Twitter hires former FCC aide as head of public policy

"As Twitter General Counsel Alex MacGillivray said in his tweet, we're very happy that Colin is joining us. He's a long-time user advocate who has pushed for the open exchange of information for over 20 years," said a Twitter spokesman via email.

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Twitter has become a real-time, online discourse on all topics from national to hyper-local and a go-to source for news, quotes and reactions during breaking news events such as last week's Virginia earthquake. The site has been tabbed the medium of choice for White House town halls and other official government outreach.

While Sharp has focused mostly on helping elected officials and other policymakers leverage the Twitter platform to connect with the public, the firm is now a mainstay in Washington and an integral part of almost any political communications strategy.

Crowell will undoubtedly play a crucial role in helping the firm expand its influence in tech policy, particularly as Twitter looks to monetize its rapidly growing user base of more than 175 million accounts.

While working for Markey, Crowell played a key role in the writing of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and at the FCC assisted directly in the formulation of the agency's National Broadband Plan.

After leaving the FCC in 2010 he started his own consulting firm that specializes in communications and policy surrounding high-tech issues. Crowell attended Boston College where he majored in Computer Science and Political Science.