Federal Communications Commission
Commissioner Geoffrey Starks believes that communications technology has the potential to be one of the most powerful forces on Earth for promoting equality and opportunity. To unlock that potential, however, all Americans must have access. From combatting internet inequality to advocating for diversity in employment, entrepreneurship, and media ownership, Commissioner Starks fights for policies designed to ensure that modern communications technology empowers every American.
Because high-quality broadband is essential to participating in our economy and society, Commissioner Starks has been a champion for the millions of Americans who lack access to or cannot afford a home internet connection. As a native Kansan, he understands the communications needs of rural America. He has consistently advocated for broadband deployment that helps rural communities tap into economic and educational opportunities that may not be close to home, which both encourages young people to stay and attracts new residents and employers.
Bringing a wealth of enforcement experience to the Commission, Commissioner Starks advocates for consumer protection and accountability, particularly in managing the Universal Service Fund. Before he was appointed Commissioner, Starks helped lead the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, handling a wide variety of complex investigations. At the Department of Justice, he served as a senior advisor to the Deputy Attorney General on a variety of domestic and international law enforcement matters and received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service—the highest honor award a DOJ employee can receive.
Commissioner Starks is also a leader on national security policy, working to eliminate untrustworthy equipment from America’s communications networks. His Find It, Fix It, Fund It initiative brought national attention to the urgent need to support small and rural companies as they work to make their networks more secure. With regard to personal data security, while Commissioner Starks fully supports the promise of advanced wireless service and other cutting-edge technologies—and works to ensure that all communities share in the benefits of these advancements—he also fully appreciates the potentially intrusive powers of some communications technologies and is vigilant to ensure against any uses of those powers that would promote illegal discrimination or compromise personal privacy.
Before he entered federal public service, Commissioner Starks practiced law at Williams & Connolly, clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, served as a legislative staffer in the Illinois State Senate, and worked as a financial analyst. Commissioner Starks graduated from Harvard College with high honors and Yale Law School. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Lauren, and their two children.
Recent Events and Presentations
The FCC’s Role In Reforming Section 230
ITIF hosted a discussion about how the FCC may shape the debate about Section 230. FCC Commissioner Starks provided introductory remarks and discussed these issues with ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro. Following this discussion, panelists will offered reactions to the Commissioner’s remarks.