Former FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy is returning to Washington Communications law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer. She will counsel WBK’s clients across the media, communications, energy, and technology sectors.
Abernathy recently retired from Frontier Communications. She began as a board member, then became Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President, External Affairs as the company pursued strategic deals. During her time at Frontier, she guided the company through the regulatory aspects of three major acquisitions of properties from AT&T and Verizon, and was also a key player in the company’s advocacy at the FCC, including recent opposition to the Commission’s proposal to ease Business Data Services regulations in markets where there’s effective competition.
Abernathy was a partner in the firm when she was nominated to be an FCC Commissioner by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate. She was an FCC Commissioner from May 2001, until December 2005, and then returned to WBK.
As part of the Republican majority during her time as a Commissioner, she advocated for a light regulatory touch and helped craft policies for wireless telephony, broadcast television, cable and general enforcement of Commission rules. She also chaired the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service.
Earlier in her career, Abernathy worked in a variety of private and public sector roles, including advising prior Commissioner Sherrie P. Marshall and Chairman Jim Quello, and working for several telecommunications companies.