Former FCC Commissioner Also Joins First Amendment Advisory Council

FOR RELEASE: March 31, 2021

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., March 31, 2020 – Michael O’Rielly, whose career as a public servant in Washington spanned more than three decades and included service in the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and as an FCC Commissioner, will join The Media Institute as a Senior Fellow, effective April 1.  The announcement was made by Richard T. Kaplar, president of the Institute.

Mr. O’Rielly will also become a member of the First Amendment Advisory Council, the Institute’s flagship advisory body comprising leading First Amendment scholars and practitioners.

Mr. O’Rielly is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet, and Principal at MPORielly Consulting, LLC.  He served as a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission from 2013 through 2020.

Before joining the FCC, Mr. O’Rielly held a variety of leading staff positions during 20 years on Capitol Hill, ending as Policy Advisor in the Office of the Senate Republican Whip, then led by Senator John Cornyn.  Early in his career, he served as a Professional Staff Member on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

During his tenure at the FCC, Commissioner O’Rielly was known for his dedication to streamlining the regulatory process, eliminating outdated regulations, promoting competition and innovation, and defending the First Amendment.

“Michael O’Rielly shares the same values we hold dear: sound communications policy, a competitive media industry, and a strong First Amendment,” said Institute President Richard Kaplar.  “We are truly honored and gratified to welcome him as a Senior Fellow of the Institute and as a member of our First Amendment Advisory Council.  With his insightful perspectives on media and telecom policy and his love of the First Amendment, Commissioner Mike O’Rielly is a highly respected voice in the public policy arena.”

“Being invited to join The Media Institute – a legendary institution set on defending and preserving the First Amendment – as Senior Fellow and member of its First Amendment Advisory Council is an extremely deep honor,” said Mr. O’Rielly.  “Hopefully, my record shows that I welcome the opportunity, even when not easy or popular, to push back against anyone seeking to denigrate, malign, or infringe upon our cherished rights preserved by the U.S. Constitution.”

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation working to advance sound communications policy, freedom of speech, and excellence in journalism.  The Digital Media Center is a program of The Media Institute that brings clarity to key issues at the heart of today’s digital revolution.  For more information, visit the Institute online at

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