Taylor Tate was nominated to the Federal Communications Commission by President
George W. Bush on November 9, 2005 and unanimously confirmed by the United
States Senate on December 21, 2005. She was sworn in as FCC Commissioner on
January 3, 2006. On June 20, 2007, Ms. Tate was reappointed by President Bush to
a full five-year term. Among her many responsibilities, Ms. Tate served as Chair
of both the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service (Universal Service
Joint Board) and the Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations as
well as the Federal Chair of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced
Telecommunications Services (706 Board).
Ms. Tate has worked extensively to facilitate market-based solutions to
public policy issues. Drawing on her extensive experience at the state and local
level, Ms. Tate actively promoted cooperative federalism and public/private
partnerships when it was time for the government to act. Often referred to as
the “Children’s Commissioner,” she was a leading voice on issues affecting
families and children, and has been at the forefront of the movement to ensure
that advances in communications technologies benefit all Americans.
At the time of her FCC appointment, Ms. Tate was serving a six-year term as a
Chairman and director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. In that position,
she had been appointed by the Chairman of the FCC to the Federal-State Joint
Board on Advanced Telecommunications Services and was already actively engaged
in DC on both telecom and energy issues as Chairman of the Washington Action
Committee for NARUC. Commissioner Tate also is a member of several bar
associations and a Rule 31 Mediator.
Ms. Tate has been an adjunct lecturer at the MBA, Nursing and Law School
level and served as a Director at Vanderbilt's Institute on Public Policy.
Commissioner Tate formerly served as Legal Counsel and senior policy advisor to
two Governors: then Governor (now U.S. Senator) Lamar Alexander and former
Governor and Congressman Don Sundquist. In that capacity, Commissioner Tate
addressed a diverse array of public policy issues, including attracting new
industries and improving family incomes. Ms. Tate also was instrumental in the
creation and implementation of a Mental Health Commission culminating in the
passage of a comprehensive mental health law for Tennessee, including an
historic chapter on children and youth.
Consistently recognized by Tennessee Business as one of Tennessee's "Most
Powerful People," Ms. Tate has been the recipient of numerous local and state
professional and nonprofit honors as well as the International Mary Harriman
Community Leadership Award (Justice Sandra Day O'Conner was a previous honoree).
She has participated in numerous international delegations, representing the
U.S. in bilateral negotiations, the World Radio Conference in Geneva; the West
Africa ICT Conference in Ghana; APEC-Tel, the Asian Pacific Telecom Ministers in
Bangkok; and at the Global Forum in Italy.
Ms. Tate is invited to speak regularly at law schools, nonprofits and
professional organizations across the country, seeking to inspire others through
her lifelong commitment to volunteerism. She is the founder and former president
of Renewal House, a recovery residence for women addicted to crack cocaine and
their children. Ms. Tate is past chair of board of directors of Centerstone,
Tennessee's largest, and now the nation’s largest, behavioral healthcare
organization. Her board service has included leadership positions on the boards
of the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Family and Children's Services, Junior
League of Nashville, Martha O'Bryan Center Foundation, Court Appointed Special
Advocates (CASA), Tennessee Voices for Children, Tennessee Tomorrow, Inc., and
the League of Women Voters. In addition, she is an Elder at Westminster
Ms. Tate has been recognized by a number of outstanding organizations since
her appointment to the FCC. These honors include receipt of an Award for
Outstanding Public Service from Common Sense Media, the Good Scout Award from
the Boy Scouts of America, the Carol Reilly Award from the New York State
Broadcasters Association, the Touchstones of Leadership Award for Public Service
from Women in Cable Television, the YW Award from the Academy for Women of
Achievement, and the Jerry Duvall Public Service Award from the Phoenix Center
for Advanced Public Policy Studies. She and her husband, William H. Tate, a
Nashville attorney, have three college-age children.
Since her FCC term ended earlier this year, Ms. Tate continues to consult
with business, non-profits and other organizations regarding communications,
broadband, media and technology issues. She is an Adjunct Senior Distinguished
Fellow at the Free State Foundation and serves on the prestigious National Board
for Minority and Media Telecommunications Council. She has participated in
numerous publications through non-profits such as the Free State Foundation and
the Aspen Institute, continues to keynote at conferences worldwide and also
lectures at colleges and universities. Ms. Tate has remained an international
voice for children and, in particular, for on-line safety of children.