President Bush has nominated Michael Gallagher to serve as assistant commerce secretary for communications and information and the administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is the administration’s chief policy arm for spectrum management.
Gallagher is currently serving as deputy chief of staff to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans. Pending Senate confirmation, Gallagher will become acting chief of the NTIA this week.
“As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for NTIA and former Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Secretary for Policy, Mike has demonstrated the management skills and policy background that will be critical to serving in this position,” Evans said in a statement. “I am confident he will be an effective part of the management team and continue his efforts in bringing the benefits of new and exciting telecommunications technologies to American consumers.”
The NTIA was recently moved into a new technology agency organized by the Commerce Department in a move widely interpreted as an effort to increase Commerce’s influence in spectrum policy. The Bush administration has been pushing for the government to release more spectrum for private industry use.
“Because of Michael Gallagher’s experience, he brings to the table a special understanding of the challenges the industry faces, an awareness of the wireless industry’s unique needs regarding spectrum and an appreciation for the importance of competition,” said Michael Altschul, general counsel and SVP for policy and administration at the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.