Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission Chairman, to Step Down in January

Ajit Pai, FCC boss for four years, revealed his plan to resign from his position on January 20, 2021, shortly after the winners of the race to the White House inaugurated. 

Ajit Pai was the first-ever Asian-American to lead the agency. The 44th POTUS, Barack Obama, appointed Pai as a Commissioner back in 2012 before President Trump put Pai to lead the FCC in 2017. 

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years," Pai's statement reads. 

That said, Pai's decision could have a massive blowback on the controversial net neutrality principle, something Pai was massively against during his time with the FCC. 

Pai is a well-documented Republican supporter. His decision to depart the FCC came as no surprise, knowing that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are one step away from winning the election. 

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Familiar Face

Ajit Pai is no stranger to the internet community. After all, who could forget his ironically un-hilarious PSA in 2017 about net neutrality, which amassed over 282k dislikes from 12k likes, where he holds a Nerf gun and a midget spinner? 

Pai grew up in a family of Indian immigrants. Following his graduation from the University of Chicago Law School, Pai settled to become an in-house lawyer for Verizon. It wasn't until 2007 when Pai started working with the FCC. 

During his time with the agency, Pai established himself as an eccentric and controversial leader, especially his net neutrality stances. However, he rolled out a memorable suicide hotline at 988 this year, and it will be effective in 2022. 

Pai leaves during such an unprecedented time. As the coronavirus pandemic crisis batters the United States, demands for healthier social media skyrocket, and changes in the office could shake things up for the government.

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What It Means for the Election

If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election, they could sign a Democrat to sit on the chairman's office. It's a common practice for an FCC chairman to step down "in deference to incoming administrations from the opposing party."

Several names have been nominated to become Pai's successor should Joe Biden win the November 3rd election. Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks, both FCC Commissioners from Democrats, and a former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn are among the candidates. Clyburn stepped down from her position in 2018 after a long-lasting against rescinding the FCC's Open Internet Order since 2015.

However, assuming that President Trump wins the second term, Pai could still stay at the agency. If he doesn't, Commissioner Brendan Carr could be the one who's fit for the job, as many suggest. 

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