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After a speedy rise through the ranks of the Washington legal establishment, Kevin J. Martin became the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in March. Over the course of his career, Martin has participated in many of the major legal battles waged on Capitol Hill, from his work for the Whitewater independent counsel to the FCC’s struggle to regulate in the digital age. During his tenure as chairman of the FCC, Martin will face some pressing dilemmas: deciding how to classify the range of new technologies in the telecommunications spectrum, how to regulate decency standards for media outlets and how to continue the Universal Service program, which aims to bring telecommunications services to poor and remote locations. “Where there is competition,” said Martin, explaining his ideas for the future, “the FCC needs to promote deregulation to encourage innovation, the advancement of new technologies and the deployment of new services to all Americans.” Martin’s career began with back-to-back degrees, a master’s degree in public policy at Duke University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. Following a clerkship with Judge William M. Hoeveler in the U.S. district court in Miami in 1993, Martin earned an associate spot at D.C.’s Wiley Rein & Fielding. Name partner Richard E. Wiley was a former FCC chairman, and helped steer Martin through a challenging load of communications cases-the firm features the largest communications practice in the world. In 1997, Kenneth Starr tapped Martin for a spot in the Whitewater investigation. Martin served as associate independent counsel in the highly publicized investigation of President Bill Clinton’s involvement in a troubled investment firm. “Martin stood out as being one of the more brilliant associates we’ve had,” said Wiley. “He was very politically savvy. He knows the field, but he also knows the ways of Washington. He’s a known commodity in the Bush administration.” That same year, Martin also broke into the FCC, serving as legal advisor to former FCC Commissioner Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth. There, the young lawyer specialized in common-carrier issues, helping negotiate and draft FCC regulations for telecommunications providers-a sticky problem that will continue to plague the FCC. In 1999, Martin latched onto the fledgling Bush-Cheney campaign, serving as deputy general counsel through the whole white-knuckle campaign, all the way through the Florida recount and legal aftermath that followed. The career-making move secured Martin a place in the Bush administration’s legal elite, and he worked as the principal technology and telecommunications advisor on the Bush-Cheney transition team. Following the transition, Martin stayed in the White House as a special assistant, advising President George W. Bush on economic policy. In July 2001, Martin was confirmed as an FCC commissioner, beginning a five-year term. After serving in the FCC during the tumultuous first years of the Bush administration, Martin learned to keep a watch on the security risks presented by the digital revolution as well. “In deploying new technologies,” he said, “we must also be vigilant to promote public safety and homeland security, and support access for vital law enforcement functions.” Martin also serves as a chairman in the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunication Services, and is a member of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. His wife, Catherine Jurgensmeyer Martin, is White House deputy director of communications for policy and planning. Martin has earned some powerful friends in Washington. “Work hard, enjoy what you are doing and take risks,” said Martin, explaining how he rose so quickly. “People will remember good work and sincere effort.”

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