FCC Chairman Pai appoints a new chief technology officer

Telecommunications expert Eric Burger is set to start at the commission this month.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that Eric Burger would be joining the commission as its new chief technology officer. He's set to take over the position this month. Burger will be replacing Henning Schulzrinne who is returning to a Columbia University professorship after serving a second round as CTO since the end of 2016. He was also the FCC CTO from 2011 to 2014.

As the senior technology expert at the FCC, the CTO advises the chairman on technology and engineering issues and policies. Schulzrinne's particular expertise was in Voice over Internet Protocol technology, which allows voice calls to be made over broadband. Most recently, Burger has served as the director of the Security and Software Engineering Research Center, which the FCC says, "helps propose solutions to network problems like robocalling, rural call completion, accessibility of communications for Americans with hearing and speech impairments, reducing the cost of deploying and operating communications networks, and ensuring communication network security and stability." The center conducts basic and applied research on issues of interest to its affiliates which include Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Cisco, among others. Burger has a PhD in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and has taught at Georgetown University, George Mason University and The George Washington University.

"The FCC's work lies at the crossroads of technology and policy. That makes it vital that we have at our disposal the technological expertise to make the right policy calls for the American people," Pai said in a statement. "I am pleased that Eric has agreed to join our team and lend us his vast expertise. From stopping robocalls to facilitating the transition to next-generation networks, the FCC has important work to do for American consumers, and I'm grateful that we are adding such skill and experience to our team."