60 Facts About Ajit Pai


Ajit Varadaraj Pai is an American lawyer who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2017 to 2021.


Ajit Pai has been a partner at the private-equity firm Searchlight Capital since April 2021.


The son of Indian immigrants to the United States, Pai grew up in Parsons, Kansas.


Ajit Pai is a graduate of both Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School.


Ajit Pai worked as a lawyer in various offices of the US Department of Justice and the US Senate Judiciary Committee, with a two-year stint as an in-house lawyer for Verizon Communications.


Ajit Pai joined the FCC as a lawyer in its Office of General Counsel in 2007.


Ajit Pai was nominated to be a commissioner in 2011 by President Barack Obama, who followed tradition in preserving balance on the commission by accepting the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


Ajit Pai was confirmed unanimously by the US Senate on May 7,2012, and was sworn in on May 14,2012, for a five-year term.


Ajit Pai is the first Indian American to hold the office.


In March 2017, Trump announced that he would renominate Ajit Pai to serve another five-year term.


Ajit Pai was confirmed by the US Senate for an additional five-year term on October 2,2017.


Ajit Pai is a proponent of repealing net neutrality in the United States and, on December 14,2017, voted with the majority of the FCC to reverse the decision to regulate the internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.


Ajit Pai resigned on January 20,2021, the day of Joe Biden's inauguration as President of the United States.


Ajit Pai was born on January 10,1973, in Buffalo, New York.


Ajit Pai's father was a urologist and his mother was an anesthesiologist.


Ajit Pai grew up in Parsons, Kansas, where his parents worked at the county hospital.


Ajit Pai then attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and won a Mulroy Prize for excellence in evidence law.


Ajit Pai then worked for the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice as an Honors Program trial attorney on the Telecommunications Task Force.


Ajit Pai left his Department of Justice post in February 2001 to serve as Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc.


Ajit Pai left Verizon in April 2003 and was hired as Deputy Chief Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.


Ajit Pai returned to the Department of Justice to serve as senior counsel in the Office of Legal Policy in May 2004.


Ajit Pai held that position until February 2005, when he was hired as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights.


Between 2007 and 2011, Ajit Pai held several positions in the FCC's Office of General Counsel, serving most prominently as Deputy General Counsel.


In 2010, Ajit Pai was one of 55 individuals nationwide chosen for the 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a leadership development initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.


In 2011, Ajit Pai was then nominated for a Republican Party position on the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama at the recommendation of Minority leader Mitch McConnell.


Ajit Pai was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7,2012, and was sworn in on May 14,2012, for a term that concluded on June 30,2016.


Ajit Pai was then designated chairman of the FCC by President Donald Trump in January 2017 for a five-year term.


Ajit Pai was confirmed by the US Senate for the additional five-year term on October 2,2017.


Ajit Pai resigned from his post on 20 January 2021, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States.


Ajit Pai was an advocate for less regulation during his tenure on the FCC.


Ajit Pai is seen as a closer ally to broadcasters than to other members of the FCC.


Ajit Pai asserted that by reforming the way the commission works, the agency can facilitate the provision of new and better services at lower prices for American consumers.


Ajit Pai gave his first major speech since taking office on July 18,2012, at Carnegie Mellon University.


Ajit Pai discussed how the FCC can help promote economic growth and enhance job creation in the information and communications technology field by adhering to three basic principles: the FCC should be as nimble as the industry it oversees; the FCC should prioritize the removal of regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment; and the FCC should accelerate its efforts to allocate additional spectrum for mobile broadband.


Ajit Pai called for a reinvigoration of Section 7 of the Communications Act, which gives the commission a one-year deadline to review proposals for new technologies and services.


Ajit Pai introduced the idea of creating an IP Transition Task Force to expedite the country's transition to all-IP networks.


Ajit Pai urged the commission to settle the nine-year-old contributions reform proceeding for the Universal Service Fund by the end of the year.


Ajit Pai wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in 2014 criticizing a proposed FCC study of the news-gathering practices of media organizations.


In 2017, Ajit Pai removed from circulation a proposal introduced by Tom Wheeler which would have required cable providers to make their programming available on third-party devices.


In June 2019, the FCC under Ajit Pai allowed telecommunications companies to automatically sign up their users in call-blocking services.


The measure was proposed by Ajit Pai; he said that it would reduce "unwanted robocalls".


Ajit Pai said in December 2016 that he believed Title II net neutrality's "days [were] numbered", and was described by the New York Times as a stickler for strict application of telecommunications law and limits on the FCC's authority.


The day before the FCC's scheduled vote on net neutrality, Pai appeared in a video entitled "Ajit Pai Wants The Internet To Know You Can Still Harlem Shake After Net Neutrality".


Ajit Pai argued against adoption of the FCC 2013 analysis and proposed rulemaking regarding the high cost of inmate telephone calls, referred to as Inmate Calling Service by the FCC.


Ajit Pai submitted his written dissent in which he argued that the nature of the exclusive single carrier contract between private ICS providers and prison administrators meant inmates cannot "count on market competition to keep prices for inmate calling services just and reasonable".


Ajit Pai argued that the FCC was not well equipped to micromanage rates at each and every prison.


In 2015, Ajit Pai opposed rate caps on intrastate inmate calls over which courts have ruled the FCC has no jurisdiction, notwithstanding rates as high as $14 per minute.


Ajit Pai raised concerns about the increased use of contraband cell phones in prisons.


Shortly after his January 23 confirmation as chairman, Ajit Pai withdrew support for the FCC case involving GTL and CenturyLink set for February 6,2017, which had called for establishing FCC jurisdiction over rates set by states.


In 2016, Ajit Pai called for an investigation of potential fraud among beneficiaries of the agency's Lifeline subsidy for telecommunication services, contending that "apparent duplicates" who had signed up for the program improperly received $476 million annually.


Ajit Pai rescinded permissions for nine new broadband providers selected by the previous FCC to participate in the program after becoming agency chairman, stating the new providers had not followed FCC guidelines requiring them to coordinate with the National Tribal Telecommunications Association in order to participate in the Lifeline program.


Ajit Pai argued the rules had been improperly circumvented by the previous Democratic chairman, former lobbyist Tom Wheeler.


Any claim that Chairman Ajit Pai is modifying the rules now to benefit one particular company is completely baseless.


From late 2017, the FCC inspector general's office investigated Ajit Pai regarding the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger; this was made publicly known in February 2018.


The office concluded that Ajit Pai's decisions regarding Sinclair were consistent with policy positions he had previously endorsed in public.


In July 2018, the FCC under Ajit Pai ordered that the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger be subject to administrative law judge hearings, due to allegations that Sinclair was planning to illegally retain control of stations it was divesting from.


In May 2020, the FCC under Ajit Pai reached an agreement for Sinclair to pay a record FCC fine of $48 million for deceptive practices, in return for ending three FCC investigations into the company.


On October 15,2020, Ajit Pai released an official statement pledging that he would clarify Section 230, a portion of the Communications Decency Act that provides immunity for website publishers of third-party content.


In 2010, Ajit Pai married Janine Van Lancker, a physician and allergist.


In 2017, Ajit Pai publicly complained that net neutrality protesters had targeted his family.