On November 18, 2008, over eighty people from government, academia, industry and the media joined the Phoenix Center for its Annual U.S. Telecoms Symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This year’s Symposium theme was “Telecoms Priorities for the New Generation” and the discussions were both substantive and lively.
The Symposium kicked off with the traditional “Economists’ Panel.” This year, the Economists’ Panel included Dr. John Mayo, Professor of Economics – Georgetown University; Dr. Michelle Connolly, Chief Economist – Federal Communications Commission; and Dr. George Ford, Chief Economist – The Phoenix Center. As always, the panel was moderated by Jerry Duvall, Honorary Phoenix Center Chief Economist Emeritus, and current FCC International Bureau Chief Economist.
After the Economists’ Panel, we were extremely privileged to welcome FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin as the keynote speaker of the Symposium. Chairman Martin used this opportunity to set forth his views on a variety of issues facing the Commission and discussed the Phoenix Center’s contributions extensively in his presentation.
The second panel, moderated by FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate was entitled Telecoms Priorities for the New Administration. Panelists included the Hon. Kathleen Abernathy – FCC Commissioner (2001 - 2005); the Honorable Harold Furchtgott-Roth – FCC Commissioner (1997 - 2001); and Brian Mefford – Chief Executive Officer, Connected Nation.
The Symposium ended with the presentation of the Phoenix Center’s Annual Jerry B. Duvall Public Service Award to Ambassador David A. Gross. The Duvall Award does not seek to recognize the recipient’s personal politics; rather, the Duvall Award goes to the policymaker who most demonstrated the “political courage in, and contribution of analytical rigor to, the United States telecoms policy debate.” Given Ambassador Gross’s hard work to advance the principles of competition, liberalization and entry around the world, we could think of no one who epitomized the Duvall Award’s criteria more in 2008.