Mr. Chairman, Co-Chairman Inouye and my fellow Members of the Committee, good afternoon.
It is a great pleasure for me to introduce to the Committee Robert M. McDowell. Rob and his bride, Jennifer, are long-time friends of mine and Susan’s. Rob is a native Virginian and he and Jennifer are raising their two children, Griffin and Mary-Shea, on what’s left of the Virginia farm where he grew up. I am delighted that President Bush has nominated Rob to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. I am confident that he will do an outstanding job there.
Rob is extraordinarily qualified to serve on the FCC. Rob brings with him nearly sixteen years of private sector experience in the communications industry. In fact, I believe he will have more private sector experience in communications than any other Commissioner now serving. That experience alone will make him a tremendous asset to the Commission.
Rob has long been passionate about public service as well. In fact, when I was Governor of Virginia, I thought so highly of Rob’s abilities that I appointed him to two state boards: the Governor’s Advisory Board for a Safe and Drug-Free Virginia where he worked on substance abuse prevention, and the Virginia Board for Contractors where he looked out for consumers’ interests. He served on both boards with great distinction. Rob has spent most of the past three decades serving his Commonwealth and community on numerous civic and charitable boards and commissions, and is currently Chairman of the Board of the McLean Project for the Arts.
Rob comes before us today with a stellar academic and professional background that is perfectly suited for the FCC. In 1985, he was graduated cum laude from Duke University -- but I have forgiven him for that. He made up for his youthful indiscretion of choosing a college outside of the Commonwealth by wisely earning his law degree from the same school where Thomas Jefferson studied law: the College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law. There, he was elected to the Order of the Barristers.
In between Duke and William and Mary, Rob served as the chief legislative aide for a colleague of mine in the Virginia House of Delegates, Robert T. Andrews, for three legislative sessions. That’s where Rob and I first met.
Immediately after law school, Rob began practicing telecommunications law. Over the years, Rob has served as outside counsel to numerous technology and telecom companies and trade associations. He also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel to America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA), before it merged with the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) in 1999, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel. There, he has led CompTel’s advocacy efforts before the legislative and executive branches. During his years in the private sector, he served as a representative to the North American Numbering Council and served on the Board of Directors of the North American Numbering Plan Billing and Collection, Inc. – both of which are at the heart of the management of our nation’s telephone numbers.
Needless to say, Rob is a member of the Virginia State Bar, and is also admitted to practice before: the Supreme Court of the United States of America; the Supreme Court of Virginia; the United States Courts of Appeals for the: District of Columbia Circuit, First Circuit, Fourth Circuit and Fifth Circuit; and United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Having known Rob for so long, I can personally attest that he is of the highest moral character and will execute his duties as a Commissioner ethically, objectively and with the utmost professionalism. He will not pre-judge any matter brought before him. Rob will also bring with him our shared common-sense Jeffersonian conservatism. Rob will work tirelessly to ensure that communications entrepreneurs are unfettered by needless government regulations while also striving to ensure that all American consumers can benefit from the Digital Revolution. In short, he will be a devoted and pragmatic de-regulator of the finest and fairest caliber.
Accordingly, I hope you will join me, Senator Warner, Congressman Davis, Congressman Wolf, and other Members of the Virginia Congressional delegation, in enthusiastically supporting a speedy confirmation of President Bush’s nomination of Rob McDowell to the Federal Communications Commission.
Statement of Senator John McCain
Before the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Introduction of Vice Admiral Thad Allen
Nominated to be Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard
March 9, 2006
I am pleased to introduce Admiral Thad Allen, a native of Tucson, Arizona, who has been nominated to serve as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. I note that this is somewhat ironic since the largest body of water in the admiral’s hometown is the University of Arizona’s swimming pool.
Admiral Allen has dedicated himself to public service having served in the U.S. Coast Guard since his graduation from the Coast Guard Academy. Currently, Admiral Allen is serving as Chief of Staff to the Commandant. In that position, he oversees the general management functions of the Coast Guard.
Many of us are most familiar with Admiral Allen because of his recent work as the principal Federal official overseeing the government’s recovery efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina. His leadership style and commitment to the people affected by the disaster have been roundly applauded. Hurricane Katrina was not Admiral Allen’s only experience in disaster recovery. He led the Atlantic forces in the Coast Guard’s response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I believe these experiences will guide Admiral Allen as he leads the Coast Guard in securing our ports and protecting our waterways.
In addition to an undergraduate degree from the Coast Guard Academy – an institution some might say he foolishly chose over an appointment to the Naval Academy – Admiral Allen holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Washington University and a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I highly recommend Admiral Allen and I urge the Committee to give him its full support – despite his choice in undergraduate institutions.
Witness Panel 1
The Honorable Robert M. McDowellCommissionerFederal Communications Commission