FCC's Genachowski taps PR veteran as senior counselor

Josh Gottheimer has been tapped as senior counselor to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski, the agency announced this week.

He arrives from Burson-Marsteller, where he was an executive vice president. Before that, he was the director of strategic communications at Ford Motor Company, overseeing corporate advertising.

Gottheimer joins the agency as it faces pressure both on the Hill and from within its own walls. The chairmen of the related House and Senate committees are pushing for new telecommunications legislation at the same time the FCC is moving ahead with a plan to boost its regulatory authority.

In his new role, Gottheimer will keep an eye on the National Broadband Plan, an effort to expand Internet access in the United States. But he has not said farewell to the speechwriting beat: He’s working on a book called "Power in Words: Barack Obama’s Speeches from the State House to the White House," a history and analysis of President Barack Obama’s most important pre-presidential speeches.

Gottheimer succeeds Colin Crowell, a telecommunications veteran and former aide to Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.). Crowell announced last month that he planned to leave the agency.