Once called the “Bo Jackson of telecom” by President Obama, Tom Wheeler is a businessperson, author, and former chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) under President Obama from 2013 to 2017. Wheeler’s experience in the digital revolution, his avocation as an historian, and his time as chairman—overseeing one-sixth of the national economy—offers unique insight into the challenges of dealing with technology-driven change.
Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services for over four decades. His chairmanship has been described as “the most productive commission in the history of the agency.” Wheeler led FCC efforts that resulted in the adoption of Net Neutrality, privacy protections for consumers and increased cyber security, among other policies.
Prior to his appointment as FCC chairman, Wheeler was managing director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies. He is 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 launched or helped launch several companies providing cable, wireless, and video communications services.
From 1979 to 1984, Wheeler was president and CEO of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), and from 1992 to 2004 was president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA). He is currently a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute.
Wheeler is the author of 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, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other leading publications. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University.