Obama tech adviser Susan Crawford plans departure

by Cecilia Kang
Washington Post
October 27, 2009

White House technology policy adviser, Susan Crawford will leave her position in January to return to the University of Michigan Law School where she is a tenured professor, according to the Obama administration.

Crawford, known as a proponent of controversial net neutrality rules, has been on temporary leave from the university to serve in the White House. That sabbatical, which began two months after she received tenure at the University of Michigan, will end in January.

“Susan has done an outstanding job coordinating technology policy at the National Economic Council where her expertise on issues from intellectual property to the Internet has been invaluable,” said a White House spokesman. “We understand that she needs to return to her responsibilities in Ann Arbor, but we will miss having her wise counsel in the White House.”

Crawford has served as a technology policy coordinator for President Obama on the National Economic Council headed by Lawrence H. Summers. In that role she has been President Obama’s adviser on the development of broadband Internet networks and a net neutrality policy. She has written extensively about net neutrality in her personal blog.

The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering rules that would prevent Internet service providers from controlling content on the Web in ways that could negatively impact users or give telecom and cable firms an edge over competitors. Internet service providers have fought hard against new rules, saying they would hamper their ability to manage traffic on their networks. The rules proposed at the FCC could also prevent them from cutting special deals with companies to give some content priority over others.

Crawford left her teaching position at the University of Michigan on a temporary leave to work on Obama’s transition from the campaign to government. She was charged during the transition with overseeing Obama’s review of the FCC along with University of Pennsylvania professor Kevin Werbach.

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