “reflect on the impact of the national broadband plan and particularly its application to the international arena.”

The broadband strategy comes with an approximately $25 billion price tag and still must be approved by Congress.

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