FCC commissioner Robert M. McDowell is stepping down. Mr. McDowell did not give any reason for his departure, or say what his future career plans will be, beyond saying that he wants to turn his energies towards serving his family, and will be going on a vacation starting this weekend.  He will be vacating his office in a few weeks.

Mr. McDowell had been with the FCC for seven years. He was the first Republican to be appointed to an independent agency by President Barack Obama. Immediately prior to joining the FCC, Mr. McDowell was senior vice president for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel). Prior to joining CompTel in February 1999, Mr. McDowell served as the executive vice president and general counsel of America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA), which merged with CompTel at that time. He has also served on the North American Numbering Council (NANC) and on the board of directors of North American Numbering Plan Billing and Collection.

Mr. McDowell was graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1985. After serving as chief legislative aide to a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he attended the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Upon his graduation from law school, Mr. McDowell joined the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm of Arter & Hadden. 

Here is the text of Mr. McDowell’s statement announcing his plans to step down from the FCC:

After nearly seven years of carrying out the incredibly high honor of serving the American people at the FCC, it is time to turn more of my energies towards an even higher calling: serving my family. After a great deal of deliberation, I have decided that I will step down as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission in a few weeks.

Today’s announcement is not a farewell. As you know, I don’t do well with those, so let’s avoid all of that for now and tackle that challenge another day. I will also save most of my expressions of appreciation for a later date. But I would be remiss if I didn’t offer up some of the bigger thank-yous right away, such as to: God, my parents, my beautiful bride Jennifer, our three amazing children, as well as our large family-at-large, friends, all of my colleagues on the Commission – both past and present, and the talented and dedicated public servants throughout the FCC, especially all of the wonderful and tireless professionals who have worked on my team in my office. Please keep in mind that trying to make me look good day after day as we fought for freedom must have been quite a challenge for them.

I would also like to thank the individuals who literally handed me this job, twice: first and foremost, Senator Ted Stevens, President George W. Bush, Senator Mitch McConnell and President Barack Obama, as well as many Members of Congress. Thank you for placing such enormous trust in me.

Again, this is not a time for farewells, I’m just announcing my plans to step down sometime soon. So what am I doing next? I will be talking to the FCC’s Chief Ethics Officer, Patrick J. Carney, to make sure that my departure is in full compliance with the letter and spirit of all of our ethics rules. Beyond that, I have no plans other than to take my family on a much-needed vacation starting this weekend. So until the farewells, as always, may God bless each of you and our great nation.

[Image courtesy: FCC]