20 Notable Black Americans in Telecom and Technology

Mignon Clyburn was sworn in for her first term as an FCC commissioner on August 3, 2009; sworn in for a second term on February 19, 2013; and served until June 6, 2018. She also served as Acting FCC Chairwoman from May 20, 2013, through November 4, 2013. While at the FCC, Commissioner Clyburn was committed to closing the digital divide. Specifically, she was an advocate for Lifeline Modernization, which helped low-income consumers defray the cost of broadband service, championed diversity in media ownership, initiated Inmate Calling Services reforms, emphasized diversity and inclusion in STEM opportunities, and fought to preserve a free and open internet. 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.

Prior to the FCC, Clyburn spent 11 years as a member of the sixth district on the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina. Prior to the PSC, Clyburn was the publisher and general manager of her family-founded newspaper for 14 years, the Coastal Times, a Charleston-based weekly newspaper that focused primarily on issues affecting the Black community.

Prior to her appointment at the FCC, Clyburn served on the South Carolina State Energy Advisory Council, the Trident Technical College Foundation, the South Carolina Cancer Center Board, the Columbia College Board of Visitors, the Palmetto Project Board (as secretary/ treasurer), chair of the YWCA of Greater Charleston and on the boards of Reid House of Christian Service, Edventure Children’s Museum, Trident Urban League, and the Trident United Way. She also is a Life Member of the NAACP, a member of The Links, Inc. and the SC Advisory Council of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Clyburn is currently the principal at MLC Strategies, LLC, and member of several boards of directors, including most recently the University of the District of Columbia (HBCUs). In November 2020, Clyburn was appointed by President Joe Biden to his four-person senior transition team, specifically to lead the review of the Federal Communications Commission.