Obama Picks High-Tech and Washington Veteran to Transition Team
A veteran of Internet business operations and Washington tech policy was named to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, a move that could signal the prominence of high-tech policy in the new administration.
Julius Genachowski, a former executive of Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, will help Obama choose members of his new administration, according to Obama's transition headquarters in Chicago.
Genachowski, who served at the Federal Communications Commission as chief counsel to former Democratic Chairman Reed Hundt, has been advising Obama's campaign on tech policy issues and chaired a group of advisors on the president-elect's Tech & Innovation Plan.
With a relationship with Obama that goes back to their days at Harvard Law School, Genachowski helped push technology issues to a more prominent spot in the campaign, according to analysts and high-tech lobbyists.
Among those issues are laws that would prevent telecommunications carriers from slowing, blocking, or placing other controls on Internet content over their networks.
Obama has said he would also focus on protecting online privacy of users and improve access to broadband Internet services by increasing speed standards for broadband and freeing up more government spectrum for public use.
"Julius is a true believer in the power of technology to change lives and I think that bodes well for the Obama administration that someone like him is part of the transition team," said Rick Whitt, Google's Washignton telecom and media counsel.
Whitt and others say Julius is viewed with a unique mix of experience both as an executive of business operations at IAC and as a Washington policy expertise. He's not viewed as a traditional lobbyist, which fits with Obama's promises of injecting fresh perspectives into his government.
He is a co-founder and managing director of Rock Creek Ventures, and a special advisor at General Atlantic. He is also a board member at The Motley Fool, Website Pros, Beliefnet, and Marc Ecko Enterprises, and is part of the founding group that launched New Resource Bank, according to the Web site for LaunchBox, an investment firm he helped found.
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