Jonathan Baker Named FCC Chief Economist

Josh Wright —  24 July 2009

Congratulations to Jonathan Baker (Washington Colllege of Law, American University), who has been named Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission.  Readers may recall that I predicted Professor Baker would return to the top economist spot over at the FTC.  Missed it by one letter.  Here is the press release:

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis and the Chief Economist, who will join the other senior staff in OSP.  Today’s announcements include: Chief Paul de Sa, Chief Economist Jonathan Baker, and Deputy Chief Zachary Katz.

“To tackle complex communications challenges, the FCC must be smart about a broad array of disciplines, including economics and business, technology, and the law – as well as the everyday experience of consumers,” said Chairman Genachowski. “This team will help the agency tremendously in its push to engage in data-driven decision-making, grounded in hard facts, real-world experience, and sound economic analysis.”

Chief, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Paul de Sa:  Mr. de Sa was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he has been a leader in the Telecom/Media, Private Equity and Corporate Finance practices in the United States and Asia.  Prior to joining McKinsey, Mr. de Sa received a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University.  He was also a Kennedy Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Chief Economist, Jonathan Baker: Dr. Baker, who holds both a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and a law degree from Harvard University, is a Professor at the Washington College of Law, American University.  Dr. Baker previously served as the Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, as a Senior Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.   He has also worked as an Assistant Professor at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Deputy Chief, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Zachary Katz:  Mr. Katz was most recently Deputy Special Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel’s Office.  He previously practiced intellectual property law at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles, after serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Kim M. Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Mr. Katz received his law degree from Yale, where he was Editor in Chief of The Yale Law Journal.  Before law school Mr. Katz worked with technology companies in Silicon Valley.

Michelle Connolly, the current Chief Economist of the FCC, will be returning to the Economics Department at Duke University.