Phone Number: 202-559-1046 x 121
Al is a Senior Fellow at Public Knowledge. He has done public interest work and been in government and private practice throughout his career in Washington, DC.
Al founded the first full-time public interest communications law firm, the Citizens Communications Center, which has since been incorporated into the Georgetown Law School clinical law program. He specialized in representing minority and feminist groups in opening broadcast media to equal employment opportunity requirements and in obtaining speech rights for otherwise excluded points of view.
Al was instrumental in founding the Media Access Project, where he served on the board and as chairman for many years, which worked to ensure that emerging technologies and media, including the internet, remain accessible to new entrants and a diversity of voices. Al was also the founding chairman and served on the board of the Communications Consortium Media Center, which is devoted to assisting nonprofit groups in framing, developing, and disseminating their messages in the media.
Al was Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission from 1977-1981, which were some of the most activist years in the agency’s interest. During this time, the FTC promulgated its first-ever trade regulation rules, as well as innovative approaches to addressing false or deceptive advertising issues.
In private practice, Al represented emerging technology companies and entrants seeking regulatory reform in order to compete against dominant incumbents in newly opened monopoly markets for over 35 years, during which he also maintained close ties with public interest groups. His work helped embed the principle of open interconnection to the network, which led to the explosion of innovation on the “edge” of the telephone network and ultimately the emergence of the edge providers that connect to the internet.