Reimagining FCC.gov for the 21st Century Consumer

The Power of Platforms
Location: Independence Ballroom A Level:
Average rating: *****
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In 2002, FCC.gov won an award for “Best Federal Government Website.” Lots of things have changed since then, but FCC.gov hasn’t. At least not yet. It’s been a long time coming, but the FCC.gov will relaunch – redesigned, reimagined, and rebranded – by the end of 2010. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Managing Director Steven VanRoekel discuss the pending redesign and their experiences turning FCC.gov into a 21st century consumer resource.

Photo of Julius Genachowski

Julius Genachowski

Federal Communications Commission

Julius Genachowski was nominated by President Barack Obama as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on March 3, 2009, and sworn into office on June 29, 2009.

Chairman Genachowski has two decades of experience in public service and the private sector. Prior to his appointment, he spent more than 10 years working in the technology industry as an executive and entrepreneur. He co-founded LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures, where he served as Managing Director, and he was a Special Advisor at General Atlantic. In these capacities, he worked to start, accelerate, and invest in early- and mid-stage technology and other companies. From 1997-2005, he was a senior executive at IAC/InterActiveCorp, a Fortune 500 company, where his positions included Chief of Business Operations and General Counsel.

Genachowski’s public service spanned broadly across government. His confirmation as FCC Chairman returns him to the agency where, from 1994 until 1997, he served as Chief Counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, and, before that, as Special Counsel to then-FCC General Counsel (later Chairman) William Kennard. Previously, he was a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice David Souter and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (ret.), and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for Chief Judge Abner Mikva. Genachowski also worked in Congress for then-U.S. Representative (now Senator) Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), and on the staff of the House select committee investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.

Genachowski has been active at the intersection of social responsibility and the marketplace. He was part of the founding group of New Resource Bank, which specializes in serving the needs of green entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses, and has served on the Advisory Board of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). He also served as a board member of Common Sense Media, a leading non-partisan, non-profit organization seeking to improve the media lives of children and families.

Genachowski received a J.D from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where he was co-Notes Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He received a B.A. from Columbia College (magna cum laude), where he was Editor of Columbia Spectator’s Broadway Magazine, re-established Columbia’s oldest newspaper (Acta Columbiana), and was a writer and researcher for Fred Friendly. He was also a certified Emergency Medical Technician who served on the Columbia Area Volunteer Ambulance, and taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Genachowski, a son of immigrants, is married to Rachel Goslins and has three children, Jacob, Lilah and Aaron.

Photo of Steven VanRoekel

Steven VanRoekel

Federal Communications Commission

Steven VanRoekel is Managing Director for the FCC where he oversees all operational aspects of the agency as well as the agency’s use of technology and new media for communications. Mr. VanRoekel joined the FCC in June 2009. Prior to the FCC, Mr. VanRoekel had over 18 years of Information Technology and management experience and was most recently an executive in the Windows Server and Tools division at Microsoft Corporation. Mr. VanRoekel held various positions in his 15 years at Microsoft, including managing Microsoft’s cross-industry Web Services effort and serving as Speech and Strategy Assistant to Bill Gates.

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