MSU Professor Named FCC Chief Economist
September 22, 2023
Johannes Bauer, Quello Chair in Media and Information Policy and professor of media and information at Michigan State University, has been named the Federal Communications Commission’s chief economist, the agency announced September 21.
“It is an honor and a privilege to work with the outstanding leadership and staff at the FCC,” said Bauer, whose appointment began on September 11, 2023 and will last until September 9, 2024. “Expert staff at the agency, in collaboration with academic researchers, have developed policy innovations that are emulated worldwide.”
“In his role as chief economist, Bauer will bring understanding of the latest research related to industry, foster the professional development of the FCC’s economists, and ensure economic and data analysis of the highest quality for the benefit of the consumer,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
Bauer is the third FCC chief economist to come from Michigan State University. Fellow Spartans who have served in the role include the late Harry Trebing, professor emeritus of economics, and Steven Wildman, professor emeritus of telecommunication, and research fellow and founding director of the MSU Quello Center.
The Quello Center focuses on the social and economic implications of communication, media and information technologies of the digital age, as well as the policy and management issues raised by these developments. MSU alumnus James Quello, the namesake of the Quello Center, was a former commissioner and chairperson of the FCC.
Bauer’s research examines the design of policies, regulation, and other governance mechanisms that are needed to secure the full benefits of advanced information and communication technologies for society while mitigating their potential risks. Within this overarching research program, he has a particular interest in policies affecting the availability and quality of broadband infrastructure, the governance of digital platform ecosystems, as well as policies that support digital innovation and entrepreneurship in advanced technologies, such as sixth-generation (6G) wireless, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.
His research also addresses how regulation and policy can be used to ensure that information and communication technologies benefit all members of society. Bauer has worked with public, private and non-profit practitioners in the U.S. to find practical approaches to complex policy challenges.
“I have devoted my professional life to translating rigorous research into outreach and public service, and my role as chief economist at the FCC is a new, exciting opportunity to share knowledge, and contribute to the development of policy and bipartisan, workable solutions to today’s communication challenges,” Bauer said.