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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Former Chief Counsel to House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Joins Wiley Rein LLP

December 2, 2014

Shawn H. Chang, former chief counsel on communications and technology policy for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats, has joined Wiley Rein LLP’s industry-leading Public Policy Practice as of counsel.  Mr. Chang will provide strategic advice on legislative, public policy, and legal issues for clients in the communications, technology, commerce, transportation, and energy sectors.  He has uniquely deep knowledge of the inner workings of Congress and administrative agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). 

“We are delighted to welcome Shawn to Wiley Rein,” said Managing Partner Peter D. Shields.  “His impressive knowledge of the legislative process and in-depth experience regarding some of the most important policy issues for our key practices will make Shawn a valued advisor to our clients.”

“Innovation in technology is fundamentally altering our nation’s communications and media landscape, changing key sectors of our economy such as energy, transportation, and health care, and injecting new uncertainties into the legislative and regulatory environment,” said Mr. Chang.  “It’s an honor to join and collaborate with Wiley Rein’s esteemed group of public policy and communications law practitioners at this critical and historic time, and to play an instrumental role in helping businesses navigate the relevant policy and legal issues that could be crucial to their success for generations to come.”

Mr. Chang counseled lawmakers including the ranking members of the full Energy and Commerce Committee and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and regularly communicated with the White House, Executive agencies, the U.S. Senate, and other congressional committees on issues of national importance.  Serving as the Energy and Commerce panel’s lead Democratic staffer on spectrum, wireless, and international telecommunications issues, he negotiated and drafted the Public Safety and Spectrum Act of 2012, which created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)—the entity responsible for building the first nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders—and authorized the FCC to conduct the world’s first-ever “incentive auction” of radio frequency spectrum.   He also led the negotiation and drafting of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act of 2014 that reauthorized expiring compulsory licenses for satellite television providers, as well as authored updates to the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act of 2004 to facilitate and improve the reallocation of federal-use spectrum to non-federal users.  Mr. Chang also did important work on global Internet governance issues; he served as a member of several U.S. delegations to international forums on Internet governance and drafted resolutions expressing positions held by members of Congress.

Prior to becoming chief counsel, Mr. Chang served as counsel and senior counsel to the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.  In those capacities he led the drafting and passage of the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act of 2010 and the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, and drafted and negotiated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s broadband stimulus programs and the Digital Television Delay Act. 

He previously served as legislative assistant to former Representative and now U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), former Representative Diane E. Watson (D-CA), and the late Representative Patsy T. Mink (D-HI).

Mr. Chang has a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and a B.S., cum laude, from The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  Mr. Chang also is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Wiley Rein’s Public Policy Group provides clients with technical expertise and high-level advocacy while possessing the legal resources of a national law firm.  The Public Policy Team serves as an industry-leading advocate for trade associations, start-ups, publicly traded companies, and small and large businesses that operate in the areas of telecommunications, health care, energy, transportation, and international trade.  The Group has worked closely with members of Congress in both parties, members of the Executive branch, and federal regulators on a broad variety of complex issues.