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FCC names new senior staffers

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the staff changes Thursday in a release.Danny Johnston, AP file photo

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski named Zachary Katz as chief of staff on Thursday, to succeed Eddie Lazarus who leaves at the end of January. Genachowski also named a new chief counsel and senior legal adviser, promoting Sherrese Smith from senior counsel.

Amy Levine, currently a special counsel, will move to Smith's job and will keep her responsibility for the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology.

Michael Steffen will move to Genachowski's office as legal adviser from the Office of General Counsel.

"The agency is fortunate to have an extraordinarily accomplished senior team to lead an ambitious policy agenda as we start the new year. Building on the successes of the past few years, this team will be focused on unleashing the benefits of broadband, driving economic growth, and opportunity for all Americans," Genachowski said in a statement.

Katz helped create the FCC's Connect America Fund, a $4.5 billion plan to subsidize rural broadband that the agency says will bring broadband to 7 million people over the next six years.

Katz came to the FCC from the White House Counsel's office and was a lawyer at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles.

Before joining the FCC, Smith was vice president and general counsel at Washington Post digital.

In addition, the FCC said Josh Gottheimer, currently senior counselor to Genachowski, will direct a new team on public-private initiatives, including a plan to bring call-center jobs back to the United States.

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