Communications Commission lawyer Elliot Maxwell has been tapped to take
succeed Ira Magaziner as the Clinton Administration’s Internet policy advisor.
However, unlike Magaziner, Maxwell’s role isn’t expected to be as high
profile. Maxwell will report to Commerce Secretary William Daly whereas
Magaziner worked closely with President Clinton.
Maxwell, who has served as deputy chief of the FCC’s Office of Plans and
Policy since February 1996, will become the Special Advisor to the
Secretary of Commerce for the Digital Economy.
Maxwell will be responsible for coordinating Commerce Department e-commerce
initiatives. Specific areas of interest include privacy, reform of the
Uniform Commercial Code to accommodate electronic contracts, consumer
protection, formation of technical standards and protection of
From 1993 to 1996 Maxwell was director of international technology policy
at the Commerce Department. In that role, he spearheaded efforts to ensure
that U.S. international policies promoted the technology development and
increased private sector access to foreign technology and foreign
government technology programs.
Prior to joining the government, Maxwell worked for ten years at
Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco. Maxwell also
served as special assistant to the chairman of the FCC and
from 1980 to 1981 he was deputy chief of the Office of Science and
Technology, now known as the Office of Engineering and Technology.
Maxwell’s appointment has been well received by the Internet community,
whose consensus is that he is both knowledgeable and accessible. The former
Fulbright scholar is also friends with Magaziner from their undergraduate
days at Brown University. Maxwell went on to receive his law degree from
Yale University. He lives with his wife and two children in Bethesda,