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Tom Wheeler

Former Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission
  • Revered executive with four decades experience leading telecom innovation
  • Led an FCC chairmanship described as “most productive Commission in history”
  • Called the “Bo Jackson of telecom” by President Obama
  • Discusses harnessing technology change to create advantages
Topics & Types
InnovationCyber SecurityEconomic OutlookEntrepreneurshipFinance Policy & RegulationBusiness StrategyTechnologyAI, Machine Learning, & Big DataFintechAuthors

Once called the “Bo Jackson of telecom” by President Obama, Tom Wheeler is a business, author, and the former Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) from 2013 to 2017. Appointed to that post by President Obama, Wheeler’s diverse experience with the digital revolution, his avocation as an historian, and his time as Chairman—overseeing one-sixth of the national economy—offers a unique insight into the challenges of dealing with technology-driven change. The only person ever selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and the Wireless Hall of Fame, Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services for over four decades. Bringing to the FCC the can-do attitude of an entrepreneurial business career and a technical expertise that dates to the early days of the digital revolution, his chairmanship has been described as “the most productive Commission in the history of the agency.” Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, he discusses harnessing technology change to create advantages, and draws on historical anecdotes to aid businesses and organizations in their search for winning strategies amidst future disruption.

At the FCC, Wheeler led the efforts that resulted in the adoption of Net Neutrality, privacy protections for consumers, and increased cyber security, among other policies. During the Obama-Biden Transition of 2008-2009, Wheeler led activities overseeing the agencies of government dealing with science, technology, space, and the arts. Currently a visiting fellow with the Brookings Institution, his speeches draw on this experience to discuss technology and the innovative and intrapreneurial business strategies that allow businesses and executives to be change leaders rather than collateral damage. 

Prior to his appointment as Chairman of the FCC by President Obama, Wheeler was managing director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies. He was CEO of the Shiloh Group, a strategy development and private investment company specializing in telecommunications services. He co-founded SmartBrief, the Internet’s largest curated information service for vertical markets and, as an entrepreneur, launched or helped to launch multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless, and video communications services.

Additionally, from 1979 to 1984, Wheeler was president and CEO of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA). Wheeler also served as CEO of several high-tech companies, including the first company to offer high-speed delivery to home computers and the first digital video satellite service. From 1992 to 2004, Wheeler served as president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).

Wheeler is the author of the books, Take Command: Leadership Lessons from the Civil War and Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War. His commentaries have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other leading publications.

Wheeler served on President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board prior to being named to the FCC. Presidents Clinton and Bush each appointed him a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is the former Chairman and President of the National Archives Foundation, and a former board member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal.

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Location/Travels from: DC
$20,001 - $35,000*
US East
$20,001 - $35,000*
US West
$20,001 - $35,000*
$35,001 - $55,000*
$35,001 - $55,000*

* This specific fee falls within this range. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice.
For an exact quote, please contact your Leading Authorities representative.

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