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Michael D. Gallagher
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information

Michael D. Gallagher serves as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He was appointed to the post by President George W. Bush on July 1, 2004, and was confirmed by the Senate on November 20, 2004. Before his confirmation, Mr. Gallagher served as Acting Assistant Secretary since August 2003.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Gallagher served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Counselor to Secretary of Commerce Don Evans. He was the lead policy advisor to the Secretary and was responsible for the effective coordination of policy initiatives within the Commerce Department and across the Administration. Before joining the Secretary’s personal staff, Mr. Gallagher served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.

As a leading member of the Bush Administration’s technology team, Mr. Gallagher has focused his efforts on bringing the benefits of new and exciting telecommunications technologies to consumers including fulfilling President Bush’s national goal of affordable broadband Internet access for all Americans by 2007. As part of those efforts, Mr. Gallagher spearheaded the Bush Administration initiatives that enabled a number of world-leading technologies including ultrawideband, broadband over power lines (BPL) and new spectrum allocations for licensed and unlicensed communications.

In early 2004, under Mr. Gallagher’s direction, NTIA concluded technical studies measuring the radiofrequency emissions of BPL. The NTIA study provided the technical foundation for the responsible deployment of BPL adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in October 2004.

As the President’s principal advisor on telecommunications policy, Mr. Gallagher is leading President Bush’s initiative to develop a radio spectrum policy for the 21st century. Mr. Gallagher directed a NTIA study that developed 24 innovative and far-reaching recommendations for better spectrum management that will enable the nation to keep pace with powerful new technologies that benefit American consumers and provide spectrum for critical homeland security, public safety and scientific research. The spectrum action plans were delivered to the President on June 24, 2004, and became Administration policy when President Bush issued an Executive Memorandum on November 30, 2004, directing heads of government agencies to implement NTIA’s recommendations.

The 21st Century Spectrum Policy was built on previous policy breakthroughs such as the authorization of ultrawideband, a promising new technology that will spur the development of innovative devices that efficiently “underlay” the radio spectrum and could radically improve the ability of the nation’s public safety entities to respond to emergencies. Working closely with the FCC and other federal government agencies, Mr. Gallagher directed NTIA’s technical study that led to the Commission’s approval of ultrawideband.

In 2002, Mr. Gallagher led NTIA’s development of a landmark spectrum allocation plan paving the way for deployment of advanced mobile telecommunications services known as “3G”. Mr. Gallagher worked with Congressional leaders to secure passage of the Spectrum Relocation Bill, a measure vitally important to the development of advanced 3G wireless services.
The 3G plan, which identified 90 MHz of radio spectrum for future wireless services, is a significant part of the Administration’s overall initiative to promote more efficient use of the radio spectrum--key to improving the quality of voice and data services, enhancing delivery of health services and increasing the nation’s productivity. Mr. Gallagher’s persistent leadership over the years led to the passage of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act of 2005, the Bush Administration’s revolutionary auction framework that allows spectrum auction winners to bid with greater certainty and enables taxpayers to retrieve a higher return on the 3G spectrum licenses.

In 2003, Mr. Gallagher spearheaded the NTIA effort to bring the Defense Department and the U.S. technology industry together to permit devices using Wi-Fi technologies to co-exist with sensitive military radar systems in the 5GHz frequency band. The compromise doubled the amount of spectrum for Wi-Fi in the 5GHz band and enabled the United States to support a globally-harmonized allocation of 5GHz spectrum for unlicensed Wireless Local Area Network systems at the World Radio Communications Conference in Geneva in July 2003.

With respect to the U.S. role in the technical management of the Internet, Mr. Gallagher led the Administration's policy review of the Internet Domain Name and Addressing System. In 2005, Mr. Gallagher, on behalf of the Bush Administration, announced the foundational principles that will guide all U.S. Government policies regarding the Internet domain name system (DNS) in the coming years. The principles constitute the strong and clear commitment of the United States to preserve the stability of the domain name system and its importance to the global economy.

Mr. Gallagher initiated a public dialogue on issues related to the convergence of the Internet DNS and the telephone numbering systems known as “ENUM”. The ENUM standard is an important element of the foundation for emerging IP-enabled services. Mr. Gallagher developed principles for the implementation of ENUM in the United States in a way that will maximize competitive opportunities for industry while protecting the privacy and security of U.S. consumers.

In 2005, Mr. Gallagher became the first recipient of the Telecommunications Industry Association's Spirit of Innovation award. The award recognized Mr. Gallagher's outstanding achievements and dedication to helping create, promote and protect a globally competitive environment in communications technology.

Prior to his service in the Administration, Mr. Gallagher was vice president for state public policy at Verizon Wireless in Bellevue, Washington. From 1998 to 2000, he was managing director for government relations at AirTouch Communications Inc., also in Bellevue, Washington. Mr. Gallagher served as Administrative Assistant to former Congressman Rick White (R-Washington) from 1995 to 1997. Subsequently, he established a government relations practice at Perkins Coie, LLP, in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Gallagher received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of California in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Washington State Bar.

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Michael D. Gallagher


Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information



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