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FCC's Crowell to leave in June

Colin Crowell, a senior counselor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is leaving the agency in June to pursue other professional opportunities, according to a press release.

Crowell, who has spent 20 years as an aide to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), is known as an influential expert in the politics and policy of technology and has worked as the head of external affairs and as a senior adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

He leaves after helping the chairman's office in its crafting of a national broadband plan and proposing a net neutrality rule -- both of which have been thrown into question after a federal appeals court decision. Before arriving at the FCC, Crowell helped Markey put language into the stimulus act that mandated the FCC come up with a plan to significantly expand affordable broadband access across the nation. He also worked as the lead staffer for Markey, then chairman of the Telecommunciations Subcommittee, on the 1996 Telecom Act.

“Colin has been indispensable to every key decision we’ve made and his rare combination of policy smarts, wise counsel, and communications expertise has been invaluable to me and the agency as we developed our broadband agenda for the nation,” Genachowski said in a statement. “He will be missed but I am sure he will continue to contribute his insights into the intersection of innovation and public policy in the next stage of his career.”

Crowell didn't elaborate on his decision. The FCC declined to comment beyond the release. A source at the agency said the move was "completely voluntary."

“It has been a true privilege to work with such a talented FCC team, committed to advancing Chairman Genachowski’s pro-innovation agenda,” Crowell said in a statement. “Chairman Genachowski has been a great friend and the decision to leave was not an easy one. Yet after twenty two years in public service, it’s time for me to explore other professional opportunities.”

By Cecilia Kang  |  May 4, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
 
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