Ajit Pai

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The son of Indian immigrants to the United States, Pai grew up in Parsons, Kansas. He studied social studies at Harvard University, then earned a law degree at the University of Chicago Law School. He worked as a lawyer in various offices of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, with a two-year stint as an in-house lawyer for Verizon Communications. He joined the FCC as a lawyer in its Office of General Counsel in 2007. He was nominated to be a commissioner in 2011 by President Barack Obama, who followed tradition in preserving balance on the commission by accepting the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on May 7, 2012, and was sworn in on May 14, 2012, for a five-year term.


In January 2017, newly inaugurated president Donald Trump designated Pai as FCC Chairman. He is the first Indian American to hold the office. In March 2017, Trump announced that he would renominate Pai to serve another five-year term. Pai was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for an additional five-year term on October 2, 2017