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CA Governor Appoints New CPUC Member

Rachelle Chong, a former Federal Communications Commissioner in the Clinton Administration, was named by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday to the California Public Utilities Commission, replacing Susan Kennedy, who left last month to become the governor's chief of staff. Chong joins the five-member regulatory commission immediately, although her appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation. She can begin serving for up to a year without confirmation.

A telecommunications attorney and native of San Francisco, Chong, 46, has 21 years of experience in telecommunications law and policy, including three years at the FCC (1994-97). She has specialized in telecommunications with several law firms and on the boards or in the management of several different corporations and associations. Most recently, Chong has owned and operated her own business as a mediator, arbitrator and expert witness, serving as an arbitrator in a telecom dispute for the International Chamber of Commerce.

At the same time, Chong also has served as vice president/general counsel for BroadBand Office Inc. and president of Carina Jewelry Inc.

Iin a prepared statement, Chong said she was "honored" to be able to apply her knowledge and understanding of the telecommunications to her home state. She made no mention of the other industries -- energy, water, trucking and public transportation -- regulated by the CPUC.

She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and of that university's Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.

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