Lunch and Discussion with FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Hazel Hall Room 121 

Students joined the C. Boyden Gray Center for a discussion with Federal Communications Commission General Counsel, Thomas Johnson, about work for the Commission and communications law in general. This talk looked at questions such as: What role does the FCC play in regulating the internet? In providing licenses to radio and television stations? And, how can you get involved?

About Thomas Johnson

Mr. Johnson has served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission since October 2017.  As the Commission’s chief legal advisor, Mr. Johnson argued the Restoring Internet Freedom case before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in which he defended the FCC’s adoption of a light-touch, transparency-based approach to broadband regulation and repeal of the so-called “net neutrality” rules. Mr. Johnson has also taken a leading role in drafting and defending in court the Commission’s policies to promote deployment of wireless infrastructure and free up spectrum that will be critical to the development of next-generation (“5G”) services.

Mr. Johnson joined the Commission from his position as Deputy Solicitor General for West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, where he argued appeals on behalf of the State before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Before that, Mr. Johnson worked as an Attorney at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he focused on appellate and administrative law, and as a Law Clerk for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

The Office of General Counsel serves as the chief legal advisor to the Commission and its various bureaus and offices. The Office of General Counsel also represents the Commission in litigation, recommends decisions in adjudicatory matters before the Commission, assists the Commission in its decision-making capacity, and performs a variety of legal functions regarding internal and other administrative matters.