2014 Diversity Advocate

Mignon L. Clyburn

She’s a former newspaper publisher whose impressive history in public service underscores a longstanding commitment to assuring access and empowerment for disabled individuals in a fast-changing communications environment.

In recognition of her work on behalf of a diverse populace, The Walter Kaitz Foundation is honored to name Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn as the 2014 Diversity Advocate. This award is presented to an individual outside the cable industry who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity and has fostered an inclusive environment for the cable telecommunications industry.


As one of five FCC Commissioners, Clyburn is serving a second term as a Democrat on the Commission after being sworn in on Feb. 19, 2013 following her re-nomination by the President and confirmation by the United States Senate. Clyburn also has served as Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, following her appointment by President Barack Obama on May 20, 2013.

Clyburn began her service at the FCC in August, 2009, after spending 11 years as a member of the sixth district on the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina. She served as its chair from July 2002 through June 2004.

Prior to her service on the PSC, Clyburn was the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a Charleston-based weekly newspaper that focused primarily on issues affecting the African American community. She co-owned and operated the family-founded newspaper for 14 years.

A longtime champion of consumers and a defender of the public interest, Commissioner Clyburn considers every Commission proceeding with an eye toward how it will affect every American. She is a strong advocate for enhanced accessibility in communications for disabled citizens, and works closely with representative groups for the deaf and hard of hearing.

She has fought to promote strong competition across all communications platforms, believing that the more robust and competitive the marketplace, the less need there is for regulation. However, when the market is not adequately addressing consumer concerns, Clyburn is an outspoken champion for smart, targeted regulatory action.

On the subject of Internet regulation, Clyburn has expressed an unwavering commitment to an open and independent network, writing in a May 2014 blog post that “preserving and maintaining a free and open Internet is fundamental to the core values of our democratic society.”

Additionally, she has pushed for media ownership rules that reflect the demographics of America, affordable universal telephone and high-speed internet access, greater broadband deployment and adoption throughout the nation, and transparency in regulation. Commissioner Clyburn is a member of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Federal-State Joint Board on Separations, and the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Services, all of which she chaired for three years during her first term at the FCC.

We’re honored and privileged to recognize Mignon Clyburn’s outstanding work at the 2014 Kaitz Dinner, where she will be recognized as the 2014 Diversity Advocate. Congratulations!

Mignon Clyburn, 2014 Walter Kaitz Diversity Advocate