i3 - January/February 2018 - 30

Policy

By Julie Kearney

P O L I CY F RO M WAS H I N GTO N

Chairman Ajit Pai

 W 

e shared the FCC Commissioners' personal stories
and philosophies in the November issue. In this
issue, we talk with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for some
insights into his multi-dimensional life and successful career.
The Chairman and Commissioners will be at CES 2018 on
January 9, SuperSession: Insights with the FCC and FTC and
2018 FCC and FTC Commissioner Roundtable.
Q What's your regulatory philosophy?
A Regulations should reflect current

market conditions, be applied evenly
and fairly, and be consistent with the
law and principles of economics.
And generally speaking, competition, not preemptive regulation, is the
best guarantor of consumer welfare.
The convention of pitting the market
against the consumer is as lazy as it is
inaccurate. Markets have delivered far
greater benefits to consumers than
heavy-handed dictates ever have.

Q What is something about you that
most people don't know?
A I've always wanted to conduct
a symphony. This isn't completely
random, as I'm a classically trained
violinist who played for many years in
an orchestra. I sometimes daydream
about standing at the lectern and
leading, say, the National Symphony
Orchestra through a performance of
Beethoven's Leonore Overture No.
3 or Debussy's "La Mer," or accompanying a pianist's rendition of
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.
If this FCC gig doesn't work out...

(President Kennedy's administration) to
Mark Fowler (President Reagan) to Bill
Kennard (President Clinton) to Julius
Genachowski (President Obama).
They are such brilliant, accomplished
people and are generous with their
time and counsel. I won't reveal any
particular advice, but a common theme
has been to set an agenda that you
believe in, to work hard to achieve that
agenda, and to savor the experience

despite the many pressures of the job.
It's been enormously helpful to me to
speak with those who have held this
office over the years.

Q What is your most memorable
travel experience?
A Of all the places my wife and
I have visited, I would say Cambodia,
in 2010. There was so much to see,
from the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat
to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng,
and each experience seemed to leave
us pensive at the end of the day.
(We even visited Phnom Penh's famous
FCC - the Foreign Correspondents'
Club.) My favorite family-travel memory
is Belize, in 1999. I'll never forget deepsea fishing one afternoon with my
parents and sister, catching sea bass
and barracuda, then grilling and eating
them on a secluded beach. It was such
a simple, peaceful day - one I remember
fondly as we get older and it becomes
so hard for all of us to get together.

It's been enormously helpful to me
to speak with those who have held this
office over the years.
Federal Communications Commission
Chairman Ajit Pai (C) holds his daughter
Annabelle while visiting with
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Q Who or what inspires you?
A I'd say two things. First - and I don't

30

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

mean to be cliché - my parents. I'm
always mindful of how much they
risked and how hard they worked to
give me and my sister a chance at a
better life. It makes me appreciate the
greatness of America and inspires me
to be worthy of their sacrifice.
The second thing that inspires
me is my predecessors. I've had
the privilege of spending time with
many of them, from Newt Minow

I T I S I N N O VAT I O N



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - January/February 2018

Contents
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