Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai said on Monday that he intends to step down from his leadership post at the agency in January, when Joe Biden is likely to be sworn into office. Pai has led the commission for four years, after serving as a commission under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Confirmed by the Senate twice, Pai was the first Asian-American to lead the FCC.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years,” he said in a statement released on Monday. “I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a Commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me. To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.”
Pai’s leadership was crucial to the dismantling of Obama-era regulations, including Net Neutrality, and to the expansion of 5G wireless broadband.
“It’s also been an honor to work with my fellow Commissioners to execute a strong and broad agenda. Together, we’ve delivered for the American people over the past four years; closing the digital divide; promoting innovation and competition; from 5G on the ground to broadband from space; protecting consumers; and advancing public safety. And this FCC has not shied away from making tough choices. As a result, our nation’s communications networks are now faster, stronger, and more widely deployed than ever before.”
Biden will be able to select a new chairman of the FCC upon the beginning of his term.