Cisco Systems announced Thursday that it has appointed Michael K. Powell, former chair of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, to a spot on its board of directors. The appointment was effective immediately. Powell, an alumnus of the College of William and Mary and Georgetown University's law school, was first appointed to the FCC by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997 and promoted to the chairman spot in 2001 by President George W. Bush. He served there until the beginning of Bush's second term in 2005
. As chair of the FCC, Powell was known for significant telecommunications deregulation as well as an "indecency" crackdown on explicit material
over the airwaves.
Other high-profile names on Cisco's board include Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Stanford University President John L. Hennessy, and Cisco's own CEO John T. Chambers. While a newcomer to Cisco, Powell is no stranger to corporate boards: He has posts at the Aspen Institute, Rand, ObjectVideo and CMWare, as well as the Board of Visitors at the College of William and Mary.