A top telecom policy advisor to the White House unexpectedly resigned from his post on Thursday.
David Redl led the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) inside the U.S. Department of Commerce, serving since his confirmation to the post in November 2017.
The executive branch agency is responsible for advising the White House on telecom and information policy issues, including key involvement in developing the Administration’s National Spectrum Plan. It also oversees management of federal spectrum use, in parallel to the private-sector focused FCC.
An updated bio on NTIA’s website shows that the agency’s deputy assistant secretary for communications and information Diane Rinaldo has stepped in to fill Redl’s role as acting assistant secretary and administrator of NTIA. Rinaldo has been deputy assistant secretary since April 20, 2018, and her background includes extensive work in cybersecurity and technology policy.
Telecom officials released statements praising Redl’s work, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai who said that Redl “served with distinction” during the 18 months he was at NTIA.
“[Redl] was a vocal advocate within the Department of Commerce for repurposing federal spectrum for commercial use and fostering the private sector’s lead in 5G deployment,” Pai continued. “I thank David for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
NTIA did not give a reason for Redl’s abrupt departure, though FCC Commissioner O’Rielly in a statement noted Redl had a challenging responsibility in handling varying stances from numerous government stakeholders on the subject of spectrum.
“I commend and thank David Redl for his long career in service to the American people, having had the privilege of working with David both on Capitol Hill and now in our respective roles,” said O’Rielly. “While we didn’t always agree, I respect the difficult task he had in managing the unique views of many federal agencies on spectrum policy, and I appreciate his fierce passion and his breadth of knowledge of the issues.”
Also resigning from the Department of Commerce is Michael Platt, assistant secretary of commerce for legislative and intergovernmental affairs.