2011 Awardee Profiles

American Horizon Award Recipient

Randall Stephenson
Chairman & CEO

Randall L. Stephenson is chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of AT&T Inc.  He was appointed to the position in 2007.

Since becoming chairman, Mr. Stephenson has strengthened AT&T’s position as the world’s largest telecommunications company and as a global leader in mobile broadband and IP-based business communications services.  Under his leadership, AT&T also has accelerated its growth in advanced TV services and is a leader in local search advertising.

Mr. Stephenson previously served as the company’s chief operating officer, from 2004 to 2007, with responsibility for all wireless and wired operations, and as senior executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2004.  Mr. Stephenson was appointed to AT&T’s board of directors in 2005.

Born in Oklahoma City, Mr. Stephenson began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 in the information technology organization in Oklahoma.  He then progressed through a series of leadership positions including an assignment in Mexico City as SBC International’s director of finance, overseeing SBC’s ownership interest in Teléfonos de México.  In 1996 he was named controller for SBC Communications.  Mr. Stephenson also served as senior vice president for consumer marketing.

Under Mr. Stephenson’s leadership, AT&T announced the largest education initiative in company history – AT&T Aspire – a $100-million philanthropic program to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness.

He is a member of the board of directors of Emerson Electric Co., a National Executive Board member of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and chairman of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Campaign for 2011.

Freedom of Speech Award Recipient

Robert M. McDowell
FCC Commissioner

Robert M. McDowell was first appointed to a seat on the Federal Communications Commission by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2006.  When he was reappointed to the Commission in June 2009, Commissioner McDowell became the first Republican to be appointed to an independent agency by President Barack Obama.

During his time at the FCC, Commissioner McDowell has fostered freedom of speech by helping consumers enjoy the benefits of more communications choices, lower prices, and useful innovations through increased competition.  Creating opportunities for the construction of new delivery platforms that will bring about such competition has been one of his top priorities.  He has also advanced free speech by vigorously opposing regulatory policies that would amount to government censorship of media content.

Commissioner McDowell brings to the FCC approximately 16 years of private sector experience in the communications industry.  Immediately prior to joining the FCC, Commissioner McDowell was senior vice president of the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), and also held senior positions with CompTel’s predecessor association.

Commissioner McDowell graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1985.  After serving as chief legislative aide to a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he attended the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.  Upon his graduation from law school,  Commissioner McDowell joined the Washington, D.C., office of the national law firm of Arter & Hadden.

He resides in Fairfax County, Va., on what’s left of the farm where he grew up, with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children.