WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meredith Attwell Baker, a veteran telecommunications executive and former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of CTIA-The Wireless Association®, effective June 2, the association announced today.
Baker, who worked at CTIA early in her career, will replace Steve Largent, 59, who announced his retirement last October. Largent has served as President and CEO since November 2003.
"I am thrilled to have this opportunity to use my experience in both the public and private sectors to help the vital and fast-growing wireless communications industry," Baker said. "The wireless industry has grown significantly over the past decade and now permeates every part of our lives from education, and health care to energy and business. CTIA should be in the center of discussions about how wireless is reshaping our economy, our society and our culture. I look forward to continuing CTIA's long tradition of finding bipartisan solutions to ensure adequate spectrum availability and opportunities to unlock the next generation of investment and innovation."
"I plan to bring new ideas and new initiatives to the association that will take it from good to great. We will recruit and keep the best and brightest experts in spectrum and wireless communications," Baker added. "CTIA must be the 'go to' organization on wireless issues for both industry and government."
Among the innovations that Baker said she plans to pursue:
Place more emphasis on technical and engineering expertise related to spectrum and wireless technologies.
Work with commercial and government users to produce a viable five-year plan for the future of spectrum usage.
Begin to regularly assess how efficiently spectrum is being used.
"Meredith is a perfect fit to lead CTIA going forward given her vast experience with the telecommunications industry. She is also widely respected on both sides of the political aisle," said Dan Mead, chairman of CTIA and CEO of Verizon Wireless. "She is a proven leader with boundless energy and fresh ideas that can take our industry to the next level with both consumers and government officials, in the U.S. and around the world."
He added: "We're excited to welcome her back to the association." From 1998-2000, Baker was a director of congressional affairs at CTIA.
"The industry has made significant progress over the last decade and I have been proud to play a role," Largent said. "I wish Meredith the very best in her new job. I know she'll be a great success."
Baker joins CTIA after serving for more than two years as senior vice president of government affairs for Comcast-NBCUniversal in Washington, D.C. Before that, as a nominee of President Obama, she was an FCC commissioner from 2009-2011. Prior to the FCC, Baker was Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information as well as the Acting Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). President George W. Bush named her Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in 2007.
Baker, 45, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University and a law degree from the University of Houston. She is a member of the Texas State Bar. Baker and her family reside in McLean, Virginia.
The executive search was conducted by Korn/Ferry International.
CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.