Thursday, November 19, 2009
SPOTLIGHT ON...: WILLIAM KENNARD, US AMBASSADOR TO THE EU
With the status and rank of an ambassador, Bill Kennard will advocate for US interests in Brussels in areas including trade, financial regulation, antitrust, and competition.
A major fundraiser and donor (and technology advisor) to the Obama campaign, Kennard formerly chaired the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 1997-2001. Though many saw him at the time to be a conciliatory appointment with no political teeth, Kennard oversaw the Commission during a time of unprecedented sector growth, turbulence and mergers, factors that ultimately contributed to the dot-com bubble.
During his FCC tenure, Kennard emphasized the importance of consumer choice, expanding broadband and digital offerings, and increasing access to wireless telephone and internet technologies among minorities and rural inhabitants. Shortly before his resignation, he offered conditional approval of the AOL-Time Warner merger, which was the largest of its kind in history.
A Yale Law graduate, Kennard is currently a managing director of the global telecom and media group at Carlyle Group, an asset-rich private equity firm with considerable European presence via funds and joint venture activities. He also sits on several boards, including the New York Times Company and Sprint Nextel Corporation.