Former FCC Commissioner Copps joins Public Knowledge board

Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps has joined the board of directors for consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge.

Copps, a Democrat, spent a decade on the commission before leaving at the end of 2011. He also served as acting chairman for six months in 2009 following the departure of then-chairman Kevin Martin. Copps has long been an outspoken advocate for the rights of consumers and an ardent champion of the FCC's public interest obligations.

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In a statement released Wednesday, Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn said, "We are honored and thrilled that such a prominent defender of the public interest as Commissioner Copps has become a member of our board. We look forward to working closely with him and to learning from him.”

Copps said he is "honored and enthused to join the Public Knowledge Board," calling the group an "effective champion of the public interest across the whole wide gamut of telecommunications and media issues. I look forward to lending a hand to their outstanding organization."

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Copps served as chief of staff to Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings for nearly 12 years before being appointed as an assistant secretary of Commerce, a position he held until he joined the FCC.

Copps was a reliable advocate of increasing diversity in the media and in the telecom industry. He also railed against consolidation, regularly voting against mergers he deemed to not be in the public interest. He was notably the lone dissenter when the FCC voted to approve Comcast's merger with NBC-Universal in 2010.

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