Geoffrey Starks was nominated to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission by the President and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on January 2, 2019. He was sworn into office on January 30, 2019.
Commissioner Starks has a long career of public and private sector experience. These experiences inform his commitment to working to ensure that no American is left behind in this era of transformative innovation. Most recently, Commissioner Starks served as Assistant Bureau Chief in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, where he focused on protecting consumers, promoting network security, and preserving the integrity of the Commission's Universal Service Fund programs. Previously, he served as Senior Counsel in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice where he provided advice on domestic and international law enforcement issues, including civil, criminal, and national security matters. At DOJ, he received the Attorney General Award for Exceptional Service—the highest award a DOJ employee can receive. Prior to his entry into federal public service, Commissioner Starks was an attorney at the law firm Williams & Connolly, clerked for the Honorable Judge Duane Benton on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, served as a legislative staffer in the Illinois State Senate, and worked as a financial analyst.
Commissioner Starks is a native of Kansas and was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Commissioner Starks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College with high honors and a law degree from Yale Law School. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Lauren, and their two children.
Chief of Staff & Senior Legal Advisor for Wireless and International
In addition to his duties as chief of staff to Commissioner Starks, Mr. Davenport also advises the Commissioner on wireless and international matters. Mr. Davenport has a long record of federal service, having served most of his career in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, beginning as a staff attorney then moving to management positions and ultimately serving as the Deputy Bureau Chief responsible for the Commission's spectrum enforcement matters. Most recently, Mr. Davenport served as Senior Vice President, Federal Regulatory, for Ligado Networks. Earlier in his career, Mr. Davenport also worked at two DC-area law firms, specializing in litigation and communications issues. Mr. Davenport is a two-time co-chair of the Federal Communications Bar Association's Enforcement Committee and a member of the Endorsements committee of the DC chapter of the National Hispanic Bar Association. Mr. Davenport is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Legal Advisor for Media and Consumer Protection
Ms. Holland advises Commissioner Starks on media and consumer protection matters. Ms. Holland returns to federal service after a brief period in the private sector, where she most recently served as Senior Advisor for Technology and Telecom at the Washington Bureau of the National Urban League, a historic civil rights organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of underserved urban communities. She also served as Vice President, Law and Policy at USTelecom – The Broadband Association, during which she was appointed to serve as Vice Chair of the FCC's North American Numbering Council. In her previous tenure at the FCC, Ms, Holland served in various leadership roles including Deputy Associate General Counsel for Administrative Law and Chief of Staff in the Office of General Counsel, and Associate Bureau Chief, Chief of Staff, and Division Chief in the Wireline Competition Bureau. She also currently serves on the Federal Communications Bar Association's Executive Committee. Ms. Holland is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Howard University School of Law (J.D., cum laude), and Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M.).
Legal Advisor for Wireline and Public Safety
Ms. Bonner was most recently an associate with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire, & Grannis LLP ("HWG"), where she practiced with the Communications and Appellate Litigation groups. At HWG, Ms. Bonner's practice covered a wide range of matters involving regulatory challenges, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation, with a particular focus on complex technologies and telecommunications. She has served as a co-chair of the Federal Communications Bar Association's Judicial Practice Committee and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Bonner also regularly teaches courses for attorneys on issues in administrative law and appellate advocacy. Before entering private practice, Ms. Bonner clerked for Judge D. Michael Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Dr. Valentin will advise Commissioner Starks on internet inequality matters as they relate to rural communities, low-income communities, and other marginalized groups.
Dr. Valentin joins the Commission from her position as the Communications Justice Fellow at Public Knowledge. Prior to her work at Public Knowledge, she served as a legislative fellow in the office of Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) and an intern in FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's office.
Dr. Valentin holds a Ph.D. in Communications, Culture, and Media Studies from Howard University, a Master of Science in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida.
Rhonda Hill is the Staff Assistant for Commissioner Starks’ office. She previously served in the Office of the General Counsel/Administrative Law Division as a Legal Technician for 29 years. Rhonda will now assist with meeting requests, invitations and all related matters for Commissioner Starks Legal Advisors, William Davenport, Austin Bonner and Diane Holland. Her email is Rhonda.Hill@fcc.gov and she can be reached on 202-418-2500.