First woman CTO, an Indian-American, appointed at Federal Communications Commission

Monisha Ghosh, Ph.D., has been appointed CTO of the Federal Communications Commission and will take over Jan. 13, 2020. (Photo: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering)

For the first time in its history, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will have a woman as its CTO, Indian-American Monisha Ghosh, Ph.D.

On Dec. 20, 2019, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, also an Indian-American, announced his appointment of Ghosh whose mandate is advise Pai and the agency on technology and engineering issues, and work closely with the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology, a press release from the FCC said. She will start work at the FCC on January 13.

Ghosh is a 1986 B.Tech graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

“As the FCC moves aggressively to advance American leadership in 5G, Dr. Ghosh’s deep technical knowledge of wireless technologies will be invaluable,” Pai is quoted saying in the press release.  “Dr. Ghosh has both conducted and overseen research into cutting-edge wireless issues in academia and industry. Her expertise is also broad, ranging from the Internet of Things, medical telemetry, and broadcast standards.  And it bears noting that this is an historic appointment:  I am proud that Dr. Ghosh will be the FCC’s first female CTO, and hope her example inspires young women everywhere to consider careers in STEM fields.  I’m grateful to her for serving in this important position at this important time.”

The FCC’s chief technology officer serves as the senior technology expert in the agency.  Ghosh replaces Eric Burger, Ph.D., who has been serving at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy since October.

Since September 2017, Ghosh has been serving as a rotating Program Director at the National Science Foundation in the Computer and Network System Division within the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, where she manages the core wireless research portfolio as well as special programs such as Machine Learning for Wireless Networking Systems ((MLWiNS).

She is also a Research Professor at the University of Chicago, where she conducts research on wireless technologies for the Internet of Things, 5G cellular, next generation Wi-Fi systems, and spectrum coexistence.  Prior to joining the University of Chicago in September 2015, she worked at Interdigital, Philips Research and Bell Laboratories, on various wireless systems, such as the HDTV broadcast standard, cable standardization and cognitive radio for the TV White Spaces. She has been an active contributor to many industry standards.

Ghosh received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1991, and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

“Dr. Ghosh has done outstanding work during her time at the National Science Foundation,” said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF’s acting Assistant Director for Computer Information Science and Engineering, adding, “As a program director within our Division of Computer and Network Systems, she has contributed to programs supporting advanced wireless research, including innovative uses for spectrum and wireless spectrum sharing. We congratulate Dr. Ghosh on her appointment as Federal Communications Commission’s Chief Technology Officer; we know the Nation will benefit from her technical expertise in wireless networks.”




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